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Thursday, Sep 21, 2017
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Teams are hit by the flu bug

The flu bug has been busy making its rounds throughout the area. The Pasco volleyball team had to postpone games due to the sickness two weeks ago and now its Bishop McLaughlin's turn. According to Hurricanes coach Doug Chinchar, he and various members of his team are suffering from the flu virus. According to Chinchar, when he went to the doctor, he was diagnosed with the H1N1 virus, commonly known as the swine flu.
"It's been a rough couple of weeks," said Chinchar, whose Hurricanes are 1-8. "It's been starting real slow and then all of a sudden, wham. You can see the kids on the bus last Thursday coming home from a game. We were a little bit, blah. ... You can tell it just wasn't there. With the kids, they try hard, but it just wasn't there. "Then a couple of kids were out Friday and then, boom, that was it. Then I started feeling sick. I went to the doctor, 'You got the swine flu.'" Administrators at the school have closed the school down and will reopen Monday. All athletic and after-school events have been canceled for the remainder of the week. There have been cases outside of the sports programs of flulike symptoms and according to Bishop McLaughlin athletic director Eddie Kenny, they are from cases of regular flu, not swine flu. "Obviously the big thing is keeping the health of the students in mind and that's why we're moving forward on this path of action," Kenny said. More than a game This weekend the River Ridge volleyball team will pack up and head to the Orlando Sports Center, which is home to the Orlando Volleyball Academy, for the Dig Pink volleyball tournament. It's nice to get outside of your surroundings, take on new teams and hopefully prepare for the postseason, but this weekend has a deeper meaning. The tournament, which will be held Friday and Saturday, will donate all of its proceeds to the Side-Out Foundation to help find a cure for breast cancer. "I've gone to it when they had it at USF with Brittany Castelamare playing down there," River Ridge coach Chrissy Brando said. "I'm aware of breast cancer but I wasn't aware of how many people (were affected). And they have someone talk before, who has gone through it or lost someone to it. "That's the thing, a lot of the girls have never even been exposed to that. They're like, OK we wear pink, but now they're going to understand why we wear pink and get a little bit better of an understanding. Like I said before, I really wasn't touched by it until I went to that volleyball game and saw the different things." Throughout the facility will be literature about breast cancer. In addition to the proceeds from gate receipts, participating referees are donating a part of their pay toward the foundation. On the second day of the tournament, players, coaches and everyone in attendance are asked to wear pink. Keeping focus Ridgewood coach Amber Starkey has kept her team concentrated on the little things. Entering Wednesday night's match at River Ridge, the Rams were 11-1, and it has everything to do with being sharp. "We've been focusing a lot on defense and serving," Starkey said. "We feel if we can cut back on the unforced errors, that's only going to be to our advantage. Like I said, we've been focusing a lot on defense as well - passing the ball to our setter, so we can set up our offense. "A couple of players have been working hard in practice on their net play, as far as blocking." That has been a major asset as Mary Kujak has had to move from the right side as an outside hitter to the middle. Normal middle hitter Lauren Vanker has missed the last few weeks with mononucleosis. Starkey said Vanker is feeling better, but her spleen remains enlarged. Once the swelling subsides, Vanker will likely return to the Rams' lineup. "She's been working hard in the middle, learning that position," Starkey said of Kujak, a freshman. During Tuesday night's 25-8, 25-12, 25-15 win against Anclote, the Rams had just eight players after two players became ill. "So right now we have four freshmen, but just like I'm sure with other teams, we have been battling people being sick." There's something to be said about focus. The Volleyball Notebook will run every Thursday in the Pasco Tribune. Coaches who want to add their team's information can submit entries to Eddie Daniels by calling (813) 259-7066 or e-mailing


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