By Paige Carswell
Cori Meyer-Broddle has a lot on her plate right now. The head coach’s eighth-ranked (and 1-3 in the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference) volleyball team is searching for a way to pull its talent together before their conference record turns out like last year’s 4-14. They have two home conference games in the next week, one tomorrow against sixth-standing Ottawa University and the other Sept. 29 against the last-placed University of St. Mary.
In addition to that, Meyer-Broddle is using a volleyball match to fight for a cause.
Meyer-Broddle’s senior volleyball season at Wichita State University in 2005 had gone perfectly, right up until her Senior Night. The women were 18-0 in the conference, but between practice that morning and her game at 7 p.m., something went wrong.
“Between practice and our game, I went home and took a nap, and when I woke up my back was hurting a lot,” Meyer-Broddle said. “I went into the trainer and he heated it, and I did my normal treatment and went back out to warm up for the game, and I couldn’t do
it. I could barely stand.”
She said she went to the athletic trainer again, and started throwing up. They thought it may have been a reaction to the medication she was taking for her shoulder. But, when they took her to the hospital, they found out a six-inch tumor had erupted on her ovary. The CAT scan showed that it was cancerous.
Meyer-Broddle went into surgery that night, and missed the rest of her senior season as she battled with ovarian cancer.
Now a cancer survivor for three years, Meyer-Broddle spoke to St. Mary’s head coach Paul Lawson, who is also a cancer survivor, about doing a fundraiser when the two meet this year.
“We both are cancer survivors and we both wanted to do something and give back,” Meyer-Broddle said.
The volleyball team is one of 166 colleges to be participating in “Dig Pink,” a breast cancer awareness rally of volleyball matches all across the country to help raise money to battle the disease.
“Dig Pink” will take place during the Sept. 29 match against St. Mary’s, and all ticket sales and donations will be going to the Side-Out Foundation, the organization that “Dig Pink” is part of. The volleyball women have been raising funds as well, going from door-to-door in residence halls at the college asking for spare change from students.
Meyer-Broddle asks any breast cancer survivor to contact her before the game to receive a free pink T-shirt that says “Cancer Survivor” on the back.
While they help search for the cure, however, the volleyball women are also searching for a way to start winning volleyball games. The women lost in three close games to Bethany College last week in conference play, getting within three points each game, but still not coming away with anything to show for the hard work.
Then, when they went to the Friends University tournament this past weekend, they didn’t fare much better against Friends, although that game wasn’t considered conference play. The women lost in three games-losing the first one in spite of being up 12-2 before Friends came back to win 25-22.
“We just kind of fell apart,” sophomore middle blocker Taylor Kinnamon said.
The women did win in three games against Saint Gregory’s University.
Kindell Copeland, sophomore setter, said, “They weren’t very good, but we didn’t play awful.”
Meyer-Broddle mentions that there seem to be two different teams that come onto the court sometimes. A confident on and a not so confident one.
Copeland says that they need to and are ready to start winning games, but need to figure out how to put the games together first. She believes that if they play like they are capable, they can beat anyone in the conference.
“All the pieces are there,” Copeland said. “We just got to figure out how to get it altogether.”
Paige Carswell is a sophomore majoring in journalism. You may e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.