Despite playing for rival schools, two volleyball teams stood in solidarity from the opposite ends of the gym, united in singing the national anthem.
The girls volleyball team from the Watervliet High School in Michigan stood for the national anthem just before their home game against the team from Saugatuck High School last week when suddenly, the PA system malfunctioned.
"The school is under construction as of now so a lot of kinks are being worked out," said Senica Smith, a mother of one of the Watervliet players.
But, in a wave of solidarity that washed over the players, regardless of whether they were about to play for the Watervliet Pathers or the Saugatuck Indians, the girls stood, hand in hand, from the opposite ends of the gym, and sang the national anthem.
"The atmosphere — it was just awesome," Coach Edie Daugherty of the Panthers told InsideEdition.com. "I was surprised."
She said she was especially surprised since the schools are far away, and the opposing teams would have only known of each other from other competitions.
But, Daugherty said she was touched to see her team have such respect for the sport, especially since her own mother and grandmother never had the same opportunity in sports as girls do now: "Women [now] have the opportunity to step on a court. The girls just don't understand how truly lucky they are."
The Panthers went on to beat the Indians, but the real victory, their coach said, was that the singing of the national anthem is starting to become tradition at Watervliet High School.