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Hawks think pink, raise over $1,300

October 09, 2008|By BOB PARASILITI

For a minute, Hailee Growden could have believed it was her chance to be in the spotlight.

"My job is to get the digs," said Hagerstown Community College's libero who helped the volleyball team to a 25-17, 25-7, 25-13 victory over Frederick at the HCC athletic complex. "Tonight, in a way, could be all about me, but all the credit still goes to the setters and hitters."

Symbolically, it was Growden's night. In reality, she was still second fiddle to an even bigger opponent.

Growden's defensive plays were the backdrop to Dig Pink, a nationwide, month-long drive for breast cancer awareness. HCC, in conjunction with The Side-Out Foundation, was one of more than 700 volleyball teams, from middle school to NCAA Division I, who dedicated an October match to help raise funds for the fight against the disease.

The movement was one that struck close to home for HCC coach Beth Domenico and athletic assistant Jackie Taylor, who, along with Amy Sterner, ran Wednesday's festivities.

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"Breast Cancer is more of a women's disease," said Domenico.

"A good friend of mine, Natalie Hedley of Hedgesville, she had it at 30 and now she has it back. This is something that touches every family."

HCC's whole color scheme was transformed for the event.

The normal deep green uniforms worn by both HCC and Frederick were turned in for special pink alternative wear. The Cougars sported black jerseys with pink numbers and trim along with matching socks.

The Hawks wore solid pink shirts with white numerals -- except for Growden, whose colors were opposite -- with each team member wearing the name of someone in their life who has had cancer monogrammed on their left sleeve.

There were pink bows and ribbons and many fans, players and coaches had pink coloring sprayed on their hair. Many fans wore something in the color of the day as they were greeted with pink programs and a pink bake sale -- featuring pink lemonade -- before pink inscribed T-shirts were given out.

Eight businesses sponsored the event and others donated items for a raffle with the proceeds going to the cause. Admission was free, but there was an informal request for donations. HCC's goal was to raise $1,000.

HCC had collected $1,349 through the sponsors and festivities, with the raffle proceeds still to be counted.

"My aunt is an eight-year survivor and I have three friends who have survived and are now going through it again," Taylor said. "We thought this was a great opportunity to help, because with as big as breast cancer has become, it was a chance to help make college students more aware."

When the night got down to volleyball, HCC struggled early, but kicked into high gear in the latter stages of the first game to assert its dominance.

The Hawks trailed 8-6 in the first game until Tara Garver served six straight points, followed by a nine-point run -- including five aces -- for a 22-10 lead that set up the win.

Zora Beecher ran off nine-straight points in the second game as the finishing of Rebecca Morgan, Morena Ribeiro and Rachel Koehler became more potent. Garver served out the final nine points of the game.

HCC moved out to a 9-3 lead in the third game and was never challenged.

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