ROXANA - As far as away games go, Thursday's game could not get much closer for Marquette Catholic High School.

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Traveling only a few miles to Roxana Sr. High School, the Explorers Girls Volleyball team, led by Sue Heinz, came out and ultimately took the win for the evening with a 2-1 match.

Although both teams were after a win, but the goal of the night was bigger than both teams could imagine. The Shells hosted the annual “Dig for the Cure” game, which helped raise awareness for breast cancer. All of the night’s proceeds went to a charity that helps breast cancer patients and research to find a cure for the disease.

The girls from Roxana donned pink tie-dye shirts with pink ribbons in their hair. Marquette showed their support for the Pink Night by wearing pink accents in their headbands and socks for respect for the night.

After each member of the Roxana Shells dedicated their game for those who are fighting or have lost their fight with cancer, the team also took a moment of silence to pay their sympathies to their head coach Mike McKinney, whose mother just within the past week lost her battle with cancer. McKinney was absent from the match as he is spending time with his family.

The Shells came out and played extremely hard the in the first set of the game. There wasn’t a moment in the first set where the girls from Roxana didn’t hold the lead. Once the score rose to 8-3, the Explorers gained some ground and tied the score 8-8. From then on, the match kept getting closer and closer. However, the Shells kept their strong offense going. Before the Explorers knew it, the score quickly rose to 25-17, ending the first set.

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After making some clear and distinct changes to their bench in the second set, the Explorers went in with a focused mindset. Determined to win the second, MCHS used some of their amazing serving and spiking abilities to raise the score. For the second time in the evening, the score then eventually rose to 8-8 after the Shells caught up with the Explorers. This set was notorious for its extremely long volleys and excellent Marquette spikes, courtesy of high-jumping sophomore Marissa Nosco. The Shells had difficulty raising their score past 15 for the longest period of time, allowing Marquette to raise their score by five points, ultimately resulting in a 25-16 win.

“Melissa’s intensity was off the charts,” Coach Heinz said. “I’m excited to have her for two more years.”

Tied 1-1, both teams really put what they had on the court in order to secure a win. The beginning of the match was extremely close throughout, and yet again, an 8-8 and 10-10 tie occurred. Explorer Anna Daugherty served up some heat towards the Shells throughout this final set. Marquette seemed to finally get in their groove to allow them to gain a lead in this final set of the match. When the Shells were stuck between 13 and 15 points, the Explorers raised their score to 21. The girls from Roxana weren’t finished yet. Before the girls from Marquette had the opportunity to clench the victory, the Shells were determined not to go out without a fight. Before the final buzzer, the Shells raised their score to 21 to the Explorers’ 24. Unfortunately for the Shells, their competitors took the third and final set with a score of 25-21.

Coach Heinz was extremely grateful to Roxana for holding an event for such a good cause, as a two-year cancer survivor herself. She is also very impressed with how well the Roxana Shells played in the evening’s game.

“We can’t take anything away from Roxana,” Heinz said. “They played an excellent game and I’m very proud of them for putting this on tonight.”

As far as their win, Heinz was extremely excited that they could extend their now 14-9 record for the season.

“We needed this win tonight,” she said, “Our girls were down and our confidence level was shaken.”

More like this:

Oct 12, 2023 - Tigers Volleyball Team Keeps Momentum From St. Charles East Scholastic Cup Tournament In Alton Win

Feb 12, 2024 - Roxana Upends Marquette Catholic To Move To IHSA Class 2A Girls Regional Semifinal

Feb 4, 2024 - Lady Shells Get Season Sweep Over Rival Oilers

Feb 23, 2024 - Explorers Win Fifth Regional Title In Six Years - Head To Sectional Semis Against Pleasant Plains

Nov 7, 2023 - Sue Heinz Leaves Legacy: She Will Step Down As Marquette Girls Volleyball Head Coach

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