FORESTVILLE - Forestville and Silver Creek teamed up to 'Spike Out Cancer' for a third consecutive year, Monday, with a non-league volleyball match.
Forestville (8-2, 15-2) emerged victorious in straight sets, 25-16, 26-16, 25-10, behind solid play from Sydney Youngberg, Cherish Pope and Kendra Silleman.
Youngberg was named Forestville's 'Player of the Game' with eight kills, five aces and a pair of blocks.
OBSERVER?Photos by Roger Coda
Pictured at left, Silver Creek’s Brooke Birner (15) and Cora Utegg (3) try to block a spike from Forestville’s Emily Gilman (9) during Monday’s non-league girls’ high school volleyball match
Silver Creek’s Kalee Dexter attempts a spike over Forestville’s Lizzy Gilman?(15). The two teams participated in a Spike Out Cancer game.
Despite the lopsided scores, it was actually Silver Creek who came out firing on all cylinders.
The Black Knights (3-12) scored the game's first three points on a Cora Utegg ace followed by a block and a kill from Allison Harford.
"The girls work hard," Forestville coach Jack Dugan said. "When they're a little flat, it's out of character. They just seemed slow to react, slow to the ball and it's just not what I'm used to seeing out of them."
The Lady Hornets wasted little time erasing the deficit with a 16-2 run which included 10 straight service points by Youngberg.
"Forestville's a great team," Silver Creek coach Bridget Case said. "We would put up a good block and they'd hit it around us. We did the best we could to get into positions we needed to, but Forestville did a better job as the game progressed."
To Silver Creek's credit, it rallied and went on a 6-0 run of its own to close the gap, but Forestville responded to put the first game away.
The second game ended with the same score as the first, but never felt that close as Forestville jumped out to a 9-2 lead and never allowed the Black Knights to get much closer. Pope and Silleman combined for six aces in the game.
Pope finished with two kills, eight aces and five digs while Silleman went for four aces and six digs.
"I have good servers," Dugan pointed out. "I'm confident in our servers and our ability to bounce back."
The third game was highlighted by Silleman's seven straight service points that gave Forestville a 21-9 lead. Bayleigh Raynor came off the bench and recorded a couple pretty kills in the series.
While Forestville earned the win on the court, both teams helped a cause far bigger than any volleyball game.
Between sponsors, theme basket raffles, a 50/50 drawing, a silent auction including autographed items from Buffalo Sabres forward Patrick Kaleta and numerous Buffalo Bills, a bake sale and other donations, Forestville Athletic Director Scott Hazelton was cautiously optimistic that the event raised upwards of $4,000.
"We had a great turnout again," Dugan added. "It's a beautiful night. Hopefully we raised a lot of money for the fight against cancer."
The night had a little added significance as the Forestville School District tragically lost longtime custodian Patty Reed to cancer Friday. The team unveiled a plaque in Reed's honor to be displayed in the elementary school.
"There's always someone out there in need," Hazelton said. "I think it's a very important character-building thing for the kids. For them to help someone out there in need, it's a great thing."
Silver Creek is always eagar to participate in 'Spike Out Cancer' as the community lost teacher Olivia Coia to cancer in 2010.
"This means a lot to the girls and to the community," Case added. "It's really a nice event that the two schools put together."
Part of the proceeds from the event will go to the Coia Memorial Scholarship while the rest will be split between charities such as the Susan G. Komen Foundation, the RO Foundation and Circle of Friends.
"To this school, this game is very special," Silleman said. "A lot of women are affected by cancer. We just want to represent them the best way we can and just show them we care."
"It's a great event," Hazelton echoed. "It's a lot of labor and a lot of fun. We had a lot of people step up. It is all well worth it."