Now there's time to be a fan

Courtesy Emily Young

The USC men's swimmers and divers are the "brother team'' for women's volleyball, and they strongly support each other.

Offseason-itis is a real condition. I’m not talking about slacking off or not having passion for your sport during the offseason. That’s called being lazy and unmotivated. USC women’s volleyball has been in the gym every day working hard toward our upcoming fall season.

Offseason-itis is that itch and the twitch you have to get involved in anything and everything on campus that you don’t have the opportunity to do during the season. It hit our team hard this past week. We volunteered at two events and went to multiple sporting events, not to mention this past week was career week so many of us were at campus-wide networking events as well. It’s been a lot of fun being immersed in all the campus activities.

The grand re-opening of Heritage Hall was a premier event to get involved in on campus. Heritage Hall is our trophy showcase, athletic administration hub and now houses locker rooms for women’s soccer, lacrosse, rowing and both of the golf teams. The building has been going through a $35 million renovation for the past year.

Courtesy of Emily Young

The women's volleyball team participated in Day in Troy, which draws hundreds of kids to campus.

The athletic department held a gala for the opening ceremony for all those who donated to that renovation and others around campus. It really was a grand, grand opening with a red carpet, our mascot Traveler (a beautiful white horse), and the Spirit of Troy USC marching band in attendance. As student-athlete ambassadors, our job for the evening was to escort some of USC’s most prestigious alumni and donors to and through Heritage Hall and answer any questions about the facility and our sports.

Since women’s volleyball is housed in the Galen Center, this was our first time in the newly renovated Heritage Hall as well. We marveled at the new state-of-the-art training facilities for women’s golf (a virtual driving range and indoor putting green) and rowing (a full 35-ergometer workout room), and checked out the athlete-designed women’s lounge that every female athlete now has access to.

The other community service event we participated in this week was Day in Troy. It draws hundreds of kids to campus. We lead them on a tour and host exclusive informational and autograph events before our women’s and men’s basketball rivalry games against UCLA. This is a really fun event because for most of these kids, this is their first time on the USC campus. Our informational talks and their positive experience gets them thinking about going to college.

Our team was divided into different shifts during the day. I was in the morning group that toured the kids around campus. It was amazing watching their faces light up as we walked around the John McKay Center. Some of the parents that tagged along asked questions, so it was nice to add my perspective to the athletic heritage we have at USC.

Our team went to multiple sporting events this week: women’s basketball, men’s basketball and men’s volleyball. But the most notable was supporting our “brother team,” men’s swimming and diving. Each team at USC is paired with another brother or sister team that participates in a different sport to help create a foundation within our athletic community. Generally, you are paired with a sport that participates at a different venue so you are encouraged to experience something new. Men’s swimming and diving came to our matches in the fall, most notably starting the human roller-coaster cheer that got everyone in the crowd riled up.

After practice Friday, our team made some stellar men’s swimming posters and watched their meet against Cal. We had a lot of fun. All the USC swim fans were really helpful in explaining to us what each race entailed, and I think we made a few new volleyball fans as well. The guys did really great, but unfortunately, they lost the meet to Cal. After their meet against Utah, they head to the Pac-12 championships and we hope to support them all the way.

It’s really been a phenomenal week seeing how much our team can contribute to the student-athlete community and the greater USC community. The university provides our team with so many opportunities and it was great to invest back and thank the Trojan family for all the support they give us. I’m excited to see what next week has in store.