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Suffolk CC, Nassau CC, BBP, Glenn raise money for breast cancer

The Suffolk County Community College women's soccer team

The Suffolk County Community College women's soccer team dressed in pink in support of the Pink Rally/Dig Pink 2014 Breast Cancer Awareness event at Suffolk County Community College, Selden, Oct. 16, 2014. Photo Credit: Heather Walsh

Suffolk CC athletes traded in their usual blue jerseys for pink ones Thursday.

The Sharks women's soccer and volleyball games against Nassau CC were played to raise money and awareness to fight breast cancer and benefit The Side-Out Foundation.

"It's a big event and it's a lot of fun getting everybody involved," Suffolk athletic director Joe Kosena said. "This the fifth year we're doing it. Last year, we raised $8,500 and over the last four we've raised over $22,000. All the money goes to The Side-Out Foundation." The event brought in more that $8,000, according to Kosena.

"We decorate and get the whole school involved," Suffolk CC volleyball player Jamie Brett said. "We sell raffle tickets, and baskets, we do bake sales. It feels really good, mostly because for a lot of us, our moms, our grandmas, our aunts, they've been affected by breast cancer somehow. It's nice to play our part."

"Every year, it gets bigger and bigger and my smile gets bigger and bigger," Sharks coach Kim Simpson said. "To see that we're able to come together for a great cause that affects so many of us, it's an amazing thing."

"It started with just the volleyball team and then a couple of years after that, the cheer and dance teams got involved," Kosena said. "This year, we got the women's soccer team involved."

"We would go every single year and sit in the stands with all the other athletic teams," women's soccer Christina McMahon said. "Now that we're playing as well, it's pretty special for our program. This year, more than ever, we've gotten an immense amount of donations. At noon, we were at $4,000."

The event also had the support of the school's other teams. "Every team came here," Suffolk goalkeeper Nicholle Santulli said. "We had the cheerleading team down here, we had the lacrosse team and the guys soccer team. Everyone was around us. It was great."

"It means a lot to be chosen to represent the school like this," midfielder Francesca Dawes said.

Brett said, in addition to the athletic department and student body, the local community has been supportive of the cause. "We've all gone around to local businesses. All of them have been so helpful. They've given us a bunch of donations. Everyone's really willing to help out."

The Suffolk soccer team (6-4-1) fell to Nassau, 4-1.

Bayport beats Glenn again. Lauren Wilke is Bayport-Blue Point's freshman setter, meaning she may not be too familiar with how dominant Glenn has been over the years in Suffolk League VII.

The Knights had won 181 consecutive league matches and 14 consecutive league titles heading into this season.

Bayport-Blue Point defeated Glenn, 3-2, at home on Sept. 18, to end the streak. And with Wilke's help Thursday night, the Phantoms (9-0) won again.

Wilke's five aces set the tone in an 11-0 service-point run for BBP in the third game of its 25-15, 25-17, 25-7 road win over Glenn (7-2).

"She's humongous," Phantoms coach Toni Mulgrave said of Wilke, who is the team's setter. "It just goes to show you how mature she is and how much she's grown."

Nicoletta DiCocco had 18 kills and eight digs and Lauren Hansen's 11 kills for the Phantoms.

"It's amazing to finally get over the hump," Mulgrave said. "I've been building my program to be as consistent and as dominating as theirs."

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