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Virginia women's lacrosse coach discusses coping with tragedy
CBS College Sports landed an interview Sunday with Virginia women's lacrosse coach Julie Myers during its NCAA selection show.
Here she discusses how the team is coping with the death of Yeardley Love with anchor Adam Zucker and analyst Sheehan Stanwick Burch:
Zucker: Coach, how are you? How is your team doing right now?
Myers: I think we’re actually doing pretty well, all things considered. We just had a really great weekend, very uplifting, very hopeful weekend in Baltimore with the Love family and everyone else who has been struck by this. But our team is staying together. We’ve spent lots and lots of time with each other. I think the greatest part is they’ve been able to cry when they want to and they’ve been able to laugh and feel good about that. It’s been a bit of a roller coaster, but all things told, lacrosse has brought us together and we want to make sure we use lacrosse to keep us together.
Zucker: And you made the decision earlier this week to play in the NCAA Tournament. What went into that decisionmaking process and the Love family being consulted about that?
Myers: As a team we got together a bunch of different times to try and figure out what comes next. At the beginning of the week, we just took a day at a time, literally. We were together obviously on Monday morning and we needed to reconvene again that evening. So many parents came down, which was great. So the second time we saw our kids, we had their families' support there in the room too, and kind of walked through it together. Tuesday we were able to go over to a family’s home for lunch and had another chance to just be together, and we just started talking about, "What do you think? What comes next? And what do you think about playing?" The kids were all really, really sure that not only would Yeards want us to play, the Love family would want us to play. And they really wanted to do it to be closer to Yeards and just keep us together again. So it was part of our healing process. Certainly the kids expressed an interest to keep this going. The Love family, they were shocked that they were even asked if we were going to continue going. All things told, everybody was upward. We didn’t really know what the next day would bring, but we’ve come through it with a lot of sadness and certainly a tremendous amount of loss, but also a lot of hope and love.
Burch: How do you bring your team back to normalcy after such a trying, horrible week?
Myers: We started putting those pieces back together last week. The kids had asked if we could practice on Thursday…so as many as kids who were up for the challenge went out to the field on Thursday. And it was pretty hard. Different people broke down at different parts of time. Some kids were afraid of "are we doing the right thing?" Friday was significantly better. And then today (Sunday), we were lucky enough to get approval from the NCAA to have a practice up at Notre Dame Prep where Yeardley went to high school. So we had about 40 alumni, about 70 of their parents, our team, all of our parents. We had a big practice at Notre Dame Prep. Our alumni were so great…they just really wanted to help. I think we’re kind of building back to normalcy. I think it will be a new normal, it won’t be anything that we’re used to. But I think our spirits are good. Lots of people have come out from all areas, and all corners of the world trying to help us out and give us support. This week it’s figuring out exams and one week of practice. I think our kids are ready to try to give this a shot…Right now we’re playing in honor of Yeards and we’re playing to just keep this team together as we go through this mourning process.