We were here last week, in a pool of players wearing white tennis shoes, for the US Open.
And we’re here again.
It’s the USA varsity volleyball team’s annual White Ribbon Day event, and we’re all wearing white sneakers and white tennis shoe covers, to raise awareness of domestic violence against women.
“This is just the beginning,” says senior Amanda Miller, who also is a member of the team.
“We have a lot of work to do to make sure that we are putting in the time and energy to support each other and to continue to work on our wellness and our relationships and continue to make this work.”
Miller has been working on her fitness and strength since she started training in early March.
After the first of her workouts in February, she decided to put on a pair of white sneakers instead of the white tennis covers.
She feels a lot more confident and fit now, and she’s working on improving her coordination.
“I’ve definitely felt stronger and a little more confident,” Miller says.
“But I’m definitely looking forward to going out there with my teammates and hopefully getting some better shots at it.”
The White Ribbon day is a national holiday in the US, but not every USA team is participating in the event.
“Our teams all do it, we’re just looking to make it a little better,” says USA senior goalkeeper Sarah Dominguez.
Domingez is the only goalkeeper in the team who is not a member.
“It’s a very important part of our team culture and our family, and it’s a little scary at times,” she says.
The USA has worked to help players in need of support.
The team has raised over $50,000 for the National Domestic Violence Hotline, and is making sure that the goalposts of the goalpost in the locker room are set for this year’s event.
The players and coaches have also been working to ensure that each other is well-prepared and that there is a safe place to practice.
USA assistant coach Katie McPhee, who is also a member, says that players are “doing everything they can to be prepared and feel comfortable” for the event, including doing yoga and doing some weightlifting.
“A lot of them are really good at that, and they’ve been really good to us and to the community,” McPheese says.
USAMU has worked with USA, the US Olympic Committee, and USA Women’s Tennis to help the team prepare.
USAW’s Laura McQuinn says that USA is always looking to support the programs that USAMUs provides, but that it’s also important to make the effort to help girls who are experiencing domestic violence.
“One of the things we’re really passionate about is being a part of the women’s movement in the United States,” McQuinn says.
But the organization is also committed to making sure it’s safe for the team and for the players, and that everyone is aware of their responsibilities and what they can do to support them.