By NATHAN WHALEN
Special to the News-Times
During Oak Harbor volleyball’s “Dig for the Cure” game Oct. 17, John Fisken continued his annual tradition of letting volleyball players paint his beard and hair pink.
“I’ve been growing it out for six months so they can do this,” said Fisken, a longtime photographer for the Whidbey News-Times. He lost his sister, Mary, to breast cancer in 2016. “She fought for 10 years. I’ve been doing this for 10 years.”
The Wildcats’ Dig for the Cure promotion for breast cancer awareness took place during their game against Bellingham.
“It’s been a tradition we’ve done,” coach Kerri Molitor said.
The team wore pink shirts in recognition for Dig for the Cure.
Last year, four volleyball players, one parent and one high school student had their ponytails cut off that were donated to make wigs for cancer victims, Molitor said.
Volleyball home games have different themes throughout the season for the students, including “Throwback Thursday,” ESPN night, camo/military night and country versus country club. Saturday, the theme in the game against Squalicum is pajama day.
The Wildcats also enjoyed a victory against Bellingham, winning in straight sets 25-22, 25-10 and 26-24.
“We had some good blocks last night,” Molitor said Wednesday. “Everybody contributed.”
Junior Karen Salinger had 10 kills and five aces, senior Jasmine Phillips had 12 digs and four aces, senior Gracie Cecka had 26 assists, eight digs and three aces and senior Adriana Lawrence had eight kills.
Molitor said junior Lilly Grubbs made the game-winning move in the past two games and Cecka is Oak Harbor High School’s all-time assist leader.
The victory brings the Wildcats’ record even at 6-6 and a chance to make the playoffs.
“That was our goal. Once you get in, the record doesn’t matter,” Molitor said.
“We’ve had some really good, competitive play,” Molitor said, noting every team in the Northwest Conference is a quality team.
Two 3A teams from the Northwest Conference and 10 3A teams from the Wesco conference will compete in the District 1 Tournament that begins with a play-in round Nov. 2, Molitor said. The winner of the play-in game competes in a double-elimination tournament. The top four teams move on to state, which takes place Nov. 17 and 18 at the Yakima Valley Sundome.