Solid play, big crowd propel Tigers past Hawks in Pink Game


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Holy Trinity's Laura Boos (No. 9) uses a little touch to get the ball past Viera's block during Thursday night's annual Pink Game. The Tigers won the match in four sets.

VIERA VOICE Carl Kotala

A packed house and a big win made for quite a night at Holy Trinity on Thursday.

Hosting Viera in the annual Pink Game, the Tigers used their own solid play and the energy of the home crowd to roll past the Hawks for a 3-1 victory by scores of 25-17, 25-15, 24-26 and 25-14.

All proceeds from the match went to the Side-Out Foundation, a non-profit that raises money through volleyball to support breast cancer research and educational services.

That alone made it a special night for both teams, but the atmosphere of playing in front of a big crowd that also included cheerleaders from Viera and the Holy Trinity band made it seem electric.

“It was a lot of fun,” Holy Trinity senior Kendall Vaught said. “We fed off the energy, which helped us out.

“Every time we’d get a big point, they’d help us out and if the other team would get a point, they would help us shake it off because we knew on the next point, we’d get the energy back.”

Emily Tobkes led the Tigers (13-4) with 18 kills, 20 digs and two aces. Emily Vaught and Laura Boos each had 11 kills and five blocks.

Emily Noe had 52 assists and Courtney Noe had 13 digs.

“I thought we played well,” Holy Trinity coach Pete Klonowski said. “Our ball control and serve/receive was good. When we can control the first contact, our offense is very fast. When we get in trouble is when we get a little complacent. We stop moving. We stop doing the things that helped us build the lead.

“You could kind of see that in the third set. We weren’t competing at a level we were capable of. Then, we come back in the fourth set and we were back to a much higher level.”

Ali McLoughlin had 15 kills to lead Viera (15-3). Kaitlyn Jensen had 10 kills, nine digs, two blocks and an ace. Delaney Lott was next on the list of leaders in kills with five.

Emma Redmond had 16 digs, sharing the team-high honors with Nina Alvarez, who also had 35 assists. Maddie Day had a service ace.

With both teams starting district play next week, Thursday’s match provided a good test. Holy Trinity will have a bye when its district tournament starts on Monday at Cocoa High. The Tigers will play in the semifinals on Tuesday.

“The good news is we’re playing well at a good time of the year,” Klonowski said. “We really are.”

As Kendall Vaught pointed out, getting a chance to play in the Pink Game means a lot to the players because of the cause it represents

“It’s so close to home for the HT family,” she said. “It means a lot to us every year and we look forward to it each year.”

Thursday marked the second time Viera and Holy Trinity have met in the Pink Game, which will now be played at alternate home sites.

“It was a great event,” Klonowski said. “The stands were packed. There was a lot of energy. I think it was an entertaining match to watch.”