Women's Volleyball to raise breast cancer awareness in Dig Pink game

A Gryphon Volleyball on the Gryphon's home court. Photo courtesy Paul Blascovich.

A Gryphon Volleyball on the Gryphon's home court. Photo courtesy Paul Blascovich.

At 7 p.m. on Oct. 13, Sarah Lawrence’s Women’s Volleyball team will face off against the United States Merchant Marine Academy in the Campbell Sports Center. While the team has not faced USMMA in previous years, they are hoping for a victory to add to their current 19 to 13 overall record.

What makes this game so special is the Dig Pink theme. Dig Pink is a volleyball specific rally that supports the Side-Out Foundation. The foundation was founded by a volleyball coach and the son of a breast cancer survivor, who saw his mother’s struggle and used his team’s persistence and dedication to encourage his mother to put up the strongest fight she could. Now, volleyball teams across the nation—college, high school, middle school, varsity and club alike, and at local, county, city, and state levels—host Dig Pink games where teams fundraise to support breast cancer research. The Side-Out Foundation uses the revenue to allot cancer research grants, improve patient care, and support those battling breast cancer. Last year, the top five teams alone raised over $80,000. These games are hosted in October, national breast cancer awareness month.

SLC’s women’s volleyball team will be holding two bake sales to help raise money for the cause, one of which will be held during the game itself. Anyone that buys a pastry at one of these bake sales will be given a pink ribbon to wear to show support for the cause. According to sophomore volleyball team member Yolanda Cando ‘17, all ribbons given out were made with the help of Volleyball Coach Jillian Kalvik’s mother.

Cando said “I think we’re going to [win] if the spirit is there. We do pretty well when games go really quickly, and I do think we do really well when we have people at our games, cheering us on, just because it’s a different vibe.” Like any team, the girls of SLC Women’s Volleyball get amped up with a cheering crowd and support from their fellow students.

Coach Kalvik is very excited about the game, and had this to say on the Dig Pink match: “We are doing our dig pink game during October, which is widely known as breast cancer awareness month. Our goals are to promote women's health, bring awareness to the disease and raise a little money for research. I thought that this would be a good way to use our unique platform on campus to bring our team together for a common goal, that is much bigger than hitting volleyballs. I would love to see the student body at the match, wearing pink.”

The game is the night before Midnight Madness, another night of fun at the Sports Center where all athletics teams will be representing themselves with carnival-style games, and the kickoff to the men’s basketball team’s season. So drop by the sports center, wear pink, eat some baked goods, and enjoy SLC volleyball ladies spike down on the Merchant Marine Academy.

by Jacqueline Quirk '17