Knights beat Jaguars in ‘Play For a Cure’ match

Tessa Butterfield (#14) throws to Southwestern College player  at the Harry West Gym at City College during the second game of a breast cancer awareness benefit.  Mariel Mostacero, City Times

Tessa Butterfield (#14) throws to Southwestern College player at the Harry West Gym at City College during the second game of a breast cancer awareness benefit. Mariel Mostacero, City Times

Mariel Mostacero

The women’s volleyball team once again dominated the opposing team, the Southwestern Jaguars, in the “Play for a Cure” match, a 3-game set played Oct. 12 at City College to benefit breast cancer research.

The game proved significant not only because it was another league game, but also because it was hosted at City to promote awareness and raise funds for the fight against breast cancer. Proceeds from the game, including food sold and a raffle that was held during the match, went to breast cancer and finding a cure. To represent the event, players from both teams wore pink and the Knights painted the signature pink breast cancer ribbon on their legs to show support.

“In the sense of the game, it was significant, and I know they wanted to play hard,” Dede Bodnar, City College women’s volleyball coach, said.

The first game started with the Knights already earning an easy lead at 8-1. Throughout the game, they maintained their status by at least 6 points. Unlike their previous game against the Palomar Comets, blocking was barely used during the game, but rather long shots across the floor made by both sides. This became advantageous for the Knights, with the Jaguars going out of bounds several times, which credited to a chunk of points for City.  The defense was strong though, ensuring the other team didn’t get the point. Already, the game was looking up for the home team with the game ending at 25-14.

“This game was better for our team. Just the discipline and getting to base for defense and getting outside the hit and when they get to their base positions they can be explosive,” Bodnar said.

Once the whistle blew for the second game, though, Southwestern came back in full force. The score moved fast, but with little point advantage, balancing between ties at 1-1 and 3-3 constantly. Knights were barely able to hold on to the lead by one point during the first half of the second period. The turnaround was really when City started using more effective kills and really gained momentum. Elemy Yeme and Tessa Butterfield, who is team captain and was recently named Athlete of the Week, stood out as the score started to break away from the tie.

“(Tessa Butterfield) is our only sophomore, she is a total leader in all aspect of that word, and she’s powerful. She’s improved so much. Outside of that, I think our setter (Jaclyn Kreymborg) did a nice job, I thought our other outside hitter, Jasmine Wong, did a really nice job, and Imani Griffin did a great job in the middle. I think everyone stepped up though, “ Bodnar said.

One perfectly executed kill, and probably the most powerful in the match, was done as a sort of score-changer. Butterfield took advantage of an assist for a forceful spike, earning them an easy and well-earned point halfway through the game. Once, again, Knights won the game 25-17. If they won the third period, the match would end there rather than the previous set played at five games.

At halftime, the raffle was called for the breast cancer cause, with spectators winning free Rubio’s meals, free Chipotle items, and even a chance for a trip to Italy. For those who didn’t get a prize, a contest to serve a ball over the net occurred, with winners of that game getting City College sweatshirts and other items of clothing.

Southwestern, in the third game, was too close to winning for comfort. The Jaguars got a lead of 6-4, leaving the Knights to work for the top spot. The score did manage to reach a 10-10 tie, which was broken on the Knights’ side, bringing them back on top. Finally, the whistle blew just as the score hit 25-19, a victory for the Knights and another win for the league.

“That’s what’s great about this. Our season’s not even half over yet,” Bodnar said.