The most important statistic generated by Tuesday night’s Churchill-Franklin volleyball match was the one followed by the dollar sign.
Kills, digs and assists took a back-seat to the amount of money the two neighboring programs raised for the Side Out Foundation, which assists breast cancer survivors and victims’ families.
As of Tuesday night, nearly $1,000 had been raised thanks to can drives, 50/50 raffles and generous donations from sponsors, including Bill Brown Ford, which will give $1 for every person who paid to watch Tuesday’s match.
Biggby Coffee (located on the corner of Newburgh and Ann Arbor roads), Wendy’s and McDonald’s were also significant sponsors.
The honorary first server of the match was Mrs. Lisa Massie, who is battling stage 4 metastatic breast cancer.
The Churchill gym was decked out in nearly wall-to-wall pink — from signs the players designed in their spare time, to the special jerseys they wore, to the helium balloons that hung from the grandstands’ railings to the balls that were used during the match.
“We put a lot of work into this, but it was all fun,” said Churchill junior player Laura Hall. “We had get-togethers when we’d make the signs. We want to get as many people as possible to donate and help out the cause.”
The event has been ongoing since 2011, said Franklin head coach Ashly Butkowski, who said the two schools worked cohesively to make it a success.
“We had a can and bottle drive that raised about $400 for the Side-Out Foundation, and I know Churchill had some fund-raisers, too,” Butkowski said. “When everything is collected and counted up, we should be at around $1,000, which is what we raised last year.”
The surging Chargers — now 9-1 in the KLAA South Division — won the match 25-15, 25-18, 25-15, to earn at least a share of first place in the division, depending on the outcome of Tuesday night’s Canton-Westland John Glenn match. The Chiefs also entered the night with an 8-1 division record.
The victory wasn’t as breezy for the Chargers as the final scores may indicate as the Patriots held leads of 16-11 in the middle set and 6-3 in the finale before the stronger, more-experienced hosts took control.
Junior middle hitter Anne Yost continued her sterling play by racking up a considerable number of blocks and kills. Senior RaynaYetts, who is always a factor in the Chargers’ success, played extremely well, as did junior libero Alyssa Facione, sophomore middle hitter Annabelle Dunn and junior outside hitter Sam Zonca.
“I liked the way we came back tonight after our slow starts,” said Hall. “We figured out what we needed to do differently, and we made the adjustments.”
Among Franklin’s standouts were sophomore Hannah Nordstrom, Kelsey Krienitz and Melissa Ferrier.
“We’re still learning how to finish out matches,” said Butkowski. “When we get a lead and our opponent comes back on us, we tend to get down on ourselves.
“I know we have the potential to close out matches. This past weekend at the U of M-Dearborn tournament, we were down 11-4 in one match up to 15 and we came back and won.”
The Patriots’ divisional record slipped to 2-8 heading into next week’s Kensington Conference cross-over matches.
GC sweeps Dearborn
Garden City improved to 17-5 overall and 6-0 in the Western Wayne Athletic Conference on Oct. 8 after subduing visiting Dearborn, 25-10, 25-20, 25-19.
“We started great, controlling the serve and serve-receive aspects of the game,” observed GC head coach John Pace.
“In set one, we only allowed one three-point run and sided out at 72 percent. Dearborn made some adjustments in sets two and three, and they were very competitive. They did not give the sets away; they made sure we earned every point down the stretch.”
Allie Lynn and Heather Pennington paced the Cougars’ attack with 11 kills each. Alex Roffi distributed 20 set assists.
Lynn was 19-for-21 with four aces while Jayce Law misfired on just one of her 20 serves, three of which resulted in aces.
Lynn was perfect as far as receiving all 17 serves that came her way.
Digs-wise, Lynn had 14, Roffi 10, and Law nine.
“Alex distributed the ball really well, using both pins and the back row,” said Pace. “It was great to see how controlled we were in set one. We had no attack errors and only one service error.
“We played a stronger game compared to the first time we played Dearborn. We expanded our out-of-system field, pursued greater distances for balls and picked up several balls that we would not have earlier in the season.”