A large gathering, a sea of pink and a women's volleyball match added up to a special evening at the Hangar on Wednesday.
Sandhills Community College defeated Central Carolina CC 25-11, 25-13 and 25-11 in the annual Pink Out game to improve to 5-0 in Region X and 14-10 overall. Middle hitter Carley Modlin led the Lady Flyers with 19 kills and only three hitting errors.
Coach Alicia Riggan's squad will try to maintain its hold on first place in the conference when it travels to Martinsville, VA on Saturday to meet its two closest contenders. Host Patrick Henry provides the opposition in a match at 11 a.m. followed by one against Southwest Virginia at 1 p.m. Both teams are 3-1 in Region X.
The final match of the day at 3 p.m. between Patrick Henry and Southwest Virginia will also have a bearing on the standings.
Most of all Wednesday evening was about supporting Jordan Hernandez Villa, an 11th grader at North Moore High School, who is currently receiving treatment for a cancerous brain tumor.
The Pink Out nights that began at Sandhills about nine years ago, originally supported the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. In 2016, Riggan and then-athletic director Aaron Denton saw an opportunity to support a local family and have continued that practice.
The combination of the more than 300 pink t-shirts sold, the luminary bags that contain the name of a cancer survivor and other donations in behalf of Jordan and his family, are expected to set a new high for the fundraiser.
"Tonight is one of my favorite nights," the coach said afterward. "It was so cool to see the Hangar packed and everybody in pink. It's awesome to see everyone come out and support someone they may not even know. Again, it's the community coming together and I love it."
The evening before in Raleigh, the Flyers six-game winning streak was snapped in a 21-25, 11-25, 25-22 and 14-25 loss to a Division II Wake Tech squad that improved to 12-4. The Flyers' kill percentage for the match was its second lowest of the season.
The Flyers swept the Eagles at home just a month ago.
"We couldn't get in a rhythm," Riggan said. "We began by scoring the first six points of the opening set and then all of a sudden it was like a domino effect. We won the third set and then the fourth was 12-0 before we scored."
Wednesday against a Central Carolina squad that dropped to 2-5 in Region X and 2-15 overall was better. In addition to the big night at the net by Modlin, Lowe had 22 assists and 4 service aces, and Willow Williams and Morrigan Denman each contributed a dozen digs.
"It was good to see the girls bounce back after last night," the coach said, "because conference is what we are working for."