Last Tuesday was a special night for the Mantachie volleyball team and the community. The Lady Mustangs played Saltillo and hosted a Dig Pink night. The event, on the first day of breast cancer awareness month, recognized members of the community who had won their battle with cancer, were in the midst of fighting it, and remembered those who lost the fight.

The team was also recognized for raising money for the Sideout Foundation which funds research for Stage IV breast cancer research, and they raised money for a recently diagnosed teacher at the school.

Mantachie volleyball head coach Kristi Montgomery said, “Each year we choose an organization to raise money for to help others. We have donated to St. Jude, LeBonheur, and this year we chose to participate in DIG PINK to help raise money for breast cancer research.” She continued, “We raised more than $1,500 for the organization and also donated $500 to one of our teachers who has recently been diagnosed with breast cancer.”

It would have been impossible to not notice it was a special night. Both outside and inside of The Corral had pink everywhere: bows, ribbons, special t-shirts, socks, flags and even the ball had a bit of pink.

Montgomery said her team also learned from the event.

“This event teaches the girls about giving back and helping others. We were so excited to have been chosen to be part of such an important event.”

After the recognition event, the two teams began their match.

In game one, Mantachie ran out to a 4-0 lead and forced a Saltillo timeout. It didn’t slow Mantachie’s scoring much as they pulled ahead 10-5. The Lady Tigers slowly clawed back and tied the game at 12-12. There were three more ties in the game with the last one coming at the 15-15 mark. Then, Mantachie pulled away and junior Ella Pitts sealed the victory with a kill at the net.

Game two began much tighter than game one with seven ties before the final one at 12-12. Mantachie took the lead at 13-12 and never lost it. The game ended on a Saltillo shot out of bounds. The Lady Mustangs won 25-19.

The Lady Mustangs opened game three with a 2-1 lead, but Saltillo tied it up and took a 3-2 lead. Mantachie junior Madison Jones then had a dig that led to the tying point. The Lady Tigers quickly regained the lead and never lost it. They won the game, 25-35.

In game four, it felt like senior McKinley Montgomery was determined to shut the door early and take away any chance of a Saltillo comeback. Tied at 1-1, Montgomery had kills at the net for points two and three. The Saltillo coach called a time out when they fell behind 4-1. The Lady Mustangs led 7-3 when Jones stepped behind the line. Mantachie scored six-straight points with her serving and were up 13-3 before the Lady Tigers scored again. Mantachie won game four 25-12, and they won the match three games to one.

On Thursday night, Mantachie beat Okolona in a division match 3-0. McKinley Montgomery had 14 kills and five aces, junior Lynsey Barber had 15 aces and one kill, eighth-grader Ramsey Montgomery scored five kills and five aces, Jones had four aces and three kills and Pitts four aces and three kills.

IAHS also played on Tuesday night against division rival, Shannon. They swept the match 3-0, winning game one 25-2, game two 25-18 and game three 25-6.

abby.loden@journalinc.com

Twitter: @abbyloden

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