SIGOURNEY — For Sydney and Sierra Davis, Thursday's volleyball match was always going to be special.
For the first time on the court they grew up together on, the sisters would be coaching against each other with Sydney leading Tri-County into her alma-mater to face the Savages, guided this year for the first time by Sierra Davis. Though the two have coached against each other once in a scrimmage and once at the English Valleys Tournament this year, Thursday's South Iowa Cedar League match had even more significance off the court for a cause that brought both teams and their respective communities together.
"We talked during the summer and we talked about making this a 'Pink-Out' match," Sydney Davis said. "Sierra talked about making shirts for it. We just kind of went from there."
Sigourney won the match on the court, taking a four-set (25-14, 20-25, 25-19, 25-13) win over the Trojans on Thursday night. Both teams, however, are hoping to help contribute to the bigger battle of fighting cancer with fundraising efforts that were ongoing throughout the night to help individuals and families that have been affected by the disease.
"We went to a bunch of different businesses, which we were grateful for, to give stuff to our silent auction," Sydney Davis said. "It turned out to be a great night."
Almost every player on the court honored a family member or friend that has had to battle cancer. The Davis sisters lost their grandfather to cancer, a tribute that Sierra Davis had posted on the wall outside Sigourney's High School Gymnasium along with many of her players who wrote down names of the individuals they were honoring during Thursday's match.
"It's really nice to see all the girls come together like this," Sierra Davis said. "It wasn't just breast cancer tonight. We played for anyone that has had any type of cancer. That moment of silence at the beginning of the match really got some people choked up. They were thinking about their loved ones. It was pretty neat for our communities to come together."
Once the match got underway, Sigourney and Tri-County laid it all out on the court. The Savages led wire-to-wire in the opening game, using eight ace serves to pull away from the Trojans, before Tri-County showed their resiliency by snapping an eight-game losing streak to the Savages that dated back to last season, tying the match at 1-1 on a game-clinching tip by Macy Schmidt.
"We did a lot of practicing on certain spots on the floor to hit," Tri-County head coach Sydney Davis said. "The girls did a good job of making Sigourney move and forcing them into making mistakes."
When the Savages reeled in the mistakes, however, it became tougher for the Trojans to extend the match. Macy Fisch, playing in honor of her grandfather, led Sigourney with 12 kills while sending in a pair of ace serves to close out the third set as the Savages pulled away from a 17-17 tie.
"We knew that they (Tri-County) was going to come ready to play," Sigourney head coach Sierra Davis said. "We knew they were going to be scrappy just like they were. They played well. We're thankful for our hitters at this point."
Amiya Smallwood, playing in honor of her Aunt Terry, led the Savages with six aces including three in the clinching fourth set. Smallwood also collected nine kills, including the final swing to put away the best point of the night as the two teams exchanged a rally that went on for several minutes with Sigourney leading 14-11.
"I told the girls before we came here that it was going to be a great night and a great environment," Sydney Davis said. "I told the girls to take it in and play with great energy. The girls had a fun time and played pretty well. I'm pleased with how it all turned out."
Reagan Clarahan, who's mother and grandmother were both honored prior to the match on Thursday, led Sigourney at the net with four blocks while closing out the win tipping home the final point down on to Tri-County's side. Schmidt led the Trojans with 10 kills while Chloe Zittergruen added three ace serves.
"I'm really proud of our girls. We condition a lot in practice and some of those long rallies put that to the test," Sierra Davis said. "It's hard on the girls, but they finished really well. It's only the second time this season we've gone four games. It can be hard on your body, but the girls handled that."
Both Tri-County (5-6, 0-3 SICL) and Sigourney (8-2, 2-0 SICL) will head to the North Mahaska Tournament on Saturday. The Davis sisters may get another chance to coach against other this weekend in New Sharon.
"It's always fun coaching against her, that's for sure," Sierra Davis joked. "It's always fun coaching against Sydney. We've actually got to coach together. It's different coaching against her, but it's a neat little rivalry that we have."