The Seton Hill University (SHU) Relay for Life organization raised $394 at Saturday’s basketball games against California University of Pennsylvania (Cal U). Students in Robert Zullo’s Strategic Leadership in Sports graduate class raised the money through a hospitality room, 50/50 raffles and donations.
“I think the actual event was successful,” said Dilveer Chaggar, a student in Zullo’s class and a graduate assistant coach for the men’s soccer team. “Cal U is the most local rival, and we were also trying to get a little more of the message and awareness spread in the Pittsburgh area and region.”
Relay for Life is a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society that celebrates the lives of those who have passed away from cancer and raises funds to find a cure. This is the fourth year SHU has been involved, and the six students in Zullo’s class decided to try something new at the games by including a hospitality room with wine tasting for adults.
“We weren’t sure if anyone was going to turn up because we were taking tickets on the day, but for the women’s game we had 14 people and the men’s game there were about 16 people,” Chaggar said. “Even when the game was going on, people were hanging out, so I thought that was really cool.”
The actual Relay for Life event will take place on Friday, Feb. 17 from 7:30-10:30 p.m. in McKenna Center. Along with a dodgeball tournament, clubs from campus will have booths with different activities. Toward the end of the event, participants will have a chance to partake in the luminary lighting. The class hopes to raise $10,000.
“Cancer never sleeps and neither should our fight against it,” Chaggar said. “It affects so many people, so it is a really good cause.”
Despite the success of Relay for Life, neither of SHU’s basketball teams could come up with a win. The women lost 71-62, and the men lost on a buzzer beater shot, 69-68.
“I would have liked to win, but I think it made my team and I realize how good we can be if we just play and not worry about other factors,” said Mariah Wells, co-captain of the women’s team.
Wells and the three others seniors on the women’s team, including Maggie McLoughlin, Kinross Obiefule and Alexandria Deep, were also recognized before Saturday’s game for their senior day. Wells said she has been close with Deep and Obiefule since their freshman year when they roomed together, and has also developed a friendship with McLouglin, who joined the team last year.
“I have been through a lot and I know my fellow seniors have been through a lot as well,” Wells said. “It has been a roller coaster for all of us, but we are almost across the finish line.”
Although the Lady Griffins only trailed by one point at halftime and at the end of the third quarter, they were unable to take the lead for the win. Sophomore Chrisanna Green led the women’s scoring with 19 points, followed by Deep and junior Jenna Kaufman, each with 11 points.
The men led Cal U at halftime, 30-25, but gradually lost their lead in the second half. Captain Noah Davis led the men’s scoring with 18 points, followed by his brother, freshman Nathan Davis, with 13.
“It was a tough loss in a game we really needed to win,” Noah Davis said. “We played well overall as a team and they hit a big shot. We need to get at least one of our final three games to make sure we secure a playoff spot.”
With three games remaining in the regular season, the teams will travel to Mercyhurst University for their next games on Wednesday, with the women playing at 5:30 p.m. followed the men at 7:30 p.m. The women are now 14-11 overall and 10-9 in conference play, and the men are 11-12 overall and 8-11 in conference play.
“It really doesn’t feel like I only have a few games left,” Wells said. “I will continue to play these last few games with all of my heart and everything I have like I have done before.”