CASTLETON, Vt. – The Castleton University volleyball team will honor its seniors as well as raise money and awareness for cancer research on the same night, hosting Norwich University in the annual Dig Pink match on Senior Night Wednesday, Oct. 26, starting at 7 p.m. at Glenbrook Gym.
The Spartans will wear custom pink jerseys for Dig Pink while raising money for the Side-Out Foundation. The Side-Out Foundation works with college and high school volleyball teams throughout the nation each year to help raise money that funds the organization's own cutting-edge clinical trials at renowned medical institutions. A portion of the money also goes to high-quality support services for cancer patients and their families.
Castleton enters its regular season finale with a 9-11 overall record after posting a 2-1 mark last week, defeating Green Mountain, 3-1, one week ago and Johnson State, 3-0, Saturday before losing to Lyndon State, 3-2. The Spartans finished the North Atlantic Conference schedule in fifth place with a 3-4 league mark and will travel to Lyndon State to face the Hornets in the first round of the NAC Tournament Saturday, Oct. 29, at 2 p.m.
The three seniors being honored before the match have been three of the top players for the Spartans this season. J'Leen Diaz leads the team with 250 digs, plus she has earned 146 kills and 29 service aces. Alex Madsen holds the school single-season and career records for assists, coming into tonight's match with 396 assists this year and 872 assists over the past four seasons. Cassidy Tedeschi paces the Spartans with 160 kills and 20 total blocks, plus she has contributed 37 service aces and 182 digs.
The Norwich Cadets enter Wednesday's match with a 5-14 overall record after losing at home of Lasell and Suffolk this past Saturday. Norwich has lost five of its last six matches, but does hold victories over NAC schools Green Mountain, Johnson State, and Lyndon State.
Ashley Nau leads the Cadets with 70 kills and 32 total blocks, with Monika Schneider right behind here offensively with 68 kills. The setting duties have been split between Emily Oliver (204 assists) and Katie Crane (158 assists), with Crane leading the team with 24 service aces, followed by Oliver with 22 aces. Defensively, Brianna Dawson leads the way with 177 digs, while Courtney Quinn is behind Nau with 19 total blocks.
Since 2006, Norwich has won all 15 meetings over Castleton, with the Cadets coming out on top in 45 of the 46 sets played in the matches. The Spartans won the first set on Sept. 12, 2009, before Norwich won the next three sets for the 3-1 victory.