Southeast's annual Dig for Life closes on a winning note

Monday, November 1, 2004

Southeast sweeps Drake as its fundraiser for breast cancer wraps up.

By Marty Mishow ~ Southeast Missourian

Southeast Missouri State University's volleyball team ended its annual Dig for Life campaign with a three-game sweep.

Southeast, playing its final non-conference match of the season, knocked off struggling Drake 30-26, 30-15, 30-28 Sunday afternoon in front of about 225 fans at Houck Field House.

Southeast, which is 6-6 in Ohio Valley Conference play, improved to 8-15 overall with its second straight win. Drake, which is 1-12 in the Missouri Valley Conference, fell to 3-20 overall.

"I thought we played better," Southeast coach Cindy Gannon said. "Maybe we're starting to relax a little bit."

Gannon was pleased that her squad was able to prevail on the final day of the highly successful Dig for Life program that she founded in 2000.

Dig for Life is held each October to coincide with National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Money is raised through pledges for every dig by a Southeast player during October home matches.

Since 2000, Dig for Life has raised nearly $20,000 to help fight breast cancer. In 2003, Southeast's volleyball program partnered with St. Francis Medical Center in Dig for Life.

"Once again, Dig for Life is going to be a huge success this year," said Gannon, who founded the program after her mother died of breast cancer. "It's a tribute to our team that they can take the time out to do that, and it's great to see this program continue to grow year after year."

In Sunday's match, Jackson High School graduate Jessica Koeper led Southeast with 11 kills and freshman Brenna Schlader had 10 kills. Another freshman, Brittany Hastings, added nine kills, as did Jill Miller.

Koeper also was tops in digs with 15, followed by Lauren Scannell with 13, Miller with 12 and Jamie Baumstark with 11. Baumstark had 35 assists. Scannell has reached double figures in digs in all but one match this season.

Southeast has four OVC matches left, including two on the road this weekend. The top six finishers in the 11-team league qualify for the OVC tournament and Southeast is currently seventh, but just one-half game out of sixth and one game out of fourth.

"We're trying to get into the tournament and these last four matches will be really important," Gannon said.

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