Pine-Richland girls volleyball raises funds, awareness during ‘Spike Out Cancer’ event

Sunday, September 18, 2022 | 11:01 AM

Angela Seman coached nine individuals affected by cancer.

Kaili Doctor played for her aunt and grandfather, who both passed away from cancer.

Those are just two anecdotes of many between the Pine-Richland and North Allegheny girls volleyball programs of knowing someone affected by a disease that has impacted so many around the globe.

That’s why cancer awareness was the main focus behind Pine-Richland girls volleyball’s second annual philanthropy night when they hosted North Allegheny on Sept. 14.

The event was called “Spike Out Cancer” and proceeds from Wednesday’s match were donated to the American Cancer Society.

“We wanted to do our event for something we knew affects everybody,” Seman said. “Everybody on our team and I assume everybody on North Allegheny’s team has been affected by cancer in some way shape or form. We didn’t want to limit it to a specific type of cancer. Of the nine people I know, most of them had a different type of cancer.”

There were themed gift baskets where fans could buy raffle tickets and place them in whichever basket caught their eye, with all proceeds going toward the donation. Some of the themes were candy, ice cream, lottery tickets, gift cards to local restaurants, coffee, movies and a spa treatment. Each basket was donated by a local organization, family or a Pine-Richland school organization. There also was a 50/50 raffle.

All the raffle winners were announced between the second and third sets.

Liz Leight of the Pine-Richland girls volleyball boosters organized the event along with the rest of the booster group.

“I think every school should do it, because it’s important to recognize people that are going through difficult times,” Doctor said.

There were signs all around the outside and inside of the gym, including one where fans could sign the name of someone they knew who was affected by cancer.

“All the girls had a job of creating a sign,” Seman said. “It could be created anyway they wanted. It could just say ‘Play Big!’ or ‘Spike Out Cancer!,’ but I know a lot of the girls put specific names on their signs with family members or someone they know that has been affected by cancer.”

North Allegheny won with a 3-0 sweep in a matchup of the top two teams in the Western PA Volleyball Coaches Association rankings, but outside of some high-level volleyball being on display was two rival schools coming together for a common good.

It’s something the two teams plan to do every season when they meet at Pine-Richland.

“It’s really good to remind the girls in the community that volleyball is just a game,” Seman said. “Although wins and losses matter, we should be playing for something bigger every day.”

Jerin Steele is a freelance writer


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