This year’s Volley for the Cure could be best yet

SHARE This year’s Volley for the Cure could be best yet

Never underestimate the importance of momentum in sports.

That’s especially true when the sport is volleyball — the ultimate team sport for women, in which all six players on the court must work together in order for there to be any kind of success.

This year, both Antioch and Lakes have bought into the team-first concept, and the results on the floor have been excellent to date.

What that means is that when the schools play in their seventh annual Volley For The Cure match on Tuesday, Oct. 1 at Lakes High in Lake Villa, the level of play will be at its highest point, perhaps in the history of the event.

But, of course, the win/lose in volleyball that night is not what’s important. It’s the schools — rivals from the same school district — uniting for a common cause, that being raising money for breast cancer awareness (October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month).

Many schools in the area will hold such matches in October, but in this area, the Lakes/Antioch event was the first and arguably is always the best.

The event actually started because then-Lakes coach Carla Thompson was herself a breast-cancer survivor.

Since then, the players and the coaches have changed on both sides — Katie Cheek is coaching at Lakes and Jamie Atkinson is at Antioch — but the spirit, enthusiasm and energy for the project has never waned.

And, this year, the event just might explode.

The new coaches and players have upped the energy level for the event, and when you couple that with the fact that both teams are good — Lakes won in three games in a meeting last weekend — and you have the makings for the biggest volleyball event in the district’s history.

“We’re really looking forward to it. Each team is going to come up with a theme and donate a basket,” said Lakes coach Cheeks. “They’ve already started collecting donations.

“I guess the girls are already talking some smack on the side. The fan sections for those games is just crazy. We’re selling neon shirts, and Antioch is selling dark pink, and I know that we have a superfan section already talking about packing the place with neon.”

The Antioch side, of course, isn’t going to sit idly by playing with iPhones and lap tops while Lakes packs the gym on Oct. 1.

“For the past [six years], when the game has been played at Antioch, I’ve been in charge of putting the event together,” said Antioch coach Atkinson, who has been sophomore coach at the school up until this year. “The Volley for the Cure game is just huge. It’s so much fun. I’m excited to see the spin Kate puts on it over here at Lakes.”

The Sequoits are led by junior setter Marissa Grant, who has verbally committed to Central Michigan, and 6-4 senior middle blocker Sam Falco, who will be playing at Eastern Michigan next year. Junior middle hitter Amanda Spera was an important contributor last Saturday as well.

Antioch had been unbeaten until losing to Lakes last Saturday in a tournament. Falco is already looking forward to playing them again.

“We get to see them [again],” she said. “We have Volley for the Cure and our conference game. They better be ready for us to come back. They haven’t seen us at our best yet.”

We have, however, seen the Antioch and Lakes programs almost at their best … each year in the Volley For The Cure match.

This year just might be the best ever.

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