Playing for a good cause

Digs trumped kills at La Cañada High girls' volleyball match against Rio Hondo League opponent South Pasadena.

The Oct. 21 game was about more than just volleyball — it involved the Spartans' second annual Dig for the Cure. Leading up to the match, the team raised funds to benefit the Los Angeles County affiliate of the Susan G. Komen for the Cure, getting pledges for every dig in the match, or flat donations to benefit the treatment and research to find a cure for breast cancer.

La Cañada ditched its usual uniforms for pink T-shirts to help raise awareness. The event was sponsored by the Arcadia Radiology Medical Group and Sport Chalet Team Sales, and the event was dedicated to Mary Weaver, a former La Cañada High teacher and volleyball coach who died of breast cancer in June.

"Mary Weaver was here last year," Spartans Coach Brock Turner said. "[The game] was special for the girls because she was a coach to some of them."

The Spartans finished the night with a victory, sweeping all three games, 25-11, 25-3, 25-11, even though they played with heavy hearts.

"We wanted to win for Mrs. Weaver," said Lauren Cox, an outside hitter for La Cañada.

Eirene Kim, co-captain and libero for La Cañada, said the contest carried a great deal of extra weight for her since it was dedicated to Weaver.

"Mary Weaver is the reason why I play volleyball," Kim said. "She was always encouraging me and I wouldn't be here without her. I miss her, she meant a lot."

Kim brought in the most dollars for La Cañada, accumulating 12 of the team's 25 digs. Katie Piece's three digs were good for second best, while her eight kills and three aces led the team.

"I wanted to dig more knowing they were all worth money," Kim said. "It's frustrating when they don't come to you."

Turner didn't set a dollar limit for his team to hit in fundraising this year after underestimating contributions in 2009.

"Last year, I was thinking maybe we'll hit $1,000, and we made over $5,000," Turner said. "Whatever we do it's all for a good cause."

The Dig for the Cure event allows Turner to show his team there is much more to life than just volleyball.

"You want to teach the girls life lessons as a coach," Turner said. "There are things off the court that are going to affect you."

Donations can be made to the Mary Weaver Memorial Fund, established at the John Wayne Cancer Institute. Money can be contributed online at, or by calling (310) 315-3111.

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