Gophers ‘Female Warrior’ video gains popularity

The video has been viewed more than half a million times on Facebook so far.

The Minnesota volleyball team reacts to scoring a point against UC Irvine at the Sports Pavilion on Friday September 11. In late August, Minnesota Volleyball released a video entitled

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The Minnesota volleyball team reacts to scoring a point against UC Irvine at the Sports Pavilion on Friday September 11. In late August, Minnesota Volleyball released a video entitled “Female Warrior”, produced by teammates Daly Santana, Hannah Tapp, and Paige Tapp, which has garnered over 500,000 views on Facebook.

Emily Polglaze

With bold-faced statements such as, “You’re not fast enough” and, “You’re not committed” set to an instrumental track, the Gophers volleyball team created a video to challenge stereotypes surrounding female athletes.
The coaching staff challenged the team to make the video, entitled “Female Warrior,” after they found there weren’t a lot of videos about female athletes.

Sometimes as a team, we were watching videos that were men’s videos,” senior captain Daly Santana said. “We thought it would be kind of cool to watch other women who have been successful.”

What started out as a team assignment has now spiraled into a video that’s made waves on the Internet.
Published under the Minnesota Gophers YouTube account, the video has the most views of any on the channel in over nine months.
Santana and juniors Paige and Hannah Tapp took the reigns of the video project when their coaches gave them the task over the summer. 
“It was brought to our attention that there aren’t many motivational videos for women. And if they are, they’re more sexualized,” Paige Tapp said. “We were asked to create a video that showed female athletes as hard workers and tough, and less of what we’re normally associated with.”
According to the University of Minnesota’s Tucker Center for Research on Girls and Women in Sport, 40 percent of all athletes are female, but they receive only 4 percent of media coverage. 
The team then got busy with ideas for the project inspired by their own experiences.
“Every person [on the team] had a list of things that they’ve been told along the way that they’ve worked through and overcome,” Paige Tapp said. “So I think that was really powerful, all of us being vulnerable together.”
The video features the team’s highlights, as well as parts of the team’s training regime. 
In a typical preseason day, Paige Tapp said the team would meet at the Sports Pavilion at 6 a.m. to do weights or yoga, followed by a two-hour morning training session and a three-hour afternoon training session, before capping their day with team meetings that would last until about 9 p.m.
Hannah Tapp said those days required the players to be completely invested, and she said the team would leave their phones at home to avoid distraction from their goals and training. 
With more than 20,000 views on YouTube and half a million on Facebook since being uploaded, the team has been pleasantly surprised by their project’s reception.
Paige and Hannah Tapp had some previous video experience with the team, making one as the team left for a trip to Japan in the spring.
It was new for Santana, though, who does voiceover work in the video. Despite being out of her comfort zone, the subject matter was something Santana said she felt passionate about.
“There’s a lot of issues out there that are not talked about,” Santana said. “We simply brought it up to the public, and said, ‘This is what actually goes on in our lives; this is what we have to deal with; and this is what we do to fight them.’ ”
The volleyball team has a good fan following, and the team said that support has been the driving force for them spreading the video and the message it conveys.
“We’re in a transition of making Minnesota volleyball this culture that we really want,” Hannah Tapp said. “I hope that we’ve set a good foundation to lead to many years of success and hard work and dedication.”