2011 Step Forward Day Recap: Men's Volleyball

Mike McMahon teaches the fundamentals of passing to a clinic participant during Step Forward Day.

Sept. 21, 2011

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MALIBU, Calif. - Thousands of students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends gathered on Saturday, Sept. 10 to take part in Step Forward Day, Pepperdine University's annual day of collective volunteer service. Dozens of campus organizations, including classes, dorms, fraternities, sororities, and clubs, assisted nonprofit organizations, schools, churches and parks throughout Southern California. Pepperdine athletic teams also came together to give a helping hand, while alumni chapters across the country organized service projects in their own communities.

In 1988, two Pepperdine students developed the concept of “stepping forward” after they recognized the need for volunteers in the local community.  Twenty-three years after its inception, Step Forward Day has transformed from two volunteers in Malibu to 1,400 volunteers working in communities across the world.  This year, multiple campus organizations stepped into the community to help local schools, churches, YMCA centers, city garden projects, parks, and senior citizen care centers.   

As part of the 2011 Step Forward Day, the men’s volleyball team hosted a clinic at Alumni Park for the members of the United States Youth Volleyball League (USYVL). 

Men’s Volleyball Director of Operations Alex Dunphy recaps the team’s day:

“At 8 a.m. the team gathered at Smothers Parking Lot for registration and breakfast.  As the new student-athletes arrived, they were surprised and excited to see hundreds of people from the Pepperdine community scattered across the parking lot preparing for a great day of service.  After grabbing a quick bite to eat, the team headed down to Alumni Park to set up the volleyball nets and lines. 

“At 9:30 a.m., children ages 5-12 started arriving with their parents, ready for a great volleyball clinic!  At 10 a.m., the clinic was under way.  The team set up six courts, and each court had 2-3 Pepperdine men’s volleyball student-athletes teaching the keys, concepts, and basic fundamentals of the game to the young players.  Head coach Marv Dunphy used veteran USYVL clinic participants to demonstrate the drills, and had the rest of the players follow along.  At 1:30 p.m. the USYVL participants were on their way home and the team walked across the park to meet up with other Pepperdine students for reflection and some In-N-Out.

“The weather was awesome, the kids were excited, and the men’s volleyball players were great teachers and role models.  Special thanks to Meredith Miller of the Pepperdine Volunteer Center for organizing such a wonderful event and helping us reach out to the community.”

 “I want to thank all of the members of the United States Youth Volleyball League who came out for the volleyball clinic at Pepperdine,” said senior middle blocker Matt Pollock (Orland Park, Ill./Sandburg HS) at the conclusion of the day,  “You made Step Forward Day an extremely special and gratifying experience for our team.  We love volleyball and we were really thrilled to share the game with you.  Thanks for coming to the clinic!  We’ll see you next year!”



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