It was "Pink Out" night at Ooltewah's Edward M. Foster Gymnasium Tuesday night for the District 5-AAA volleyball match with the Walker Valley Lady Mustangs and the home-standing Ooltewah Lady Owls.
It should have been "LIghts Out" night as the power went off midway through the first set and never came back on, forcing the two teams to finish the match in the older Theresa Harvey Gymnasium.
It probably wouldn't have mattered if they had played in the parking lot or a nearby cow pasture as the Lady Owls romped and stomped to a convincing 3-0 victory with set scores of 25-16, 25-14 and 25-17.
For all practical purposes, they weren't that close.
But on an evening when the Mary Ellen Locher Foundation received all of the proceeds in its continued battle against breast cancer, the gymnasium was decorated for a big party in -- you guessed it -- all pink.
There were pink balloons all around and both teams wore special pink jerseys. Most of the players had pink headbands, pink socks and even pink kneepads. The game ball was appropriately pink and white as well.
And while it was a festive occasion before the varsity match began, it was all Ooltewah when the first ball was served.
The Lady Mustangs raced to a 4-1 lead in the first set before the Lady Owls scored nine straight points. It never got much closer after that.
"I'm very pleased with our effort as these girls came out ready to play tonight," said Ooltewah coach Elaine Peigen, herself a breast cancer survivor.
"This was a district match that we desperately needed to win. We wanted to win in three straight sets as we've been talking about finishing all week. Our serving was great and I really thought we played well together.
"I was really pleased with Leondra Barrett, who really stepped up and had one of her best matches of the year. We've been waiting for her to play like that, but she really dominated play at the net," Peigen praised her senior star who finished with a dozen kills and four blocks.
Kelsey Chernak was another Ooltewah standout as she finished with 20 assists, eight digs, two kills, two blocks and two aces among 13 service points.
Karly Newman added 15 digs and 16 service points while Josie Cain and Bethany Spange finished with 14 and 12 digs, respectively.
Walker Valley coach Judy Pruett was a very unhappy person as she watched her team get whipped in virtually every aspect of the match.
The Lady Mustangs had beaten the Lady Owls earlier for one of their two district losses, so there may have been a bit of revenge involved. While the Lady Owls were clicking on all cylinders, the Lady Mustangs were coughing and sputtering as they tried to find the right combination.
"We just didn't show up. That's all I've got to say," Pruett blurted to a group of sports writers near the scorers table when the match ended before walking off in a huff.
Ooltewah returns to action on Thursday with another key 5-AAA match at Soddy Daisy.
CLEVELAND DEFEATED Soddy Daisy by a 3-0 final in another 5-AAA match at Soddy Daisy Tuesday with the Lady Blue Raiders winning by scores of 26-24, 25-23 and 25-22.
BOYD-BUCHANAN WON a key District 5-A match with a close 3-2 victory over the Silverdale Baptist Academy Lady Seahawks. Silverdale won the first set by 25-22 before dropping the second, 25-19. A 25-21 win in the third set gave the Lady Seahawks a 2-1 lead, but the Lady Bucs came back to win the final two sets and the match by scores of 25-20 and 15-12.
Silverdale is now 17-9 overall and 4-1 in 5-A.
Sloan Sullivan -- 6 kills, 8 digs, 1 block, 3 service points;
Kelsey Chernak -- 2 kills, 20 assists, 2 aces, 8 digs, 2 blocks, 13 service points;
Karly Newman -- 5 kills, 1 assist, 2 aces, 15 digs, 16 service points;
Izabela Zdunek -- 4 kills, 1 assist, 9 digs, 1 block, 5 service points;
Leondra Barrett -- 12 kills, 4 blocks;
Courtlyn Ison -- 6 kills, 2 blocks;
Bethany Spange -- 1 kill, 1 ace, 12 digs, 9 service points;
Josie Cain -- 14 digs, 4 service points.
SODDY DAISY STATS:
Emily Edwards -- 8 kills;
Alex Schafer -- 8 kills, 3 blocks; 26 digs, 4 aces;
Laura Jenkins -- 6 kills;
Haley Reynolds -- 3 kills, 2 blocks;
Hannah Robertson -- 24 digs;
Rachel Hargis -- 26 digs;
Chloe Mitchell -- 23 assists, 2 kills;
Lauren Smith -- 3 kills, 18 digs, 1 ace;
Karigan Fulghum -- 3 kills.
Kerri Whittaker -- 33 digs, 2 aces;
Mackenzie Harris -- 13 kills, 15 digs;
Bryce Killingsworth -- 3 kills, 15 digs;
Molly Kane -- 4 kills, 3 blocks;
Hannah Mench -- 7 kills, 1 block;
Katelyn Couch -- 3 kills, 12 digs, 20 assists.
(Email John Hunt at firstname.lastname@example.org)
Ooltewah is now 19-8 overall and 6-2 in District 5-AAA. Walker Valley falls to 13-19 overall and 3-4 in 5-AAA.