Butternut & South Shore Volleyball Teams Unite in Pink


Harley Miller

Butternut & South Shore teams united. Back row (left to right): South Shore coaches Darla Lahti & Jodi Truchon, Austin Lovejoy, Tiiara Lahti, Aurora Grant, Chloe Sipsas, Gabby McCorrison, Signe Branham, Heather Ranta, Riannon Kolar, Grace Wagner, Emma Herbst, Coach Kim Bortz. Middle Row: Elizabeth Podrez, Megan McGuire-Weldon, Chaselyn Currier, Hannah Ware, Taylar Bortz, Gwen McCorrison, Lily Tapani, Coach Erika Roeder. Front Row: Chelsie McReynolds, Morgan Rock, Rylee Nicoletti, Sara Kangas, Brooke Beede, Myla Lahti, Saya Kangas, & Sophia Winge.

October is upon us and breast cancer awareness is here. Nearly 41,070 people (men and woman) will die from breast cancer this year. Most breast cancer patients only have a survival rate of 5 years. Many people nowadays at least know someone or have a family member who has been affected by breast cancer. To raise funds and awareness for this fatal and quite common cancer, many sports team host “Pink Out” nights. The teams dress in pink and decorate for the event.

On Thursday, October 5th, the Butternut Midgets hosted their own Pink Out night. The visiting team was our South Shore Cardinals. Normally, the junior varsity team starts their game at 5:45 pm and varsity following at 7:00 pm. This game, however, was quite unconventional. Since the Butternut team does not have the full amount of players to properly have both junior varsity and varsity teams, they start their varsity game at 6:00 pm. This way, if the game does not exceed more than four sets, they can still play some junior varsity sets afterward.

The Cardinals arrived in Butternut nearly an hour early. With time to spare the Cardinals checked on some of the festivities of Butternut’s Pink Out night. The Midgets had free pink cookies, frosted pretzels, cupcakes, and kool-aid. The girls enjoyed this lovely display. The team even ended up supporting their cause and buying out all of their Pink Out t-shirts for the night.

Once the team had wondered they still had plenty of time to spare. Both teams went out on the court and waited for 6:00 pm to come. The Butternut team approached the Cardinals and gave every player a free Pink Out bracelet. The Cardinals thanked them and admired how friendly they were. With time to kill, the Butternut Midgets starting singing a group song to get hyped up for the game. The Cardinals noticed this and remembered their very own pre-game song, “There Was a Great Big Moose.” Two of the Cardinal teammates, Heather Ranta and Morgan Rock decided to approach the Butternut team. They both asked the team if they would like to sing a song with the rest of them. The Butternut girls happily agreed and headed over with them. The song was a repeat-after-me, Rylee Nicoletti a junior from the South Shore team led the teams in song as they echoed her. After the song was over the teams shared a laugh. The Butternut girls insisted on showing the Cardinals their song. This song was more of a game as well. While the Butternut girls sang they all joined in a circle. Each person had to have their right hand on top of the person to the right of you, and their left hand below the person to the left of you. As the song went on, you had to take your right hand and slap the left hand of the person to the left of you. This continued in a circle until the end of the song. Once the song ended the person at the end of the slapping was out. This continued till one player was left. All of the girls enjoyed the fun and games. Rylee Nicoletti, a junior, commented on the interaction, “I have always known some of the players at Butternut. During this time though, I felt like I really got to know them. They were very welcoming and I feel like both teams had a lot of fun, and supported a great cause.”

Although the game ended not as the Cardinals had hoped with a 1-3 loss to the Butternut Midgets, they still continued the unity on and off the court. After the junior varsity games, both teams took one united group picture together. The players congratulated each other on a great game and great efforts. Overall the night was about positivity, breast cancer awareness, and unity.