Viera celebrates 13th annual Pink Game with sweep of Astronaut


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Members of the Viera High volleyball team celebrate after winning a point during Monday night's 13th annual Pink Game against Astronaut. The Hawks won 3-0. Proceeds from the game will go to help breast cancer research.

VIERA VOICE Carl Kotala

It was written all over their faces, and it was obvious from the way they played.

The Viera High volleyball team had a lot of fun Monday night.

That’s because, on this night, it was more about the cause than it was about the volleyball.

The 13th annual Pink Game was once again an unquestioned success for the Hawks. Not only did they sweep Astronaut by scores of 25-8, 25-10, 25-10, they did it in front of a large crowd with many of the spectators dressed in pink.

All proceeds from the event will go to benefit the Side-Out Foundation, a national organization that raises money for breast cancer research.

“It means a lot to us. It means a lot to Viera. It means a lot to our school,” Hawks coach Sarah Wayne said. “The whole school was dressed in pink today. It was one of our spirit days.

“It was just amazing to see the student body come out. The girls embraced everything. Sometimes, it’s bigger than volleyball. The girls were having fun and when you’re relaxed and having fun, you tend to play well. They did a good job.”

The Hawks certainly got off to a strong start, scoring the first eight points of the first set and never really looking back as they improved to 18-6 on a night that featured a serving contest and gift basket raffle.

“Yeah, it was fun,” senior Delaney Lott said. “It’s the Pink Game. We went out there telling ourselves just to have fun no matter what the score was.”

Senior Makena Wagner said she enjoyed everything about the night, even helping decorate the gym with balloons.

“Being a senior and having this as our last Pink Game was really exciting,” she said. “It’s really hard to believe (it’s my last one). It’s super fun every year.

“It’s one of the best games every year, if you ask me.”

Lott had 10 kills, a team-high nine digs, two blocks and two aces for the Hawks. Savannah Reiser led Viera with 11 kills. Marisa Hulmes had a team-high 17 assists while Chloe Arellano had 12.

Kelly Merz had six digs and two aces. Lauren Lewis had eight assists and four digs. Madi Hintz had six digs and three kills. Stephanie Williams had eight kills and two blocks. Taylor Calloway had three kills, a block and two digs.

It was announced before Monday’s game that Lott recently became the school’s all-time leader in kills, passing Cailea Gibbs. With her 10 kills Monday night, Lott now has 726 for her career.

“It’s awesome,” Lott said of being the all-time leader.

“I didn’t even know I was close until two weeks ago. We were like, ‘I need 20 … I need 16.’ Game after game, I was like, ‘I’ve got to get it.’”

Wayne, who started the volleyball program at Viera, also recently celebrated a milestone when she and the Hawks picked up their 200th win. That number now stands at 202.

“I’m just excited for the program,” Wayne said. “It’s Viera’s 200th win. We’ve come so far as a program. I remember just having ninth and 10th graders out there.”

Viera will host Bayside at 7:15 p.m. on Wednesday night.

It will be Senior Night for Lott, Hintz, Wagner, Hulmes, Arellano and Callaway.

“It’s been super special,” Wagner said of her time at Viera. “Every year, (I’ve been) watching the seniors go, it’s kind of like, ‘Oh, that’s super cool. That’s going to be me one day.’

“Now that it’s actually me, it’s kind of weird. It’s like, ‘It’s not happening.’”