WHEATFIELD | The backs of Kankakee Valley's purple volleyball shirts read: Losing is not an option.
Against pancreatic cancer, and against Andrean.
The Kougars turned in their Dig Pink game for a purple game, raising money to help school staff member Diane Cavinder beat the cancer which she was recently diagnosed.
"It helps to have everyone here, because the louder the gym gets, you have the advantage being at home and the momentum goes your way," K.V. outside hitter Gabby Martin said. "It helps having (Cavinder) here, and, of course, we wanted to win with her here."
The Kougars topped Andrean 25-9, 22-25, 25-19, 26-24, avenging a loss in the first round of Northwest Crossroads Conference play, as well as a five-game loss in the sectional last year.
With the big first game, it would have been easy for Kankakee Valley (19-5, 5-3) to think the 59ers would simply go away, but they'd seen this before.
"The last time, we beat them the first set, and then they beat us the next three," K.V. coach Adair Woford said. "Last time, the first set was kind of the same, then the next three games for them weren't as close as this was tonight. This was amazing for them to come out and play as strong as they did tonight."
The Kougars tied Game 2 at 19-19 before Andrean rallied with a kill from Kellie Wojciechowski, an ace by Korie McCrea and a game-winning kill from Marija Nicksic.
Kankakee Valley used a surge of audience excitement in the second game, and a block and three kills from Martin, to take a 5-0 run to the win.
"We weren't playing our best, and we knew we could, so we wanted to get back to where we started," Martin said.
Andrean held a lead at 24-22 in the fourth game before a timeout from the Kougars rallied the forces. Three kills by Martin, who finished with 20, were part of Kankakee Valley's 4-0 rally for the win.
"Everything that we needed to work on the last time we played them -- covering the blocks and hits -- we did a phenomenal job blocking, which is what killed us last time," Woford said. "It's like everyone was on tonight, and that's what we've needed for a while."
The 59ers were led by Wojciechowski's 11 kills and seven digs. Nicksic had a game-high seven blocks for Andrean, which held a lengthy team meeting after the loss.