Long Beach Olympian stabbed multiple times in Louisiana domestic violence attack

Editor’s note: This story originally misstated the state where the attack happened.

The Long Beach volleyball community is coming together to support a local sports legend after she was stabbed in a brutal domestic violence attack at her sister’s home in Louisiana.

Long Beach State Hall of Famer and five-time Olympian Danielle Scott-Arruda was stabbed repeatedly in the thigh and hands, and her sister, Stefanie Vallery, was killed in the attack on Nov. 18. Also wounded was Scott-Arruda’s niece, Danielle, who was named after her.

“My momma died in my hands,” Danielle Scott, 25, told the Advocate. “I don’t even know where to start right now. We are lost.”

According to the Advocate, Baton Rouge police are searching for Michael Vallery, Vallery’s estranged husband. Scott said her mother and stepfather were in the process of getting a divorce after 14 years of marriage when he showed up on Sunday, Nov. 18. After a lengthy argument he left, then returned through a window and attacked Vallery with a knife. Scott-Arruda and her niece were injured trying to pull him away and get hold of the knife.

Vallery was pronounced dead at the scene, while Scott-Arruda was rushed to the hospital for surgery. She is stable and expected to recover, although that process will be long and painful, friends said.

Michael Vallery is still at large.

“USA Volleyball sends our strength, love and support to Danielle and her family,” USA Volleyball CEO Jamie Davis said in a statement Monday. “We are deeply saddened by this heinous incident yet so proud of Danielle’s incredible bravery and wish her a speedy recovery.”

Long Beach Legend

Few volleyball players in history can match Scott-Arruda’s accomplishments on the court. She was a member of the 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008, and 2012 Olympic USA women’s volleyball team, the only five-time American volleyball Olympian in history. Respected and beloved by her peers, she carried the U.S. flag at the opening ceremony of the 2007 Pan-American Games.

“No one will ever match what Danielle has accomplished,” said her Long Beach State coach, Brian Gimmillaro, when Scott-Arruda was inducted into the Century Club Hall of Fame.

She was a 1993 winner of the Honda Sports Award as the top collegiate female volleyball player, and she led Long Beach State to an NCAA championship. She is in the Century Club, Long Beach State, and International Volleyball Halls of Fame.

Danielle Scott-Arruda and USA Volleyball teammate Tayyiba Haneef-Park during a match at the 2008 Olympics. Photo courtesy of Tayyiba Haneef-Park.

GoFundMe

Another Long Beach State and USA Volleyball athlete has stepped up to organize support for Scott-Arruda. Tayyiba Haneef-Park, also a Long Beach State Hall of Famer and a teammate of Scott-Arruda’s on three Olympic teams, set up a GoFundMe account to help with medical bills.

“Danielle is a selfless and inspirational woman,” wrote Haneef-Park. “In her attempt to protect her sister from attack, she was critically wounded in the thigh and hands. She underwent surgery and will have a long road to full recovery ahead of her.

“On behalf of the family, I am reaching out for support, with your help, to establish relief for both Stefanie and Danielle. Any contributions will help funeral costs for Stefanie as well as provide medical assistance for Danielle as she recovers from this tragic incident.”

The volleyball community is a tight one, and the GoFundMe was shared thousands of times over the weekend, with more than $56,000 raised from over 500 donors.

Haneef-Park said she was amazed by the response.

“I’m literally in tears at the outpouring of love and support,” she said. “It’s overwhelming to know how much people step up in the face of tragedy.”

Haneef-Park said that Scott-Arruda wanted to pass on her gratitude to the Long Beach and volleyball community.

“She wants everyone to know that her faith is strong and she appreciates the support of family, friends, and fans,” she said.

Those wanting to donate can visit the GoFundMe page.

LBCC

The support for Scott-Arruda isn’t just manifesting digitally. Fellow Long Beach State volleyball Hall of Famer and Olympian Misty May-Treanor has thrown the support of her LBCC women’s volleyball program into the effort as well.

Last weekend, the Vikings hosted their first second-round state playoff match in a decade, and May-Treanor was sure to use the occasion to help support Scott-Arruda. In between the second and third sets, Vikings players walked the stands of the school’s Hall of Champions gymnasium to collect donations from the fans on hand.

“We’re obviously all thinking of her and trying to do what we can,” said May-Treanor.

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Mike and JJ go together like mac and cheese: they’re best friends, business partners and Long Beach sports experts. They’ve been working together for over a decade covering Long Beach local sports and now run the562.org, a community-funded nonprofit media outlet.
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