Lady Bears Give Back During Rise

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It would be easy for Northside to get lost in trying to climb the 7A/6A-Central volleyball standings.

It would be easy for them to be more concerned about Thursday's match against Russellville.

But despite the enormity of the match, the Lady Bears took time out to help a good cause - the Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

"I just think it’s important to give back to the community in all aspects of your life no matter if the central point of what you’re doing is to give back," Northside senior Merit Jennings said. "Even in volleyball I think we should do something for everyone else."

"It means so much to me because there is cancer in my family so when the whole community comes out to support a cause like this it makes me really proud to be a part of Fort Smith and a Lady Bear," Northside senior Leilani Ocasio said.

Northside donned pink jerseys and took donations in support of breast cancer awareness. Then the Lady Bears won anyway as they topped Russellville 25-20, 26-24, 25-21 to take over second place in the conference standings.

The Lady Bears' program has been on the rise the past few seasons as a strong group of seniors has put a charge into the program.

"We’ve just had a group of girls come over that have bought into the program," Northside coach Kelsey Orendorff said. "They get along. They have great chemistry. They enjoy the game and they really enjoy each other."

"When we came in as sophomores we just had a passion for the sport and the want to win so it wasn’t really us focusing on turning the program around but more just playing what we love," Jennings said.

"We came in every day, worked hard and came together as a team and listened to coach and just did what she said and used our talents to become the best we can be," Northside senior Nicole Knight said.

Northside trails only crosstown rival Southside in the 7A/6A-Central standings.