Pretty in pink: West goes pink at volley for the cure

Natalie Mander, Sports Editor

The stands were packed on the night of October 9th to watch the annual Volley for the Cure game against Joliet Central and Joliet West. In lure of breast cancer awareness month, the special event honored cancer survivors as well as those who have lost their battle with the disease.

The night started off with the sophomore team beating the Steelmen in two games. Game one proved to be a battle as the two teams pushed point for point. The tigers took the win, 25 to 18. With game one under their belts, West swept through game two with a score of 25 to 14, ending the three year streak of losing to the Steelmen.  “Overall, I was very proud and happy of the way the girls played. I thought we played together as a team,” says Coach Jackie Gruneich “…all of the players contributed to our team win.”

Gruneich saw much improvement in this game from the beginning of this season. “Looking back, we naturally had team chemistry but we needed to improve our individual skills. I can say with all confidence that each of the girls have made huge strides in their individual skills. Now at the end of our season we have solid chemistry and fundamental skills,” says Gruneich.

As the sophomore finished their match , the varsity players geared up to play, making a memorable entrance by turning off all the lights while a running out to “Here Come the Boom” by Nelly with pink strobe lights illuminating the dark gym. After the pre-game warm ups, the breast cancer survivors were honored in an emotional walk around the gym. Accompanied by the players, the survivors and loved ones of those who have lost their fight were cheered on as they walked around the gym. Two very special women, Peg Bryan and Minnie Hervey were honored in this event. Both women were active members in the Joliet Township schools who have recently lost their fight with breast cancer.

Bryan, who was a scorekeeper for volleyball games for over 20 years passed away in January and was honored with a banner in her name in the main gym. Hervey also passed away due to breast cancer on October 5th, 2012. A moment of silence was given for Hervey as well as an emotional speech by colleague and close friend Steve Milsaps.

After the walk, the varsity team took to the floor to play the Steelmen in an intense match. The match proved to be a no brainer with the tiger taking the win in game one with a score of 25 to 17 in game one and 25 to 19 in game two. The night was a success with all three levels, freshmen through varsity winning their matches in two games. Head coach Al Mart was very pleased with the events turn out. “It’s a way to bring the two schools together and raise awareness for finding a cure for breast cancer. It was a very emotional and memorable night,” says Mart.