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Spartans serve up aces against cancer

Superior High School volleyball coach Brenda Pluntz, who is currently battling breast cancer, gets a hug from Spartan player Payton Schuster prior to Thursday's match with Duluth Denfeld. SHS held its fifth annual "Dig Pink" event Thursday with all money raised going to breast cancer research. Waiting to present her coach with a flower is Autumn Siers (10) and looking on is assistant coach Kelsey Swanstrom. (Jed Carlson / 1 / 10
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The Superior High School volleyball team held its fifth annual “Dig Pink” event Tuesday evening in conjunction with its Lake Superior Conference match with the Denfeld Hunters.

The event was a little extra special for the Spartans this season as coach Brenda Pluntz has been battling breast cancer since July.

The event included a bake sale, Chinese auctions and a fun photo booth. There was also breast cancer awareness apparel for sale and the Spartans’ game jerseys were auctioned off after the match.

Prior to the match, players from both teams presented Pluntz with a hug and a flower.

While the Spartans did a great job raising $2,000.77 for the nonprofit Side-Out Foundation and local programs that support cancer patients and their families, they weren’t as successful on the court as the Hunters rallied past the Superior for a 3-1 victory.

The Spartans won the opening game 26-24, but then dropped three straight games by scores of 25-22, 25-16 and 25-16.

The Spartans were led by Autumn Siers, 26 set assists; Caleigh Jensen, 19 digs, 12 kills and three blocks; and Hannah Hughes, 15 digs.

For Denfeld, Jordyn Maas had 46 set assists and nine digs; Caitlyn Schneeweis had 22 kills and 23 digs; Sophie Reinertsen had 13 kills and five digs; and Haley Larson and Ashley Larson both had seven kills.

Superior opened the WIAA playoffs Thursday at Hudson. The winner will play at No. 2 Eau Claire North on Saturday.