In a rare occurrence, the burnt orange color of the Texas team was greatly outnumbered in their own gym — by fans clad in pink.
Saturday’s game against Colorado served as the Longhorns’ annual Volley for the Cure matchup, which uses the court to raise awareness about breast cancer.
Most of the crowd came decked in a wide range of pink apparel including T-shirts, sweaters, socks and hats. One spirited fan walked into the match late sporting a skin-tight leotard. Fans were also given free fuchsia-colored pom-poms as they walked into the gym.
The Longhorns came onto the court sporting warm-ups in the shade of the event, and even head coach Jerritt Elliott opted for a pink-and-purple tie.
The rally line on the west end, usually lined with kids, featured a row of breast cancer survivors. Between sets, Chris Plonsky, Texas women’s athletic director, led two survivors to midcourt and presented them with license plates with the word “LIVEON” printed on them.
Plonsky said it was important for the fans to go home and see what they can do to contribute to the cause.
“We want to keep this cause front and center in our daily routines,” she said. “Together, some day, we’ll find a way to beat this.”
The event is part of a plethora of activities put together by breast cancer awareness charities around the world during the month of October. This is the third straight year the athletic department has put on the program.
Senior middle blocker Jennifer Doris, who had seven kills to go along with three blocks and a serving ace in the sweep of the Buffaloes, said the match helps brings awareness to the team and the cause. Doris’s grandmother is a breast cancer survivor.
“[Breast cancer] is such a big thing. It’s bigger than all of us,” she said. “I’m glad we can do this.”
A Volley for the Cure banner was signed by scores of UT fans and was displayed at the Gregory Gym entrance after the game.
“It’s really encouraging and it puts it out there that this school cares about breast cancer and raising money for it,” said senior outside hitter Juliann Faucette, who tallied nine kills. “With it being a special night, it’s nice for us to get the win.”
Elliott liked how the team was able to put together one of its most complete performances of the season Wednesday.
“Overall, it was a really positive night for us,” he said. “A night we [got] to give back to the community and make Volley for the Cure a known commodity for our community to be a part of. It was nice for our team to be a part of that.”
Despite the team’s success, Elliott’s dual-colored tie will not be making any further appearances this season.
“Only once a year,” Elliott said.