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Girls Volleyball: Lady Knights win Pink-Out match

By Barry Sankey, Sports Editor, bsankey@21st-century,

Friday, October 11, 2013

CHARLESTOWN - The Renaissance Academy Lady Knights girls volleyball team defeated Woodlyne, 3-2, on Oct. 1 as part of a Dig Pink pink-out match to mark Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
The Lady Knights and senior Tamara Ellis are raising money for Breast Cancer Awareness and Research by partnering with The Side-out Foundation’s “Dig Pink” campaign. Ellis used the event as her senior project since her aunt lost her seven-year battle with this disease two years ago.
Renaissance Academy won the match by scores of 25-23, 25-20, 24-26, 24-26, 15-10.
Head coach Holly Mandia helped promote the event along with coach Jen Zinn and manager/scorekeeper Michael Zino. Mandia and Zinn have been coaching together for six years.
Sophomore Carrie Baker paced the Lady Knights with eight aces, six kills and five blocks. Anna Moretti added nine aces and two kills. Freshman Alina McLain finished with five aces, three kills and one block.
“We have one senior and two juniors,” said Mandia. “We’re young and have newer skills.”
The remainder of the Renaissance squad consists of Miranda Hanna, Shannon McGurty, Brianna Ayala, Maya McLees, Catherine Wenger, Ashley Nicolas, Cianna Alexander, Houston Jarvis, Laura Peppel, Molly Pratt, Celia Adams, Isabel Lopez, Sarah DeKok, Alex DiMino and Natalie DeKok.
“It is a great cause and this is our first annual game for this,” said Mandia. “This is something we have wanted to do for many years. The NFL (National Football League) and high school teams do it. As female athletes we need to take responsibility. Women have this. All proceeds will go to breast cancer and breast cancer awareness.”
“I know that my odds are that I am going to have breast cancer,” said Ellis. “It is connected to me. The volleyball team is a perfect time to do the project and I wanted to be around.”
Ellis said volleyball is a women’s sport that is growing across the country every day. That is part of the upgraded level in all of women’s athletics.
“All women’s sports are getting better every day,” said Ellis. “It’s a good thing. Everyone else can continue to donate on line.”
The web site can be found at
Ellis also feels that women have fought to have equal rights in general, with men, for many years. That is a cause that this type of pink-out volleyball game coincides with.
“It all kind of connects together,” said Ellis. “It ties in as one.”