The Power of Pink: Dig Pink Volleyball and Breast Cancer Awareness

Dig Pink Volleyball Fan

By Amabelle ‘25

As October begins, Notre Dame’s hallways are lined with pink posters and students are buying pink socks and shirts and playing games in Pardini Park. Most importantly, students and teachers alike look forward to the iconic Dig Pink volleyball games, which happened on Thursday, Oct. 4.

Not only are the volleyball games a fun community gathering, but they are also part of an important nationwide movement. In 2006, Rick Dunetz, a high school volleyball coach whose mother was diagnosed with stage IV breast cancer, began The Side-Out Foundation to fund and initiate breast cancer research and awareness. A central component of The Side-Out Foundation is Dig Pink matches, which are dedicated volleyball games where school communities around the country, including Notre Dame, rally together to fundraise and spread awareness for breast cancer.

Maya ‘25, an ND volleyball player, said her favorite part of the game was “seeing the packed student section cheering endlessly for the sake of advocacy for breast cancer.” Rachel ‘25, a libero for the team, shared the same sentiment: “I think this game is important because we are showing how our school community can come together to support a great cause.” 

Emma ‘25, one of ND’s defensive specialists, loved the team bonding of “putting on the pink jerseys and face paint and doing each other's hair,” but she found the biggest impact of Dig Pink to be from when the team’s former coach, Lori Saito, who was diagnosed with breast cancer, spoke on her own experience.

The Notre Dame community came together to support breast cancer awareness and will continue this meaningful tradition for years to come. The impact of Dig Pink goes beyond a night of volleyball games.

Dig Pink merchandise sales

Player bumping the ball

player spiking the ball

players in dig pink shirts