Volleyball team tries to spike breast cancer

Published 12:00 am Friday, September 14, 2007

On Thursday night, the Symmes Valley High School girls volleyball team will be in pink.

It’s not a washing machine malfunction that will fade their red and gray gear, but a symbol of their fight against breast cancer.

“It’s the Lady Vikings fighting cancer,” said Mary Bowling, the head volleyball coach at Symmes Valley. “We always play to win, but this is a bigger battle than a volleyball game.

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The Ohio High School Athletic Association has teamed with the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Breast Cancer Foundation to have a series of statewide events called “Volley for the Cure” which Bowling called 800 volleyball teams versus cancer.

“Every volleyball team in Ohio is to have a game to promote breast cancer awareness and raise money to go to the Susan G. Komen foundation,” Bowling said. “It is really a way to raise awareness especially among young women to do self-checks and to have mammograms.”

The game, which is at 6 p.m. in the Symmes Valley High School gymnasium, will feature not only a game against Scioto County’s Clay High School, but games, prizes and “Volley for the Cure” T-shirts on sale to raise money.

According to the Susan G. Komen foundation, an estimated 40,460 women will die from breast cancer in 2007 as well an estimated 450 men.

Assistant Symmes Valley Volleyball Coach Mary Ferguson said she would love to see the stands filled with supporters dressed in pink.

“To us, we’ve lost family members, so we are just trying to do all we can,” she said.

Ferguson said that it has been go well enough that they had to more T-shirts for Thursday.

Bowling said that it’s an important event because cancer has affected so many people including their families.

“We’ve had a lot of cancer in Symmes Valley in the past few years,” Bowling said. “I myself lost a sister to breast cancer when she was only 38. A lot of our school family has had it. I would love to see a cure for this in my volleyball girl’s lifetime.”