Volley for the Cure brings success

By Peter Fusilero
Sports Editor
Walking into Jean Walker field house last Thursday, your eyes could not have avoided the “pink aroma” that consumed the entire gym.
Posters were taped to the wall that read “Every 13 minutes, a woman dies of breast cancer” or “2.5 million survivors in the United States”, balloons were tied to the bleacher’s handrails and a big breast cancer arch stood over the entrance.
The girl’s volleyball program hosted its 5th annual Volley For the Cure match, an event that is supposed to be all about raising money to prevent breast cancer.
The Knights played host to the Buffalo Grove Bison and excitement was in the air throughout the entire game with the bleachers packed.
“We normally don’t have that many fans [come out],” junior and middle hitter Carly Thompson said. “If our team is down on ourselves, it’s hard to pick ourselves back up, but if we have a lot of fans, it’s easier to get back in the game.”
It definitely showed because in the second game after losing the first 24-26 , the Knights were able to make a strong comeback winning the second game 25-22 with tough defense and limited mistakes.
“[Defense] is what kept us in the match,” head coach Mike Riedy said. “Instead of those balls dropping on the floor, we were able to dig those up and get second chances.”
Doing everything fundamentally sound gradually created momentum and energy going into the third game according to Riedy.
“Winning the second game definitely put us at an advantage because everyone is upbeat, everyone is positive, and everyone is ready to go,” Riedy said
Both teams battled all the way through the third game going back and forth, but with the thunderous student section (mainly the varsity football team and freshman) cheering on every pass, dig or hit, it seemed like the team could do no wrong.
The Knights defeated the Bison in a tight third game 25-23.
What Riedy believes the turning point in that game was during a timeout, when he emphasized playing to win and “not playing above water.”
Aside from the great match itself, Riedy believes that the event was more than an exiciting volleyball game.
“This is why I do my job,” Riedy said. “This is the kind of night that keeps me going on bad losses, rough practices, sweaty gyms…this is why I do what I do.”