Ladies ‘Dig for the Cure’ for breast cancer awareness


Roberto Campos

The Southern Indiana women’s volleyball team donned pink uniforms in an effort to bring awareness for breast cancer Friday night, as it hosted the University of Illinois-Springfield.

The Eagles defeated UIS 3-0, as junior outside hitter Lauren DeShaney led USI in kills, registering a team high of 12 for the game.

This was the second time the team had worn pink  jerseys for its “Dig for the Cure” match after starting the tradition last year.

“I think with any girl’s sport, this hits home a little more for us because it could happen to anyone of us,” junior outside hitter Fawn Ryan said. “I’m proud that our team comes out and tries to help raise awareness for a good cause.”

Dig for a Cure is a big event for the volleyball team because October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, said Leah Mercer, volleyball head coach.

“A lot of the teams in our conference have done this to raise awareness and to hopefully one day find a cure, and we want to do what we can to help,” Mercer said.

The Eagles followed up their success at the Physical Activities Center in a match against McKendree University, beating the Bearcats 3-1, and increasing their Great Lakes Valley Conference (GLVC) record to 9-2 with a 16-4 overall mark.

Posting double digit kills for USI Saturday were DeShaney, who led the Eagles in the contest with 17 kills, along with Ryan having 12 kills, and Abbey Winter getting 11.

For her strong play, DeShaney has been named GLVC Baden Offensive Player of the Week. She leads the team with 236 kills for the season.

Senior libero Kayla Heldman said that moving further into the season means finding a sense of synergy as a team.

“As a team,we’re trying to build each game with momentum and to find the things that we feel comfortable with as a team,” Heldman said. “We play each team differently, but we also try to stick to USI ball … we’re just scrappy, (we) hit hard and try to be aggressive all the time.”

The women’s volleyball team returns to action on Friday at the Mizuno GLVC/Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Crossover in Aurora, Ill. Match opponents for the event were announced Monday.

The Eagles will play Northern Michigan on Friday to open the three day, three match event. USI will close out the round-robin style tournament Sunday with two matches against Grand Valley State and Saginaw Valley State. Entering play Friday, the Eagles have accumulated a 3-1 record against GLIAC opponents.