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50 years of volleyball at MSU Denver

– [Woman] Runners on
three, one, two, three! – [Together] Runners! – Yeah, I think the history
of this program is so unique, and I just keep learning more
about it in my time here, and it’s really important to me that we carry on that
tradition, and that each group, at team one through team 30 through team 50 each has a
story that we can learn from. – We have talked about being team 50. I think with that comes a
lot of pride for us knowing that this program has been
so successful in the past. – The reputation in what
you’ve done in the years past definitely bring a reputation
to the teams after you. – [Announcer] This is
another chance for Metro. Bri Morley, left side gets the kill. – You know some of our
conference opponents have had only recent success
in the last five, 10 years. When you go back to how long this program has had
success, it’s pretty special. – You know, people talk
basketball and soccer, but volleyball has been the program that has been here steady every year. Very competitive, good every year, and recently, 18 NCA tournaments. Five, only women have
coached here for volleyball. I don’t know if people have realized that, and that’s not true in this day and age. – Empowerment and the growth
we’ve seen in women’s athletics from the time MSU Denver
started volleyball and 50 years later it’s pretty apparent how far women’s college
athletics has come. – I really think that the thing that is important that I can see is just the way it’s gone on after I stopped coaching. (soft music) So I came in 1968, there was no campus. The practices and games for volleyball were at the downtown Denver YWCA, and then any tall girl
that walked across campus or walked into a classroom
both me and the players that I had already started
working with would go up and say, “Hey would you be interested
in playing volleyball?” and she’d say, “Oh, maybe”, and so we recruited from the
campus itself to start with. – Yeah it’s absolutely a challenge
recruiting at MSU Denver. We’ve got a non-traditional
housing situation, but when I first got here we didn’t have a housing situation at all. Actually for a few years
we had them out in Belmar, and we had to shuttle
them to campus every day. In for classes and practice and back home, and so for the athletes
who can recall that, they know that was one
of the big challenges. And for coaches when we’re recruiting that’s a huge challenge. – [Announcer] Oh man
this Roadrunner defense has come alive here in the fourth set. – You know we would always sell winning. We would sell, there was
already a strong tradition of winning in the volleyball
program at MSU Denver before I arrived and we would sell that. If you wanted to be a part
of a competitive program on a national level we have that to offer. – In 1975, I awarded the first scholarship to a woman who played volleyball, and then later on we would
add one or two a year. It’s what it should have been in the same realm and the same development as the men’s programs, but the women’s programs
just didn’t happen at the same time. I filed two Title IX lawsuits (laughs), so I was trying to force it along. – [Announcer] She played
from 2008 to 2011, number five, Darcy Schwartzman. – I think it’s important that we continue to appreciate the women who paved the way for all of us to have those opportunities. Those ladies were paving
the way for the rest of us to have coaching opportunities, and for these young women to have the types of playing
opportunities that they’ve had. – With Title IX and with the
evolution of college athletics, the program has changed
significantly over the years. So just to celebrate that
growth and where we are today and the opportunities for young
females to earn scholarships and get an education and play
the sport that they love, and in the process be role
models for young kids. We always talk about utilizing
the sport of volleyball and not letting the sport use us. So we want to use the sport of volleyball to learn about life, to prepare us to be successful the
next however many years that we have on this planet. – Then people always say that
things in life worth having never come easy and that’s
very true with volleyball. – [Announcer] Far side
back to Michaela Smith keep goin’ to her when you
need a point, there she is. – [Woman] And I think
that’s part of the reason Metro’s so successful. It’s because we’ve always
had coaches that push us and realize that it’s not gonna be easy, but after you kinda
taste that success, it’s, you see that it is worth having. – [Woman] Though hard work,
never quitting, time management, all of those skills
are easily transferable into every career path
that you could ever choose. – And I knew for women
in the professional world that if they didn’t get it together during the college experience that they were not going to thrive when they got out into the business world or wherever they decided
to have their career. And so I knew that we were developing a disciplined mentality and a skillset that was not only going to help these young ladies graduate
and graduate successfully, but also be successful the minute they hit the ground
running in their careers. – So to see them all go
through and grow and mature and graduate and have a
great experience was huge. – I pushed as hard as I could and the kids who played in those years are successful not only in sports but other aspects. – So we are always gonna
challenge ourselves in the pursuit of excellence. We always talk about that
in the pursuit of excellence is where the most lessons are learned and the most fun is had. – [Woman] Runners on
three, one, two, three! – [Together] Runners!

David Frank