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Bulldogs help cause, win match

GIRLS’ VOLLEYBALL: Burbank joins Crescenta Valley in raising funds for breast cancer research, and locals able to win Pacific League contest in three games.

October 24, 2009|By Gabriel Rizk

LA CRESCENTA — Kills, aces and assists played their normal prominent role in deciding the Pacific League girls’ volleyball match between host Crescenta Valley High and Burbank on Thursday afternoon.

But by far the most important statistics in the Bulldogs’ 26-24, 25-15, 25-23 win were digs. As part of The Falcons’ Dig Pink Breast Cancer Awareness Rally in conjunction with the Sideout Foundation, money was raised for breast cancer research with each ball dug by both teams.

“They say one in eight women will be affected by breast cancer, so just on my team that means one of my girls will get breast cancer in their lifetime,” said Crescenta Valley Coach Jennifer Ryan, who initiated the Falcons’ involvement in the nationwide program last season, inspired partly by a former player whose aunt died of breast cancer and her own grandmother, who is a survivor of the disease. “It’s something that they need to be aware of. Hopefully in their lifetime, maybe a cure will be found.”

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Players from both squads collected donation pledges leading up to the match, which also included a raffle. Ryan said that the totals raised from pledges will take some time to compile and the final figure should be tallied by Nov. 4. Last year’s event, which featured Burroughs and Crescenta Valley, raised more than $1,000 in pledges.

“I think it’s important for [our team] to do stuff for other people and learn about [breast cancer],” Burbank Coach Sarah Brown said of the event that was timed to coincide with Breast Cancer Awareness Month. “The girls were all up for it and excited about it. Any sort of fundraiser or charity thing that you can do with something that you love doing is great.”

Burbank got the best of Crescenta Valley for the second time this season, improving its third-place league record to 8-2 and gaining more ground on the fourth-place Falcons, who lost their second league match in a row and third in their last four.

Senior opposite hitter Natalie Burns led the Bulldogs with 10 kills and three aces while junior outside hitter Leah Gagliardi was Crescenta Valley’s top offensive performer with 10 kills.

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