WARSAW – While both teams certainly dug pink on Thursday night it was Warsaw that was able to dig out a win.
The Lady Tigers used their offensive skills to serve up a sweep of Northern Lakes Conference rival Wawasee in three games. Warsaw won 25-15, 25-7 and 25-22 in the 2013 DIG PINK fundraiser for Breast Cancer Awareness on Thursday night.
The Tiger Den was packed with fans donned in pink attire for the event and both teams took the floor hungry for a win. Any questions about which way the match would go were answered in the first set by Warsaw’s Katie Voelz. The junior picked up five kills in the opening set to help give set the tone for the Lady Tigers. Voelz would finish the night with 12 kills and two blocks, both team highs.
While Voelz set the tone for the first set, it was the serving of the Lady Tigers that dominated the game for Warsaw. The ladies tallied nine aces on the night to help keep their offense in rhythm and pick up the victory.
Wawasee head coach Jeff Phillips saw the talented depth and success on offense as two of the main reasons for Warsaw’s success on the night, “We played a team that has 2,100 kids in its school. They have 18 kids on their varsity roster and played all but one of them tonight and you saw very little drop off in talent from player one through 17. So, one, that’s going to be difficult for us to compete with regardless.
Two, we passed very poorly tonight. Against Warsaw, if you don’t pass well, you’re probably going to lose. We are probably not the first team they have ran off the court with their serving this season and we probably won’t be the last.”
Leading the barrage of aces for Warsaw was Megan Chauncey with four. Chauncey, a junior, also led the team with 21 assists. Freshman Cassie Hoag added a pair of aces, eight kills and 13 assists to help the winning effort by Warsaw.
Serving success was also the key ingredient for tonight’s win according to Lady Tiger head coach Mike Howard, “We served great tonight, outside of the third game. We served really tough in the first two games even though it took us a while to get going in that first game. We really came alive after the first 10 points or so in the first game. After that we tinkered with a few things but for us it’s always about serving.”
While both coaches had winning as a top priority tonight, the game was the center piece for another important goal on Thursday night. The 2013 DIG PINK match helped to raise funds for the Kosciusko County Cancer Care Fund. In addition to last year’s bake sale and pink shirt sale, the school added a “Pink Sale” table that was full of items up for silent auction donated by 50 local businesses. A portion of the gate fees will also be included in the donation to the Cancer Care Fund. The total amount to be donated was not known at the time of publication.
Both Phillips and Howard coached together at Warsaw and the relationship between the two coaches and their communities made the night a very special one in more ways than one and Howard explained, “Its great to be able to attribute to such a great cause.
“Last year we had Jamie Lacheta’s mom who is a breast cancer survivor. This year all of our girls know Jeff who was on staff here and his mother is now suffering through breast cancer. Pattie (Phillips) is as great of person as there is, the girls love her and the coaching staff knows her well. It means a lot to us to be able to give anything that we can to help out.”
Phillips, of course, was happy to see all of the support for the cause as well, “Obviously my mom was diagnosed with a very aggressive form of breast cancer and she will be getting a double mastectomy in a week. So, tonight for me was a little more personal.
I appreciate Mike asking us to be a part of it for the second time. It’s cool to see everybody in pink, it’s cool to do those types of things as part of this. At least all of those girls know that there was something else that was going on tonight too.”
Warrior students in attendance showed their support for the Phillips’ family by wearing pink shirts with the name “PATTIE” in big bold letters across the front.
Warsaw (12-5, 3-2) will host the Tiger Invitational this Saturday with play starting at 10 a.m. Wawasee (14-8, 0-4) will travel to Crown Point for an invitational with its first match starting at 9 a.m.
In the junior varsity match the JV Lady Tigers made quick work of Wawasee JV with a 2-0 sweep winning 25-10, 25-12.