Lewis dedicates match to raise funds for treating premature births

Lewis coach Dan Friend one year after his daughter was born prematurely will now help raise awareness about premature births and funding for a local hospital.

No. 3 Lewis women’s volleyball will play Southern Indiana in its annual Playing For Preemies’ night match at 7 p.m. Friday in Romeoville, Illinois.

Rae Analyn Friend, the daughter of Dan Friend and his wife Lorelee Smith, was born prematurely on June 5, 2016. With a birth weight of less than two pounds, she would spend the first few months of her life in a neonatal intensive care unit before being discharged and permitted to go home.

Fans in attendance at the Play For Preemies match are encouraged to wear purple for Premature Birth Awareness.

All ticket proceeds from this match will go to the Loyola Medicine’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. In addition, people unable to attend the match but would like to donation can visit the Lewis athletics department website.

Smith, who is also the coach Lewis women’s volleyball team, guided the Flyers midway through this season to the No. 1 ranking in the Division II national coaches poll. Lewis following a loss last month to drop in the rankings but has won six straight matches.