BELLAIRE - The second match of the ''Teamin' Up for a Cure'' high school volleyball event took place at Bellaire High School Thursday night as the Martins Ferry and Bellaire squads once again joined forces to raise funds for 14-year-old leukemia patient, and Martins Ferry student, Shawna Warner.
The Purple Riders swept the Big Reds in victories of 25-23, 25-13 and 25-21, but both coaches agreed there were no losers on this night.
The Buckeye 8 contest was as hotly contested in the warm, muggy conditions inside the Guernsey Street gym.
Wearing the gold jersey is Bellaire’s Mackenzie Conroy as she returns the ball over Martins Ferry’s Morgan Carpenter.
"The girls always seem to play well. We play with a lot of passion in these benefit games," said Bellaire head coach Kaye Sechrest. "We raised $1,116 tonight which will benefit Shawna and hopefully will defray some of her medical costs."
''That was probably the best match we've played in a while,'' Martins Ferry head coach Chuck Probst said. "Every time we have a cure game the girls seem to step it up ... it is inspirational."
The first set was a battle, with both teams rallying for side outs to climb back into the lead. The Purple Riders would score the final three points to take the opener.
Pushing their advantage, the visitors jumped out to a 6-0 lead to start the second set and the Big Reds were never able to make up the deficit.
In the third set, it would be Bellaire rallying from 3-all to gain a 6-point lead. The Purple Riders would battle back to a single point 17-16 then finally pass their hosts taking the late lead 22-21. It was all Ferry from there as they served out for the sweep.
"We recently made some changes and the girls are responding well,'' Probst said. ''We have tournaments coming up and we have to keep our focus.''
"We had the lead in the first and last set, but we gave it back," Sechrest said of the performance. "I can not fault our hustle. The girls played well tonight, but we have to learn how to finish ... to win the close ones,"
Tyrah King led the Purple Riders at the net with 10 kills adding eight points with four aces. Lauren Bennett served up 11 points with three aces adding 10 digs. Brooklyn Monroe had nine digs Shaye DeLeonardis and Moragn Carpenter added seven assists, six points and two kills each.
Katie Sutherland contributed five kills and dug up six for Martins Ferry now 10-7.
Shiann Kolakowski and Elisha Gillespie paced Bellaire with four kills each. Mary Garloch and Tori Duffy added 12 points apiece, with Garloch setting four assists while Duffy notched nine sets. Morgan Runyan dug up 10 while Hunter Eden had eight digs and two kills.
Bellaire (8-10) will travel to Buckeye Local on Monday while the Purple Riders have one contest remaining with John Marshall next Thursday.
Palmer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org