Pink popular for Stephens College volleyball

Thursday, October 23, 2008 | 9:54 p.m. CDT; updated 1:20 a.m. CDT, Friday, October 24, 2008
Mikala Houchins serves the ball for the Stephens volleyball team in their match Oct. 23 against McKendree. Both teams wore pink for the match at Stephens' Silverthorne Arena, which the Stars players organized as "Dig for the Cure" night in support of breast cancer awareness. Stephens lost to McKendree.

COLUMBIA- If you walked into Silverthorne Arena on Thursday night, you might think you walked into a different world from the rainy, dark night outside.

A crowd sprinkled with people wearing pink T-shirts, scarves, hats, and boas cheered. A cotton candy machine hummed in the corner of the gym, providing free pink treats for anyone dressed in pink. Pink lemonade and pink T-shirts were being sold while both volleyball teams wore the same colored jersey.


This was all part of Stephens College's "Dig for the Cure" night, an event designed to raise breast cancer awareness and collect money for the Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation. The Stars volleyball team organized the majority of the event themselves, with help from the Sigma Sigma Sigma sorority and the Leadership and Programming Office at Stephens.

"The volleyball team did most of the stuff," said sorority member Kolina Pihana. "We're just helping sell pink lemonade."

Members of the sorority were in attendance at the Stars game against McKendree University wearing pink shirts reading "Support your Suzy," in reference to the Susan G. Komen foundation.

Stephens coach Abby Funderburk said her team worked on the event for about a month before Thursday night.

"We came up with the theme and put everything on ourselves," Funderburk said. "We brainstormed ideas from last year and added new things to make it an even bigger event than last year."

The team put up signs around the arena displaying breast cancer facts, organized the sale of T-shirts and held a raffle for a pink and white volleyball. All the proceeds were donated to breast cancer research.

The Stars sent out an e-mail to Stephens faculty and students inviting them to come to "Dig for the Cure" night and also encouraging everyone who came to wear pink.

"I also surprised the girls with jerseys to wear during the match," Funderburk said, eluding to the pink uniforms worn by the Stars.

Funderburk contacted the Stars opponent, McKendree University, about the event before the match, and the Bearcats showed up in pink jerseys as well.

Rebecca Stith, director of the Leadership and Programming office, said the volleyball team should get the majority of the credit for putting together the event.

"The volleyball team is actually the one coordinating it all," Stith said . "Basically the only part I'm doing is if people wear pink, they get free cotton candy."

McKendree won the match 25-18, 25-11, 25-13, dropping Stephens to 10-20 and 0-11 in American Midwest Conference play. Senior Jo Marquez led the Stars with six kills and 15 digs.

Four seniors, including Marquez, played in their final home match for the Stars, and were honored during senior night festivities between the second and third game. Shandin Blakely, Meg Manderschied, and Jamecia Stoudermire were the other seniors.

Stephens College's next match is at 2 p.m. Saturday against the University of Illinois-Springfield. The match is at William Woods University.


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