The Rock Volleyball secured their second win of the season at their annual Dig for the Cure event this season. The thrilling five-set match ended in a victory of 16-14 for Slippery Rock.
Alayna Chizmar led the way with a career-high 16 kills and four blocks, the best game of her collegiate career statistically thus far. The junior outside hitter has been invested in winning since the first day of the season.
Freshman Erica Selfridge added 12 kills and an ace to round out the offense. Mary Berger tallied eight kills and five blocks. Abigail Koeller also remained vigilant and killed seven hits along with blocking three. Overall, the team effort was there, and they persevered through the Kutztown University offense, especially in the final set.
A few of the fans present were cancer survivors or individuals who are currently battling cancer. The team recognized them during the event, asking other fans to stand to support their fight.
While this match ultimately was a volleyball game, it also was a day to raise money for the Pennsylvania Breast Cancer Coalition (PBCA) through a baked goods sale, merchandise and raffles. The team also held a serving contest and took in donations. All the money raised went to the PBCA.
The event also brought in a large alumni turnout. Sherry Elchynski, a 1981 SRU volleyball player, won new volleyball gear for donating to the cause.
Through donations, the PBCA offers free mammogram events and free feminine products. Coach Laurie Lokash will continue to hold this event yearly to honor those fighting the disease.
It has been a bumpy journey for the team this year, who “plays well but struggles to finish,” according to Lokash. Against Kutztown, they came out strong, taking the first two sets.
To finish the match in the fifth set, Kutztown stormed ahead 10-5. The Rock stormed back and forced a Kutztown timeout. The Kutztown Golden Bears fought all the way to match point, yet Slippery Rock prevailed to the end.
Having a large crowd in attendance for the event created a competitive environment and allowed the team to feel support from their fanbase.
As of now, Slippery Rock remains in last place and is out of Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) Tournament Contention. They will finish out their fall 2021 season with the remaining four matches against Clarion University of Pennsylvania, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Gannon University and Edinboro University of Pennsylvania.