By Samantha Bonifas
The Silver Lake Mustangs hosted the Wilcox Hildreth Falcons at the barn for the annual Pink Night fundraiser on October 19. This game is more than a regular-season game; rather than fighting for just a win, the volleyball teams are fighting for breast cancer awareness. This year Pink Night felt extra special to the Mustang volleyball players as Mrs. Bartels, sixth-grade teacher and the mom of Sydney Bartels, has been battling breast cancer. “This game is always extremely important to our community. Many people have been affected somehow by cancer. I love that as a community and a school, we work hard to help try and do our part in the fight against cancer,” said Coach Jenn tenBensel. The game always receives an abundance of outpouring support. This year surrounding community members helped raise over $3,500 that will be donated to the Morrison cancer center. “Before the game, we talked as a team about the word: fight,” said Coach tenBensel. “Yes, we fight every game day for the win, but that night we were also fighting for those who are fighting for their life. We fought for those who can’t fight. This night had more meaning for our team with Mrs. Bartels in the middle of her treatments. We wanted to fight for her and fight for her family.” The Mustangs did just that and came out with a strong fight for the first set. They pulled away to win the first set with a score of 25-14. The Falcons did not let up, however. The Mustangs lost the second set 25-20. “Losing that set motivated us to fight even harder for the win. Pink Night means a lot to us because we weren’t just fighting for ourselves. We were fighting for everyone else,” said junior Brooklyn Meyer. Determined to finish with a win, Silver Lake persevered to win the third and fourth sets with scores of 25-6 and 25-19, respectively. Junior Georgi tenBensel led the Mustangs with 17 kills followed by senior Amanda Ehrman with 13. Sophomore Morgan Dinkler gave Silver Lake 19 set assists for the night. To end the night, the Silver Lake volleyball team tallied up a total of 69 digs, 57 serve receives, 50 kills, 43 assists, 8 aces, and 2 blocks. These stats meant more on Pink Night than they ever would on a different night. The last few years we’ve had a Pink Night Challenge, started by Mrs. Bonifas and Mrs. Heldt, where teams of parents, students, or teachers pledge a donation for each statistic in volleyball. So every point earned and every dig, kill, ace, block, or assist earned was money raised for research. The girls fought hard for those knowing that would help out. When they fight that hard together, good things will always come,” said Coach tenBensel.