Volleyball supports the fight against breast cancer in their annual Dig Pink game


Jack Yang

On Thursday, October 14, the RM girls varsity volleyball team took to the court, decked out in pink, to play against the formidable Wootton Patriots. Huge numbers of both RM and Wootton fans came to show their spirit, wearing pink as well in support of the fight against breast cancer. However, despite some close sets, the Rockets ended up falling to the Patriots in a shutout.

In the first set both teams came out fighting, making aggressive plays and finding lots of points in kills. Halfway through the set, the score was still tied at 12-12; however, at this crucial moment the Rockets began to falter, giving the Patriots a substantial lead.

Rockets’ coach Gretchen Barber-Strunk took a timeout as the girls started to lose their footing. They seemed to gain some composure after the break, bringing the game to 17-24 with some massive hits from sophomore Laila Rogers and great digs from senior Brooke Richman. However, the team was unable to successively mount a comeback and dropped the first set, 18-25.

Photo by Ita Keta.

The girls got off to a fantastic start in the second set, scoring four unanswered points. Yet the Patriots, with some deep hits, were able to catch back up, tying the game up ta 6-6. With this momentum, the Patriots were able to surpass the Rockets 11-15.

The intense hitting from the Wootton girls seemed to have surprised the girls. “All the balls went deep and we weren’t able to get them,” Rogers recalled.

Coach Barber-Strunk called for another timeout to try and help the team calm down. After the timeout, the Rockets seemed to again recover a little, going fairly even with the Patriots until the score reached 16-22. At this point, coach Barber-Strunk interrupted play for a third time, hoping to help her players find their footing. However, the girls ended up dropping the second set 17-25.

In the third set, the Rockets seemed to have lost their fighting spirit. The Patriots got a massive lead right off the bat, bringing the set score to 1-12. By this point, the girls seemed all but defeated, with mistakes occurring left and right. “Our communication needs to be worked on because lots of balls dropped and nobody got them,” commented Rogers.

Things didn’t look any better for the team as the set went on, despite the many timeouts called by coach Barber-Strunk. Eventually, the Patriots handily took the set 13-25, ending RM’s hopes of winning the Dig Pink game.

Despite the tough game, the Rockets aren’t feeling too demoralized. “Wootton is a good team and they’re undefeated,” said coach Barber-Strunk before the game, “so it wouldn’t be a surprise if we lost to them.”

With the loss, the girls dropped to 7-7, yet their record may appear deceptive. “Right now our record I don’t think is indicative of our capabilities. We have a hard schedule, and we’re definitely not a team to sleep on,” claimed coach Barber-Strunk.

The team will look to bounce back on Tuesday, October 17th away against Wheaton High School.

Featured photo by Ita Teta.