NEWARK, Del. - Throughout the 2009 season, the University of Delaware volleyball team has joined with local schools throughout the area to help promote the sport and give back to the community through the Adopt-A-Player program.

This season, each Blue Hen has been paired with a local middle school for a designated match. When the students show up to the match, the first 25 children from the school receive a unique t-shirt specifically designed to honor their selected player.

Each t-shirt is a different color and displays the number of the designated player.

In return for the school's participation in the program, the Blue Hens will travel to each school in the springtime and conduct two hours of community service.

Seven schools have already participated in the program, and six more are scheduled for the future. On October 9, Shue-Medill, Elkton, and Sanford Middle Schools will all be in attendance when Delaware battles Hofstra, while Henry DuPont, Kennett Square, and Wilmington Christian will join the Blue Hen faithful on October 10 for the Northeastern match.

The Adopt-A-Player program joins a long list of community outreach projects conducted by the Delaware volleyball team. The Blue Hens have a long history of helping spread the love of volleyball in the area through their work with local schools and the squad's close ties to programs like the Special Olympics.