Sonora High School seniors Sarah Rosasco and Riley Patterson first played volleyball together on a fifth grade travel team.
They went to separate elementary schools before joining each other at Sonora.
They’ve been inseparable since freshman year.
This past season the duo helped lead the Wildcats to a magical season, filled with goals set and goals met.
They were 12-0 in regular season Mother Lode League play. They played their way into the regional finals match in the Division III state championships, coming up short against the No. 4 seed Lincoln.
Now as the end of their final year of high school approaches, they will wrap up their playing partnership in the most fitting way they could think of.
Friday night they’ll host Volley for the Cure.
The event, which is also their senior project, will raise money for breast cancer survivors.
“We are very passionate for this sport,” said Patterson.
And they’re passionate about the cause of finding a cure for breast cancer and supporting survivors, said Rosasco.
They’re working with Adventist Health Sonora on the best way to use the funds.
A few months ago they met with Patterson’s dad, a local businessman, to decide on a fundraising goal.
They decided on $2,500. As of Wednesday, they had surpassed the mark.
That’s come mostly from old-fashioned foot-to-pavement work, said Rosasco, who has visited dozens of local businesses to solicit funds.
Volley for the Cure has become somewhat of a tradition for the Wildcat volleyball team, said Patterson.
She’s attended the event the three previous years.
When it came time to decide on their projects, picking up where last year’s seniors left off was sort of a no-brainer for Rosasco and Patterson.
“I knew I wanted to do something with volleyball,” said Patterson. “It’s a big part of my life.”
“We were the ones most interested in doing it,” added Rosasco.
The event will feature a mini tournament of sorts.
Three boys teams from Sonora High School and one boys team from Summerville High School will fill one bracket.
Having a team from Summerville is a new addition this year, part of what is Patterson’s personal twist on the event.
“I think that’s super fun to bring the community even closer,” said Patterson.
The winner will take on a team made up of Sonora staff and parents.
The finale will pit the winner of the staff vs. boys game against the Wildcat girls’ varsity team.
But there’s a catch.
Members of the audience and the team that’s playing against the varsity team can purchase an array of items meant to make it almost impossible for the ‘Cats’ team to maneuver around the court.
There’s a pig costume. And giant mittens. A backboard used to stabilize spines. Weighted backpacks. Ski boots.
Players can also pay to keep the costumes and such off.
“It’s always pretty funny and entertaining,” said Rosasco. “That’s how we get a lot of our money.”
Rosasco and Patterson estimate dozens of hours have been spent planning and organizing.
Patterson has been busy gathering teams and organizing the brackets and practices while Rosasco has been out gathering donations.
“The community has been great,” said Patterson.
There will also be a bake sale with items donated by Sonora High School culinary students.
Friday night will mark the final time Patterson and Rosasco play a volleyball game together at Sonora High School.
Patterson will play at the University of the Pacific in the fall. Rosasco is finalizing her post-high school plans.
The finality of it all hasn’t been lost on them.
“It’s been a little sad,” said Patterson.
But both agreed that having the chance to cap it all off with the fundraiser has helped.
They’ve learned a lot about planning an event and shuffling schedules. And they’ve gained a new appreciation for the generosity of the Sonora community.
“It’s not really about who shows up (Friday night),” said Rosasco. “It’s about the people going through the process (of dealing with cancer).”
Want to go
Friday, March 9
Bud Castle Gym
Pre-sale tickets are $5 at the Sonora High School library, or $7 at the door. 5 and younger are free