The PSU Vikings’ volleyball squad earned themselves a much-needed win on Thursday, Oct. 18 against the University of Montana Grizzlies, winning three straight sets and garnering their first sweep of the regular season, leaving them with a 2-7 record in the Big Sky Conference.
The match was a chance at redemption for PSU, who had been previously swept by University of Montana on Sept. 22. However, that loss was largely the result of a PSU squad ravaged by injuries, capable of fielding only nine players rather than the typical 14. PSU played with a nearly full roster on Thursday, with the squad firing on all cylinders and taking home the win.
The Vikings recorded season per-match records in kills (43), assists (39) and blocks (11), led by strong performances from freshman outside hitter (OH) Peyton McBride and junior OH Toni McDougald, who had 10 kills each. Other notable performances included senior middle blocker (MB) Katy Wilson, with nine kills and six blocks, and sophomore setter Maddy Reeb, who finished the match with 34 assists.
The win was given an extra level of significance as Thursday’s match was an official Dig Pink Night, an event popular among collegiate volleyball teams where money is raised to increase awareness and fight against breast cancer. Head Coach Michael Seeman had requested that attendees wear pink, and encouraged them to make monetary contributions to the American Cancer Society, which sponsored the event.
For one player, freshman defensive specialist Mackenzie Sullivan, the event was particularly significant. “My mom has been battling breast cancer for the past 18 months,” said Sullivan, who detailed the difficulties that she and her family faced as her mother underwent chemotherapy, a double mastectomy and radiation. Sullivan’s mother beat the disease, leaving an impact on her daughter, who said she had “learned so much from her about strength and resilience.”
The event raised $714, all of which was donated to ACS.