Title IX 40 for 40: Haley Wessels
Haley Wessels is a rising senior with the Yale
volleyball team. She earned second-team All-Ivy honors as a
sophomore and posted 99 kills, 36 blocks, nine digs and seven
assists as a junior to help Yale to the Ivy League title and an
NCAA Tournament berth.
What impact has Title IX had on you/college athletics?
Wessels: As a member of the Yale volleyball team, I appreciate my place on a team that doesn't have a male counterpart on campus. Due to the effect of Title IX, my team is able to exist strongly on campus and build its reputation as a successful program.
What more can be done to improve women's athletics?
Wessels: The fan base of women's athletics can be greatly improved. I can name multiple women's teams at Yale including volleyball, squash, crew and tennis that are very successful programs with many Ivy League titles over the years that have less fan attendance at games and matches than men's teams. I think the public relations with women's sports teams can be improved on campus and in the community.
What is the biggest challenge to women in sports?
Wessels: I think the biggest challenge is overcoming the stereotype against women's athletics in a male dominated sector. Even though some women's teams at Yale have a stronger reputation than the equivalent men's team, the women's teams are often overshadowed. I think over time, this will change as more female teams continue to prove their place at the university.
Who was an influential woman in athletics to you and why?
Wessels: Kerri Walsh is a woman I look up to in athletics. Her successful career involved determination and hard work that I admire and aspire to. As an Olympian, she proved her worth as a competitor in beach volleyball and leaves a lasting legacy in women's athletics.