Breast cancer awareness takes center stage at volleyball game

Women’s volleyball faced off against Angelo State University this past Friday for a humbling cause.

While it may have been a Blue-and-Gold series game, the Recreation and Convocation Center (RCC) was decked out in pink for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

“We are celebrating Breast Cancer Awareness Month by wearing pink and having a fundraiser as well,” sophomore Jordan Washington said.

The volleyball team partnered with the Side-Out Foundation with the goal of reaching $1,000 of in-game donations. Having received 85 percent of this donation target, the goal has almost been fulfilled and donations are still being accepted.

“Dig Pink” was the slogan used to spread awareness of the event, as the University Programming Board offered pink headbands at the event.

“Everyone knows breast cancer exists but we never really think about, especially being in the college bubble,” Julian Chicoine, member of the University Programming Board, said. “By having everyone wearing pink and donating, we are thinking more about the cause today than we were yesterday.”

The stands may have been filled, but one group in particular could be heard chanting loud.

Decked out in pink, from face paint to hair dye, Hillraisers is a new spirit club on campus dedicated to filling the crowds during games and starting cheers. They could be heard competing with the cheerleading team for noise and spirit.

“A lot of it is just showing support at games and making sure there is that constant group that supports our athletes and these important games,” Erica Schomer, founder and president of Hillraisers, said.

Schomer notes that this particular game had one of the largest turnouts of the year.

“Maybe it is because everyone loves wearing pink,” Schomer said.

Others came to watch the women due to the convenient start time.

“I came because of the time,” sophomore Brady Schuh said. “I have been really busy this semester, but this game was on a Friday evening so I finally had time to come.”

Despite the energetic crowd, the Hilltoppers were defeated by Angelo State 3-1. With the game tied at 1-1, the RamBelles scored six consecutive points to take the third set 25-20.

The final set was not as close as Angelo State jumped out to a 14-5 lead, eventually winning 25-18.

“The game did not come out as planned and it would have been nice to win, but I think the game itself was very fun today,” Washington said. “I would come back again to support the volleyball team.”