In an unusual twist for the "Battle for Guernsey St." between Bellaire and St. John Central both squads took to the courts wearing orange. The special occasion was a cancer fund raiser for Irish senior Kelsey Baboul. Joining Kelsey on the court for a pregame ceremony was the other honoree of the evening 2012 Bellaire graduate Allyson Martin.
Kelsey was diagnosed with Pro-B cell, High Risk ALL in June of 2010 and Allyson discovered her Acute Myloid Lukemia on an ER visit during her graduation party last year. Taylor Porter accompanied herself on guitar as she sang a special song she wrote and dedicated to Allyson and both girls of the young cancer patients were given bouquets of flowers.
"I have been coaching for 8 years and we have done a Volley for the Cure event every season, but that money always goes somewhere else," said St. John head coach Megan Gesualdo. "All of the money from this event will stay right here and go to Kelsey."
Bellaire Big Reds’ Hunter Eden goes flat out to dig up a short serve from St. John Central during the battle for Guernsey Street in the Greenhouse Thursday night. Additional images can be found at cu.timesleaderonline.com
"It was a very emotional evening for me," said Bellaire head coach Kaye Sechrest. "I have known these two girls for many years, I coached Allyson in swimming, like so many young people, it is hard to see them battling cancer at that age."
When the two teams took to the court it would be a three game sweep for the homestanding Irish, 25-14, 25-12 and 26-24.
"We were happy to get the win in the second," said Gesualdo. "It has been like a curse, we have lost the second one at home all season."
"Regardless of what happened in the match this is a great night for all these girls," said Sechrest. "It gives them an opportunity to get together and do something positive for our community. We are very happy to have the opportunity to do something like this with good people, like here at St, John."
The Lady Big Reds were paced by Hunter Eden with 5 kills, 6 digs and two service aces. Cari Crozier and Mackenzie Conroy both notched 3 spikes, Conroy adding 4 digs with 2 aces. Taylar Canter dug up 7 while Mary Garloch had 2 kills and 3 assists for Bellaire.
Jessica Alvey led the Irish at the net with 8 kills, one block adding 5 digs and one assist. Caitlin Silva contributed 6 kills, served up 13 points with 2 aces, one dig and one assist. Lindsey Froehlich notched 5 deadly spikes, Kristen Russell added 15 points with a pair of aces, 8 assists, 4 kills and 2 digs for St. John Central.
Bellaire will host Conotton Valley on Monday and the Irish will travel to Toronto on Tuesday.