October is National Breast Cancer Awareness month and the American River College volleyball team took the opportunity to join the fight against breast cancer by joining the Side-Out foundation.
The Side-Out foundation was established in 2004 by volleyball coach Rich Duentz after his Mother had battled breast cancer. The foundation partners volleyball together with breast cancer awareness, education and research.
“They were pumped up because it was the ‘Dig Pink’ match,” Head Coach Ashlie Hain said.
Members of both teams and many of the spectators in the crowd wore pink in support of breast cancer awareness on Friday, Oct. 12, when the American River volleyball team defeated division rival Diablo Valley College in three straight sets during their “Dig Pink” match.
“They’re starting to peak and get better. It’s going to be exciting to see how well this team can really be as we get towards the bottom half of the season,” Athletic Director Greg Warzecka said.
American River rolled past Diablo Valley in the first set by a final count of 25-13. The turning point of the set happened when the ladies went on a 12-4 run to break a 9-13 score. The lead hit double digits at 21-11 before the Beavers closed out the set.
Diablo Valley fought back in the second set keeping the match within 1-2 points but back-to-back hits into the net by DVC gave American River a 10-7 lead. The Beavers closed the second set out on a 15-9 run and won the set 25-16.
As the match went on Diablo Valley tested American River a little more. Diablo Valley had a surge of energy and pulled within three points. The Beavers players worked as a team and held strong winning the match 25-21.
“The third game we got way too comfortable,” freshman Jessica Condit said.
Katie Christner, who had a match high with 15 kills on 25 attempts, led the team offensively. Nicole Hareland was second on the team with 9 kills on 12 attempts. Bailey Humes had a big night setting up attackers, finishing with 24 assists.
Defensively, Humes had a match high with 11 digs and libero Hillary Horton contributed 10 digs. Nicole Hareland led the team in blocks with 3 including a huge block to start the second set.
“I think they’re developing a lot more confidence in each other and it’s taken awhile to develop that because it’s hard to fake trust,” Hain said.
American River is now 17-3 on the season and 6-0 in Big 8 play. The team’s next home match is Friday, Oct. 28 versus division rival Modesto Junior College at 6:30 p.m.