Two of the biggest rivals in the state of Nebraska hooked up on Tuesday evening in Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC) volleyball action as Doane College played host to Nebraska Wesleyan University in Crete. The two schools have been bitter rivals for several decades and that rivalry has been fueled in recent years with several five-game matches. On one night, however, the two came together for the greater good.
The Doane/Nebraska Wesleyan game was selected as the Dig Pink game, an opportunity to raise awareness about Breast Cancer. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and throughout the nation, several schools have taken the opportunity to recognize this issue.
Tonight was no different. The Doane and Nebraska Wesleyan players donned pink shirts during warm-ups of the junior varsity and varsity contests. Fans from both teams wore pink as well, at times making it tough to know who each was cheering for. Several players wore pink head bands or wrist bands during the matches, all efforts to show support for those who have battled Breast Cancer.
At the end of the night, it was not all about who won or loss the game, it was about making sure that those who have fought the battle were honored in an appropriate way.
No one would ever picture Doane and Nebraska Wesleyan players standing next to each other smiling after a game, not with these two rivals. But then again, no one expects to have a battle for their life either. Tonight, the Tigers and Prairie Wolves took one small step together in raising awareness as anyone can help someone in need take those small steps each day towards a positive and happy life as they fight their battle.
After the completion of the game, the two teams came together donning the pink t-shirts they wore in warm-ups to take a group photo. No smack talk or jarring about the game, just 40-some young women taking a moment to recognize an important issue.
A collection has been on-going throughout the month of October, primarily donations made through the Doane College Web site. Those donations combined with the money raised during the Doane/Nebraska Wesleyan game totaled more than $200. That money will be sent to the Side-Out Foundation in support of cancer research.