Volleyball to hold Dig Pink game

McLean volleyball to take part in annual fundraiser to raise awareness for breast cancer


Obtained via McLean Varsity Volleyball

Volleyball players paint the rock pink and decorate prior to the game. Dig Pink McLean volleyball shirts have continued to sell this year beyond the original goal, and the funds for these shirts are paid directly to McLean Boosters for Volleyball.

Khushi Rana and Ivy Olson

There is a one-in-eight chance for any American woman to develop breast cancer throughout her life, making this type of cancer the most common cancer for women in the United States. McLean has held a yearly event called the Dig Pink volleyball game to increase awareness for breast cancer, which will be held on March 29. The Dig Pink game is organized by the Side Out Foundation, which is a volleyball centered organization that helps programs raise money to donate for Breast Cancer Research.

It is mandatory for players to dress in pink for the game to display the official breast cancer color. The gym where the players compete is also accessorized with all pink decorations, with a section of the wall honoring those with breast cancer.

“My teammates and I wear the Dig Pink shirts we purchased over our jerseys for the warm ups for the game, but we continue wearing our normal volleyball jerseys for the game,” Sasha Zeltser, a sophomore on JV volleyball, said.

The school McLean plays against for this game changes every year, and this year it is Washington Liberty High School. However, the competition for this game is not as significant in comparison to other games.

“We definitely want to win this game, but the event’s main purpose is not to win; it is to raise awareness and money for breast cancer,” Zeltser said. “Especially since Washington Liberty is not our biggest rival school, it doesn’t really matter if we win or not.”

Preparing for this game takes more than just practicing. Players spend time preparing the gym and their own attire to fit the theme of the fundraiser.

“To prepare for this important game, my teammates and I have bought Dig Pink shirts, and we help decorate the gym with pink decor and balloons. We also have to prepare others, which we do by spreading the message by posting it on our social media and sharing the link for the shirts, which helped us raise money,” Zeltser said.

Since the Dig Pink game is an annual event that occurs at McLean, players see a difference in the way this game is hosted in comparison to other years, as a result of COVID-19.

“Before COVID, we would sell the Dig Pink shirts at lunch. However, with all the restrictions implemented this year, we could not do this so we generated less money from that,” Zeltser said. “We also usually encourage our audience to come wearing pink, but since we only have parents this year that might not be possible.”

The pandemic also restricted other events the volleyball team could partake in in order to raise even more money for the Side Out foundation.

“We usually spread the word [about our game] to others…by selling shirts and hosting a bake sale, but this year we couldn’t really do that because of COVID,” Haley Riggins, a sophomore on JV volleyball, said. “Instead, we just prepared by making t-shirts and decorations [this year].”

The Dig Pink game not only brings the breast cancer community together on a larger scale, but also brings together members of the McLean community to fight for a cause.

“While this game is mostly important as it brings awareness and raises money for a cause that volleyball programs around the world have fought for for so long, it also connects the McLean community together, and strong enough that we are able to connect to this larger community of breast cancer survivors,” Riggins said.

The Dig Pink game has shown these volleyball players how important it is to raise awareness for breast cancer and other important causes.

“Dig Pink has helped me realize how many people around me in the volleyball program know people who suffered from breast cancer, and how important it is to raise awareness and help the cause in any shape or form,” Zeltser said.

Players truly believe that this game is helping make a huge difference in terms of raising awareness for breast cancer.

“All the money we raise goes towards breast cancer research to help find a cure,” Riggins said. “We know that when we are playing our Dig Pink game, we are not only representing McLean but the larger cause and community of breast cancer fighters. This encourages us to play harder and give our all during this game.”