Volleyball Supports Breast Cancer Research

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The women’s volleyball team will support breast cancer research and awareness on Oct. 13.

The Oct. 13 volleyball match will be about more than just aces and blocks. The Dons will be hosting their annual Dig Pink fundraiser to benefit breast cancer research and treatment.

Dig Pink is a fundraising event put on by the Side-Out Foundation to raise funds through volleyball for breast cancer research and treatment. The organization was started in 2004 by coach Rick Dunetz of West Springfield High School in Fairfax, Va. Shortly after Dunetz took over the team at West Springfield, his mother was diagnosed with breast cancer for a second time.

Following the diagnosis, the team embarked on a “miracle season” which led them to their first ever division title. After seeing the effects of the team’s success on his mother’s spirits, Dunetz began Side-Out to build energy and raise funds around cancer research through sports.

In the 14 years since Side-Out was founded, nearly 7,000 volleyball teams — from middle school to professional level — have collectively raised over $14 million for the cause.

For this year’s Dig Pink event, the Dons will host the University of San Diego Toreros. So far this year, the Toreros have put up a 7-9 record overall but are 4-2 in the WCC. Despite their poor record, San Diego managed to steal a set from the top-ranked BYU Cougars before losing in four sets on Oct. 5. Before visiting the Hilltop, the Toreros will play the Broncos of Santa Clara University on Thursday, Oct. 11.

Before the Dig Pink match, the Dons will host BYU on Oct. 11, a tough matchup for Coach Frank Lavishra’s rebuilding program. For this match, Assistant Coach Shane Tye will be facing up against his alma mater, where he played on the men’s volleyball team from 2011 to 2015.

Donations to the Side-Out Foundation can be made at the Dig Pink match on Oct. 13 or online at side-out.org.

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