SIGOURNEY — For Sydney and Sierra Davis, Thursday’s volleyball game was always going to be special.
For the first time on the pitch they grew up on together, the sisters would train against each other, with Sydney leading Tri-County to her alma-mater to take on the Savages, guided this year for the first time by Sierra Davis. Although the two have practiced once in a scrimmage and once at the English Valleys Tournament this year, Thursday’s South Iowa Cedar League game held even more significance off the field for a cause that brought the two together. teams and their respective communities.
“We talked over the summer and we talked about making this a ‘Pink-Out’ game,” Sydney Davis said. “Sierra talked about making shirts for it. We just went from there.”
Sigourney won the match on the court, earning a four-set (25-14, 20-25, 25-19, 25-13) win over Les Troyens on Thursday night. Both teams, however, hope to contribute to the biggest battle in the fight against cancer with fundraising efforts that have continued throughout the night to help individuals and families affected by the disease.
“We went to a bunch of different businesses, which we were grateful for, to donate things to our silent auction,” said Sydney Davis. “It turned out to be a great night.”
Almost every player on the field has honored a family member or friend who has had to battle cancer. The Davis sisters lost their grandfather to cancer, a tribute Sierra Davis had posted on the wall outside the gymnasium at Sigourney High School along with several of his players who wrote the names of the people they honored in Thursday’s game.
“It’s really nice to see all the girls coming together like this,” Sierra Davis said. “It wasn’t just the breast cancer tonight. We played for everyone who has had any type of cancer. That moment of silence at the start of the game really suffocated some people. They were thinking of their loved ones . It was pretty great for our communities to come together.”
Once the game started, Sigourney and Tri-County set everything up on the field. The Savages led wire to wire in the opener, using eight aces serves to pull away from the Trojans, before Tri-County showed their resilience by snapping an eight-game losing streak against the Savages that stretched back to last season, tying the game at 1-1 on a decisive Macy Schmidt point.
“We practiced a lot on certain places on the floor to hit,” Tri-County head coach Sydney Davis said. “The girls did a great job of getting Sigourney moving and forcing them to make mistakes.”
However, when the Savages made up for their mistakes, it became more difficult for the Trojans to extend the game. Macy Fisch, playing in honor of his grandfather, led Sigourney with 12 kills while sending a pair of aces serves to close out the third set as the Savages pulled away from a 17-17 tie .
“We knew they (Tri-County) were going to be ready to play,” Sigourney head coach Sierra Davis said. “We knew they were going to be scrappy the way they were. They played well. We’re grateful 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 deciding fourth set. Smallwood also had nine kills, including the final swing to score the best point of the night as the two teams traded a rally that lasted several minutes with Sigourney leading 14-11.
“I told the girls before I came here that it was going to be a great night and a great environment,” Sydney Davis said. “I told the girls to accept and play with a lot of energy. The girls had fun and played pretty well. I’m happy with how everything went.”
Reagan Clarahan, whose mother and grandmother were both honored ahead of Thursday’s game, led Sigourney to the net with four blocks while closing out the win by tipping the final point to the Tri-County side. Schmidt led the Trojans with 10 kills while Chloe Zittergruen added three aces.
“I’m really proud of our girls. We condition ourselves a lot in practice and some of these long rallies put that to the test,” Sierra Davis said. “It’s tough for the girls, but they finished very well. It’s only the second time this season that we’ve played four games. It can be tough on your body, but the girls handled it.”
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 could get another chance to practice against each other this weekend at New Sharon.
“It’s always fun training her against her, that’s for sure,” Sierra Davis joked. “It’s always fun coaching against Sydney. In fact, we have to coach together. It’s different coaching against her, but it’s a nice little rivalry we have.”