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Raiders volleyball drops Dig Pink match to Simley, falls to Hill-Murray

Hastings' student section cheers on the Raiders during Dig Pink night. STAR GAZETTE PHOTO BY ALEC HAMILTON.1 / 10
Mallory Brake finesses the ball past two Simley defenders. STAR GAZETTE PHOTO BY ALEC HAMILTON2 / 10
Taeler McVicker and Lexy Langenfeld team up to go for the block. STAR GAZETTE PHOTO BY ALEC HAMILTON.3 / 10
Lexy Langenfeld swings for the kill against Simley during the Dig Pink fundraiser match. STAR GAZETTE PHOTO BY ALEC HAMILTON4 / 10
Haley Anderson delivers the overhand hit from the back row against Simley. STAR GAZETTE PHOTO BY ALEC HAMILTON5 / 10
The Hastings community sports its pink during the Dig Pink homecoming match. STAR GAZETTE PHOTO BY ALEC HAMILTON6 / 10
Lexy Langenfeld winds up for the cross-court spike. STAR GAZETTE PHOTO BY ALEC HAMILTON7 / 10
Lexy Langenfeld puts the ball over the net against a Simley defender. STAR GAZETTE PHOTO BY ALEC HAMILTON8 / 10
Paula Scharfe delivers her serve during Dig Pink night and homecoming. STAR GAZETTE PHOTO BY ALEC HAMILTON9 / 10
Kaitlyn Shingledecker fades back as she delivers the overhand spike against Simley. STAR GAZETTE PHOTO BY ALEC HAMILTON10 / 10

The Hastings’ volleyball team hosted its Dig Pink cancer awareness/fundraiser match during homecoming week last Tuesday, Oct. 11. They raised over $19,000 but lost to Simley 3-0. They also honored Vicki Davis, who for the last 45 years has been an institution in Hastings as an educator and a founder of most of the girls’ athletics in Hastings. Davis is now retiring from her last remaining duties as a scorer for the volleyball team. On Thursday, Oct. 13, the Raiders fell to Hill-Murray 3-0.

Dig Pink vs. Simley

The Dig Pink match against Simley saw a massive turnout from students and the community, almost all wearing Dig Pink T-shirts and other apparel sold to raise money for the Side-Out Foundation.

The Raiders’ volleyball team started its Dig Pink event back in 2011 and it is now in its fifth year. They have raised $37,000 the past four years; last year alone they raised $16,500, which ranked them second nationally for the amount raised. This year their goal was to be first in the nation and to raise more than they did last year. They succeeded, raising over $19,000 this year, bringing their total to over $50,000 over the last five years. Over 70 businesses donated in order to be advertised on the Dig Pink shirts and planning for the event started back in July. This year the team also sold sweatshirts and bandanas.

Head coach Rita Girgen said the event has really grown over the last five years. In its first year it was very small and they only had six sponsors. However, Girgen said it is invaluable for the girls on the team and the schools/community have really embraced it.

“The schools have let us incorporate Dig Pink into the homecoming festivities and the community has really embraced it,” Girgen said. “It’s a great way for the kids to get involved in something bigger than themselves.”

Despite the great energy the students and crowd brought to the match, the Raiders fell in three straight sets (24-26, 12-25, 20-25). The first set was exciting and close as both teams settled in, but over the last two sets the Raiders seemed out of sync and unable to feed off the energy of the home crowd.

“It usually takes us a little while to warm up and get into playing mode,” Girgen said. “But after that first set we lacked the energy and didn’t elevate our play over the course of the match.”

Lexy Langenfeld and Mallory Brake led the Raiders in kills with seven each, while Tori Brake contributed five. Taeler McVicker had 23 set assists, while Haley Anderson and Tori Brake both had nine digs. Langenfeld had one solo block and three block assists. Tori Brake led Hastings serving with two aces and nine serving points, followed by Paula Scharfe with five and Josie Pechous with four.


Hastings was unable to bounce back from its loss on Dig Pink night to Simley and dropped another conference match last Thursday to Hill-Murray in three straight sets (13-25, 10-25, 16-25). Girgen said the lack of energy that plagued the Raiders against Simley carried over to the match against Hill-Murray.

“Again, there was a lack of motivation and energy,” Girgen said. “That’s what we are working on as a team, to generate that internal motivation and turn around our mental game. We are plenty skilled and when we’re on, we’ve played with the best and beat them. When that happens we can play with anyone.”

Langenfeld and Mallory Brake once again led the team in kills with four each, and Tori Brake landed just behind them with three. McVicker had 10 set assists while Anderson had 11 digs and Tori Brake seven. Anderson also had the team’s lone ace and Mallory Brake led the team with three serving points.

Hastings is 8-13 overall and 3-3 in conference, with just one match left against Henry Sibley before section playoffs start next week.

Alec Hamilton

Alec Hamilton is a sports reporter and general assignment reporter at the Hastings Star Gazette. He is a journalism graduate of Drake University.

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