Girls Volleyball: Lakes, Antioch team up for noble cause

Updated: October 3, 2012 7:06PM

Usually when Lakes and Antioch get together for a high school athletic competition, the juices are flowing, there’s excitement in the air, and the teams want, more than anything, to defeat their rival.

On Wednesday, the juices were flowing and there was excitement in the air, but it was because the two high schools were working together.

The event was the sixth annual Volley for the Cure volleyball match between the sister schools, and nobody but nobody in Lake County does this breast cancer awareness thing better than the Sequoits and Eagles.

On Wednesday, pink was everywhere in the gym and in the adjacent hallway, as fund-raising efforts for breast cancer awareness clearly were a huge success.

In the first five years of this event, a total of more than $40,000 has been raised for the important cause. And that number took another leap on Wednesday.

“It’s an amazing thing to be a part of,” Antioch senior Linnea Lubkeman said, “especially for the seniors. To come out here and have a crowd like this at a volleyball game is amazing.

“Our job was to get the word out, get everybody to dress up (in pink) ... we wanted everybody to feel like they were participating in the event.”

Antioch coach Glen Heitman has been involved in all six of these special matches.

“I think it’s great for the schools to come together for something like this,” the coach said. “It’s also great for the girls to be a part of something bigger than volleyball.

“Every year, it just seems to get bigger.”

The volleyball match itself, was an exhibition with every girl getting playing time. It didn’t count in any kind of standings.

“One of the nice things is, we’re so competitive with each other that it makes for a great event that people want to come out and see,” Lakes coach Molly May said. “It’s an awesome thing to be part of. Antioch really deserves most of the credit. They had a lot of parents step up and make this as big as it is.”

Besides the volleyball, there were raffles with more than 60 prizes, baked goods for sale, a silent auction, and pink T-shirts that sold for $10.

At last count, more than 1,100 T-shirts were sold in the last six weeks.

The event actually started because then-Lakes coach Carla Thompson was herself a breast cancer survivor.

“It’s great to see it grow like it has,” Thompson said. “The first year we did it, the IHSA said ‘Let us know how it goes.’

“Now, you’re seeing events like this pop up in many places.”

Before the match began, all breast cancer survivors in the stands were called to the gym floor and presented with roses.

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