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Photo by Theo Tate
Granite City High volleyball coach Ginger Harrison talks to her team during a timeout against Alton in the Pink Out game Oct. 4 at Memorial Gymnasium.
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Photo by Theo Tate
The team created a sign for the game.
GRANITE CITY — The Granite City volleyball team got brand new T-shirts for its annual Pink Out game on Oct. 4 against the Alton Redbirds at Memorial Gymnasium.
The Warriors were pretty successful in those T-shirts, made by Barbara’s Sales. First, they beat Alton in two games in the Pink Out game, which raises money for breast cancer awareness. The next day, Granite City wore its shirts again in a Pink Out game at Dupo and won that one in two games.
“I love the shirts,” Granite City senior setter Kasey Stewart said. “They’re so cute.”
Granite City coach Ginger Harrison said she was thrilled her team beat Alton in its Pink Out game.
“That was very nice,” she said. “Pink Out Night is a nice thing. We like to do this event with Alton every year. It’s homecoming week, so it was a nice win for the girls for homecoming week. It’s a really nice win for us.”
Every October, thousands of high school volleyball teams across the country — including Granite City — play matches to raise money for breast cancer awareness.
The idea began 10 years ago when two high schools from Ohio — Sycamore and Loveland — squared off in a volleyball match to raise money for breast cancer awareness and honor people affected by breast cancer. It was called Volley For The Cure.
The Pink Out Game started when Harrison became Granite City head coach in 2013.
“We always do it with Alton,” Harrison said. “(Alton coach) Stacey Ferguson is a friend of mine. We kind of set it up, so if we’re going there, we have the game there or we do it here. It’s a nice way to remember all of the people with cancer. The girls feel it’s really important, and it’s not because they want to wear the pink shirts. They understand what it means and they have some family members who have been affected and they’re all ladies, so it’s important to their health.”
Both Granite City and Alton wore pink uniforms, and Memorial Gymnasium was decorated with pink balloons.
Granite City senior libero Ciara Yon said she has been looking forward to playing in the game since volleyball season began in early September.
“It’s probably one of my favorite things we do all season, just because I love it,” Yon said. “It’s fun to decorate the gym. It’s a lot of hard work, but it’s definitely worth it at the end when it comes together. It’s really nice.”
The game raised $105 for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation and an organization called 3 Little Birds 4 Life.
Granite City High School physical education teacher Ashley Swip founded 3 Little Birds 4 Life.
“Her brother had cancer and he died very quickly from it,” Harrison said. “She was able to get him to a Cardinals game and it was the last day they saw him be himself before he passed away. From there, it kind of snowballed and Ashley formed Three Little Birds 4 Life named after Bob Marley, because it was her brother’s favorite singer. That’s what they do; they grant wishes for cancer patients age 18 to 40.”