An AuSable Valley night that started as a chance to give back turned into a win for the ages on the Patriots volleyball court Oct. 3.
The night began as the Dig Pink event, a cancer awareness fundraiser with proceeds going to the CVPH Treasure Chest to help people fund their travel and other expenses during cancer treatments.
“As Patriots, we bleed red, white and blue, but tonight we chose pink,” Patriots head coach Sandra Hoey.
The night was also dedicated to former Patriots volleyball player Sarah Tromblee, who has been battling cancer.
“I definitely felt honored that they would do this in my name,” Tromblee said. “I am glad the proceeds will go toward the Treasure Chest because it does a lot of wonderful things for people. Being in a rural area, there are people coming long distances to get what they need, and the Treasure Chest helps with that. It is definitely humbling to have this donation go to them in my name.”
Overall, Hoey said the night raised $1,789.10 for the Treasure Chest.
However, there was still a game to be played against Beekmantown, a team that had only lost two games since 2011 and held a CVAC match winning streak since 2010.
All that came to an end.
The Patriots dropped the first and third games, 25-21 and 25-12. The team scored a 25-22 win in the second game and a 25-18 win in the fourth, pushing the match to a decisive fifth game, a back-and-forth affair that ended with the Patriots scoring a 25-23 game and match victory.
“It feels amazing to beat that team,” Miranda Sheffer said. “I am just so proud of this whole team. We wanted to win so bad.”
“We could not have done this without our fans that were here tonight,” Jocelyn Racette said. “This school is a giant family. We’ve been wanting this for so long. This season has not been the best for me, but to peak at the biggest game of the season is the best moment for me.”
Hoey said the game was a tribute to the sport throughout the section.
“Volleyball has come so far in Section VII to have this many fans here to witness a game like this,” Hoey said. “They have great athletes and they are well coached. We had to work hard, but we never gave up.”