Illinois State’s volleyball and soccer teams take on competition every week in hopes of victory, but Saturday’s volleyball match and Sunday’s soccer game will be played with a different goal in mind.
The volleyball match on Saturday marks the annual, “Paint the Arena Pink” match and the soccer game on Sunday marks the team’s “Kick for a Cure” game, both in support of Breast Cancer Awareness.
This year the ISU volleyball team will play its Breast Cancer Awareness game against Missouri State at Redbird Arena and ISU soccer will play its “Pink Game” against Loyola at Adelaide Street Field.
“We always enjoy the annual ‘Paint the Arena Pink’ match. Awareness and education are critical in the prevention and treatment of breast cancer and all cancers,” Melissa Myers, ISU head volleyball coach, said.
The ISU volleyball team has defeated every team that has come to Redbird Arena this season. They are 3-0 at home and 5-0 in conference. The Redbirds hope to continue the perfect record in conference by defeating the Bears, who sit 10-7 overall and 2-3 in conference, in the “Pink Game.”
“This game is really a privilege to play in because we have the opportunity to raise money for a really good cause by doing what we love,” ISU setter Kaitlyn Early said. “It’s an honor to play for the survivors of breast cancer and to bring awareness to the cause.”
The ISU volleyball team will acknowledge members of the community who are cancer survivors during the break in between the second and third sets. Admission to the “Pink Game” will be $1 and all fans that attend will have the opportunity to purchase $1 hotdogs and $1 pink lemonades, courtesy of Sodexo.
The ISU soccer team will showcase youth members of the Prairie Cities Soccer League (PCSL) in a short game on-field as its halftime entertainment. Admission to the soccer game is free.
“Being able to play a game that supports the cause means a lot to, I’m sure not only me and the team, but the people who have had it and survived it,” junior ISU volleyball player Emily Schneider said. “It’s a great thing to celebrate being able to fight and win the battle against breast cancer, or knowing that you have a community behind you so much to continue the fight. Having the crowd all come dressed in pink is a great feeling for an even greater cause.”
Before the “Paint the Arena Pink” match on Saturday, the Redbird volleyball team will play a match on Friday in honor of United States military veterans. The team will thank all those who have served in the U.S. military on Veteran Appreciation Day, when it faces off against Wichita State.
Both volleyball matches over the weekend will start at 7 p.m. in Redbird Arena. Redbird Soccer will play at 1 p.m. at Adelaide Street Field on Sunday.