DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Not only is North Texas home of the only women’s indoor professional volleyball league in the country, the Athletes Unlimited league is about to complete its second season.

And yet, there are a lot of folks who have no clue it exists.

Tori Dilfer, a player in the league, said “If we wanna grow this game, we have to be the best. If we want people to watch, we have to make it worth watching.”

Tori is like many, watching the gap between men’s and women’s sports get smaller by the day. Just a few years ago, if she had finished her college career in Louisville and wanted to take her game to the next level she would’ve had to go to Europe. Now, she has a platform to make other young ladies realize doors are starting to open where they were never open before.

Tori added, “With dreaming big, you have to work for it. So, there’s the work piece. Then, there’s the faith piece… that the work will pay off.”

A lesson instilled in her by her father Trent Dilfer, a former top ten pick of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Dilfer was the starting quarterback for the Baltimore Ravens when they won their first Super Bowl title. Following his NFL playing days, he had a distinguished broadcasting career. The spotlight has always found him and now, he’s trying to shine it on more and more women in the sports world.

Trent said, “To see my daughter chase her dreams is pretty special. It’s affirmation for all that they do. A female athlete invests just as much, if not more, than a male athlete. If they’re good enough, they should have every opportunity to play at the highest level and be compensated accordingly for that journey.”

Father and daughter said that the league that continues to bring some of the top players in the world to Fair Park is proof that gender equity is greatly improving in every sector of society.

But, according to Tori, one premise will always apply to everyone; “The work piece comes back in into it. You have to keep working. Dreaming isn’t quite enough. You have to keep working.”

Trent adds, “It’s again and again and again. Most athletes don’t reach their dream, because they tap out on one of those ‘agains.’ The great ones are in the 30 thousands of again. If you’re not reaching you dream as a young athlete, it’s because you tapped out on one of those agains.”

Keith Russell


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