Walker Arena was filled to the brim Friday night with fans wearing pink for the Lady Flame’s Volley for a Cure Match.
The annual event supporting breast cancer research is special for the entire school, as well as surrounding community members.
This night was no exception.
While the Lady Flames burned past the Kentucky State Thorobreds in three sets, this evening was about more than just the score in a game. Junior Sarah Givhan said the game and its festivities have a meaning past the final whistle.
“We know that this event really is something special for the community and people who have been affected by breast cancer, either personally or through a family member or friend,” Givhan said. “It is also our senior night, so it is our last night on the home court with our amazing seniors.”
Strategic formations and solid gameplay put the Lady Flames up 1-0 in the best of 5 contest. The in-game celebration began as audience members who survived breast cancer were honored.
Throughout the match, funds were raised through silent auctions, charitable donations and memorabilia sales to support those affected by breast cancer. According to senior outside hitter Emily Bento, supporting the cause came in all forms.
“Whether it is through buying a Volley for a Cure T-Shirt, donating time to helping the event, or just stopping in to join the crowd during our match is helpful to the cause,” Bento said. “We truly appreciate all that the hard work that makes this event a success.”
More of the same dominance came from the Lady Flames during the second set. While KSU showed occasional signs of life, they were unable to catch the ladies in pink and went down 2-0.
The Lady Flames clearly wanted to go the extra mile that night and left no room for the Thorobreds to bounce back. All of this was due to the vigorous preparation that went into this night alone.
Givhan said this match received special treatment and the team practiced harder than normal to show the crowd their best.
“We have been working hard in the weight room and in the gym to prepare for this game,” said Givhan. “This is a very special game to a lot of people, so we work hard to play our best and show out for this game.”
Once the second set ended, a short intermission allowed the announcer to explain the history behind MaryEllen Locher Foundation. This organization was built to financially and emotionally aid individuals impacted by breast cancer.
The MaryEllen Locher Foundation gives out a scholarship to a local high school student whose family has been impacted by breast cancer. This year, the scholarship was awarded to Vincent Vaughn.
The current dual-enrollee plans to attend Lee after he finishes high school here in Cleveland. Givhan said the emphasis on helping local families makes the foundation a perfect partner for Volley for a Cure.
“I think it is very important to know the role of the MaryEllen Locher Foundation in this. They help us raise the money for the scholarship that will be given to a breast cancer survivor's family in the Cleveland area,” Givhan said. “We could not do this without the MaryEllen Locher Foundation and all that they do to help support those affected by this.”
Once again, the Lady Flames came out on top, defeating Kentucky State in straight sets, 3-0. It seemed that the pink was too much for the Thorobreds to handle, as the home court advantage proved to heavily impact the match.
At the conclusion of the game, all audience members were handed pink gloves and were asked to participate in a short dance to close out the event. The dance was a unifying and remarkable way to close the evening out in style.
The Lady Flames won both on and off the court Friday night. Now, their focus shifts to the postseason as the GSC tournament quickly approaches.