Rosado adjusts to new home

Dalianliz Rosado joined Minnesota’s volleyball team from Puerto Rico.

Rachel Timmerman

When Gophers freshman libero Dalianliz Rosado first came to the University of Minnesota, she loved everything about the campus, team and coaching staff.

But being away from her home in Puerto Rico proved to be a hard transition for the 18-year-old.

Rosado said the culture shock from the move was difficult; however, she had junior Daly Santana, also a Puerto Rico native, to rely on.

“She’s a really big help for me,” Rosado said. “She helps me with everything she can.”

Rosado and Santana have been friends for about nine years, having played both with and against each other in Puerto Rico.

“We were always around each other. We’re pretty good friends — we’re like sisters,” Santana said.

Santana has been helping Rosado work on her English, but Santana said it’s hard with both of them wanting to speak in Spanish.

When Rosado first got to Minnesota, she said she couldn’t understand anything. Two months after the move, she started feeling more confident, even though it’s still a hard adjustment.

“We kind of talk in both, Spanglish,” Santana said. “We’ll start saying something and get confused and want to get it out of the way, so we start talking in Spanish to be done with it.”

Another change for Rosado is adjusting to the long distance, more than 2,000 miles away from home.

“I’m far away from my family,” Rosado said. “I miss my family a lot.”

But Rosado said Santana is like a big sister to her because they’ve known each other for so long.

“When I don’t have anyone here, and if she doesn’t have her family, at least we can have each other,” Santana said.

The Gophers are a close team, but Santana said she and Rosado have a different kind of connection.

“We’ve been together for a longer time than anyone else here,” Santana said.

The two said they have been busy focusing on school and volleyball since the start of the semester.

Rosado said she’s doing pretty well in her classes, but it’s a challenge to balance academics and volleyball. Right now, she’s interested in majoring in biology.

Outside of school and volleyball, Rosado and Santana spend as much time together as they can.

“She’s great company,” Santana said.

Ready for the opportunity

Though Rosado is dealing with adjustments off the court, she’s no stranger to the world of volleyball.

She has excelled at the sport from a young age.

Rosado played with the Puerto Rican Youth National Team in addition to Club Morovis.

Her time with the national team brought her to the Pan American tournament.

At her high school, Carmen Sol, Rosado excelled as the captain and MVP in six tournaments in 2011 and 2012.

The performances led to Minnesota recruiting her. Since the season’s start, head coach Hugh McCutcheon has played Rosado as the starting libero in multiple matches.

As for the future of the starting libero position, it is uncertain. But McCutcheon said Rosado is doing a great job in the role — one that he said Rosado has dreamed about.

“She’s really flourishing,” McCutcheon said. “She’s taken full ownership of the opportunity she has.”