RIDGELY — The North Caroline and Colonel Richardson high school volleyball teams battled a common opponent Monday, Oct. 14 — breast cancer.

The teams met for the 12th time in the annual “Dig Pink” Breast Cancer Awareness Rally at North Caroline. The Bulldogs host the Colonels each year with the goal of raising money for the Side-Out Foundation, which aims to make a significant difference in the lives of breast cancer patients and their families.

“Cancer affects so many people in our community,” North Caroline head coach Amanda Vanskiver said. “I’m proud our two schools work together to raise money to fight breast cancer. Thank you to the community for supporting this event year in and year out.”

“It is a unique event because while our teams compete against each other, we are fighting a common opponent in cancer,” she added. “We appreciate coach (Steph) Garey and the Colonel Richardson team for being a big supporter of the event each year. Colonel has a very good team. They have a good thing going this year. It feels good seeing both our teams having good years.”

Since its inception, the Caroline Dig Pink Breast Cancer Awareness Rally has raised more than $25,000 for breast cancer research. The Side-Out Foundation has raised $14 million to date for its research.

The term “side-out” refers to a situation in volleyball when one team wins a point while its opponent is serving, thereby regaining serve or control of play. Using the game as a metaphor, the hope is the Side-Out Foundation will do the same for breast-cancer patients, providing them with support and the best available treatments to regain control of their lives.

The rally began with the JV game, and the varsity game followed. There also was a silent auction, concessions, baked goods, Chinese auction items, a photo booth, door-raffle items and a 50-50 raffle.

A special event T-shirts also was sold with all proceeds going to the Side-Out Foundation.

As for the match, North Caroline defeated Colonel 3-0 (25-20, 25-14, 25-11) to improve to 8-4 overall and 7-2 in the North Bayside. The Colonels drop to 4-8 overall and 1-8 in the North though Colonel remains unbeaten against its fellow 1A schools.

Trailing 5-2 in the first set, the Colonels went on a 9-1 run tome ahead 11-6. Kayla Peterson began the run with an ace. Aubrie Meredith (seven kills) recorded two kills off assist from Grace Buchanan (six assists). Alexis Bates (five assists, two aces) and Jalyn Stock each also recorded a kill during the run.

Trailing 13-10, North Caroline Mallory Short (three kills, 10 aces) took the serve and evened the score at 14-14 with the help of two aces.

Colonel went back ahead 18-15 when Buchanan passed to Meredith with a kill.

But the Bulldogs would come back and win the set with a 10-2 run behind the powerful serve of Lauren Williamson (four kills, four aces). She recorded all of her aces during the run.

Madelyn Rorabaugh also showcased her passing skills with a team high 15 assists. Twice at the end of the first set, she made passed to Kandice Thomas for kills. Rorabaugh ended the first set with a pass to Camryn Pepper for a kill and the 25-20 win.

The Bulldogs jumped to an early 5-0 lead in the second set with Short recording two aces. A kill by Short gave North Caroline an 18-10 lead, then she recorded three more aces for a 21-10 lead. Caroline cruised to a 25-14 win in the second set.

North Caroline continued its strong play in the third set. Haley Peterson recorded three aces and a kill in the set. Kelsey Walters also added three aces and two kills for a 25-11 third set victory.

Garey said she is proud her team can be a part of such an important cause.

“North Caroline puts on a great fundraiser with the dig Pink event every year,” she said. “We are thrilled they invite us to be a part of event. Our girls really look forward to it.

“We’ve been playing very good volleyball all year,” she said. “North Caroline is having another great year. It may not show up in our record but we enjoy playing North Caroline, Easton, Kent Island and Queen Anne’s because they have set the standard of excellence. We are a better team because we play them.”

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