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Senior middle blocker Susan Stuecheli will look to help push Penn past Princeton tonight. Her .90 blocks per set rate leads the Quakers this season.

Photo: Jing Ran / The Daily Pennsylvanian

When the Penn volleyball team takes on conference rival Princeton, it won’t just be playing for the Red and Blue — they’ll be playing for pink.

Friday night at the Palestra, the Quakers (9-9, 3-4 Ivy) will be raising money for breast cancer awareness in its fifth-annual Dig for Pink fundraiser. The fundraiser coincides with breast cancer awareness month and is a cause very near to coach Kerry Carr’s heart, as Carr battled breast cancer in 2008.

This year, the team hopes to raise $4,000 for the Side-Out Foundation, an advocacy organization for breast cancer patients and their families. In the competitive spirit of Penn athletics, the team is having a fundraising competition among its underclassmen, upperclassmen and coaches. Attendees of the game can donate upon arrival or later at www.side-out.org.

Penn’s last match against the Tigers (6-11, 2-5) on Sept. 27 was a fight to the finish — the Red and Blue earned 82 points to Princeton’s 83 in a difficult five-set loss.

“We had a great offensive match — we had the best we’ve ever hit,” Carr said.

The Quakers will need to feed off of the energy from the Dig for Pink fundraiser and ignite the offensive fireworks that have propelled them to an overpowering win against Dartmouth last weekend.

“I expect us to step it up [in Ivy play] for sure,” senior libero Dani Shepherd said. “I think we can play better than we did in the first half of the season. That is our goal, to get better with each and every game and with each and every point and just be mentally strong, because I think that was where we lacked in our losses this season.”

“We just need to keep our energy high during every single game and really continue to have that high energy from floor to bench as we had in the last couple of weekends,” senior middle blocker Susan Stuecheli said.

Defensively, Penn’s second game against Princeton this season should be a different story. Shepherd, the Quakers’ defensive superstar and 2012 Ivy League Defensive Player of the Year, was unable to play due to an injury. With Shepherd back on the court anchoring the defense, the Red and Blue hope to come out on top in competitive games with tight sets.

“Alexis Genske played a great role as libero [against Princeton], but having her on the court as well as Dani and Kristen Etterbeek will make us that much stronger,” Carr said. “It is a matter of adding one more defender to what we were already doing well then.”

In the spirit of October, Penn will don pink jerseys. Fans will also receive pink sunglasses to support the cause. Friday’s game will no doubt be an energy-filled affair given the hype of the Dig for Pink fundraiser.

“There is definitely a feeling on the court that everyone wants to give it their all and bring it,” Shepherd said.

“Because Puck Frinceton!”

SEE ALSO

Penn volleyball splits Ivy weekend at the Palestra

From digs to dragon boats, Penn volleyball coach Kerry Carr is Premier

Penn volleyball breaks streaks in a split Ivy weekend

Penn volleyball bounces back against Cornell

Penn volleyball falls short in five-set affair at Columbia

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