It’s October and time to think pink.
The fifth annual Volley for a Cure, a cooperative effort co-hosted by Wausau East and West high schools to raise money for breast cancer research and awareness, was in full swing at Wausau East High School Thursday night.
Oh, and there was a volleyball match too.
Led by juniors Clara Baumann and Vanessa Boorse, the Lumberjacks swept the Warriors 25-16, 25-17, 25-21 in Wisconsin Valley Conference action.
With both teams, and student bodies for that matter, donning various shades of pink, it was clear that the match between the crosstown volleyball teams was the secondary aspect of the night.
“Breast cancer hits home and it’s affected my family,” said Baumann, who had 14 kills and 15 digs to pace the Lumberjacks. “My aunt, grandma and mom all had breast cancer, and this is a great event to raise money for a good cause. Tonight was not just about East and West, it was much bigger than that.”
Added West coach Cathy Newton, “This event is neat for the girls because they work together to put it on and it’s great for the girls to be able to play in front of such a big crowd.”
East, which improved to 6-5 in the Valley with one league match remaining on Thursday, as conference leader Merrill comes to town.
The Lumberjacks used solid serving to get early leads in all three games. In the first game East rolled to a 3-0 lead, all on Boorse’s first serving rotation. Boorse finished with 25 assists and four aces.
West hung in the game until Annie Tuman’s turn to serve came up with East leading 21-19. Tuman served out the set with back-to-back aces.
East rolled to a 17-10 lead in the second game and then slammed the door on the set when Hailey Schulz nailed down a hard spike kill for point No. 25.
“East did a great job of keeping everything in play, forcing us to play defense most of the match,” Newton said. “We’ve had trouble finishing games all season and we have to try and not shoot ourselves in the foot.”
The season hasn’t been all rosy for East either, which slipped under .500 in the conference until the last weekend.
“We tried doing some new things in the middle of the year when we were playing some of the better teams in the conference and the girls weren’t comfortable with it,” East coach Ken Zoromski said. “We’re a team, and the girls convinced me to go back to what they were used to, and did a great job tonight.
“The atmosphere was great tonight and it’s exciting for the girls to play in it,” Zormoski added.
Added Baumann, “We’ve really meshed as a team the last few weeks and we really communicated well tonight.”
In the third set, West took its first lead of the match at 14-13. And when Maddie Richardt put down a big kill the Warriors had a 16-13 advantage.
When East regained the lead at 21-20, the Lumberjacks buckled down and closed out the match when Baumann hit her final kill of the night.
Krista Strandberg led West with five kills and four aces, while Kristina Geiger had five kills. Haley Fochs had eight kills and nine digs and Abby Gerlach had nine digs.