BY KAYLA GATES
Pink consumed both the court and the stands at the girls’ varsity volleyball game this week. The Lady Cowboys came together to honor a cause close to home for many players. The success of the charitable event was matched by the victory obtained out on the court.
Cooper City took on Taravella High School on Wednesday, September 25 at 6 p.m. The Lady Cowboys hosted their annual Dig Pink game. All proceeds raised from the event are set to be donated to the organization Side-Out in an effort to fund breast cancer research. The team’s message was emphasized by the pink shirts worn by players and fans alike.
The game opened with a heartwarming ceremony in honor of breast cancer awareness. Athletes from both schools lined the court, bearing pink ribbons and flowers in support of the cause. One of the most touching moments came when players were asked to deliver their flowers to victims present in the audience. Families exchanged hugs and shed tears as the survivors were honored.
After an emotional commencement, it was time for the team to shift their attention to the competition at hand. The first set began with a Cooper City serve by senior Katie Kaminski. The Lady Cowboys took an immediate lead, earning 6 consecutive points. However, their momentum decreased midway through the set, allowing Taravella to catch up in a 13-13 tie.
Despite Cooper City’s success, the team failed to shake the Trojans’ pursuit. Senior Hailey Brown managed to spike the ball with each opportunity she was given, but the Trojans were able to counter each score. In the final minutes of the set, the Lady Cowboys managed to regain control. They finished with a close score of 25-23, awarding Cooper City the win for the round.
“We were communicating and doing everything we possibly could to get the points we needed during the game.”
The second set began with a Taravella serve. The Lady Cowboys were able to take the lead right away. However, they struggled to put a significant gap between themselves and their opponents. Both teams traded off serving, with points being earned on each side. The Trojans eventually managed to obtain a 1-point lead.
Midway through the set, Cooper City was able to regain their streak. A series of successful serves by junior Devyn Moore allowed the Lady Cowboys to overtake their opponents. Their defense remained strong, blocking any scoring attempts by the Trojans. The round concluded with a score of 25-16 and another victory for Cooper City.
“I think overall we played collectively and passionately,” Moore said. “We were communicating and doing everything we possibly could to get the points we needed during the game.”
By the third set, the Lady Cowboys had proven their dominance. An initial serve by Cooper City allowed the team to earn 3 consecutive points within minutes of each other. Junior Kirsten Hernandez played a critical role on defense as the team’s libero, protecting their lead from the back of the court. The Lady Cowboys managed to create a significant gap early on.
“Our team has had ups and downs, but today’s game was one of the good ones.”
“Our team has had ups and downs, but today’s game was one of the good ones,” Hernandez said. “We’ve really gotten better at communicating, along with running plays to help us score more points, which definitely helped us win the game today.”
Later in the set, the Trojans managed to tie the score through a string of successful serves. They took a brief lead midway, raising the score to 12-13. However, the Lady Cowboys were able to regain control over the scoreboard. Another scoring streak by Moore allowed the team to distance itself from Taravella.
With another match point by Cooper City, putting the score at 25-16, cheers erupted from the stands. Having won the first three sets, the team was exempt from playing the final two rounds. The Lady Cowboys walked off the courts with yet another victory under their belts.
“I think the team actually played very well and very energized,” coach Jill Smitherman said. “They didn’t give up a lot of points in a row, which we are prone to do.”
As for the remainder of the season, the Lady Cowboys are set to face a few more opponents before the start of the playoffs. With their sights set on another district championship, the team hopes to further its success in the games to come.
Photo by Makinzi Burgs