FORT SMITH -- Fort Smith Northside put together a gutsy 3-1 (26-24, 17-25, 25-23, 25-21) win over Cabot to climb into a three-way tie for second in the 6A-Central Conference on Tuesday night at Gayle Kaundart Fieldhouse.
The Lady Bears (15-6, 4-2 6A-Central) used a big 7-0 run in the fourth set to turn an 18-17 deficit into a 24-18 advantage. Senior middle blocker Dynasty Andrews, who finished with nine total blocks, had a pair of kills, a solo block and team up with setter Maci Grams with another block to help her team take control.
Northside coach Matt Waack said the 6-0 Andrews was a force at the net throughout the match.
I know they didn't all go down, but she was blocking, blocking and making their hitters change their angle," Waack said. "And that changed the game for us when she came alive."
Cabot (7-3, 4-2) surged back to within 24-21, but Northside finished the deal to pull out the win. The Lady Bears, Lady Panthers and Mount St. Mary are now all tied for second behind Conway.
Waack was pleased to see his team get back into a nice rhythm after struggling a bit the last couple of weeks missing junior right-side hitter Za'kari Gurule', who was sidelined with an ankle injury.
"Tonight was huge for us, not just because it's Cabot and they were ahead of us in the conference," Waack said. "But we needed to get back on track because we hit that slump after my right-side got hurt. We've been kinda barely chugging along.
"I was just glad to see their resiliency. It could have easily gone the other way. After game two, they dug in."
Northside came out on top in a see-saw affair. The Lady Bears saw a 20-10 lead disappear, but scored the final two points for the 26-24 win. But Cabot turned the tables in the second set with an 11-3 run to cruise to the second-set win.
But Northside won two back-and-forth sets to claim the match.
Gurule' and Sydney Klein hammered 11 kills each and chipped in 17 and 10 digs, respectively to register double-doubles. Alyssa Brown also added 10 kills. Grams also put up a double-double with 45 assist and 13 digs.
Libero Hannah Smith, one of four three-year senior starters, anchored the defense with 29 digs.
Waack believes his team can be better even though he liked what he saw against the Lady Panthers. But he loved the way all facets of the game stepped forward when needed.
"I still think we're only 70, 80 percent," Waack said. "But my outsides came alive late and that helped tremendously. My right side, she's still not 100 percent. She's a bit part of our game, which is why Cabot came out and keyed on her.
"I was glad to see my outside carry that load in games 3 and 4. We loaded up the outsides and I said 'Go make them stop that and if they finally are able to stop them, then we can go somewhere else.' That's what we've gotta be able to do."
Northside hosts Little Rock Southwest on Thursday to close the first round of league play.
Fort Smith Southside 3, Bentonville West 0
Olivia Melton registered double-doubles to lead the Mavericks to a 25-22, 25-19, 25-23 win over the Lady Wolverines.
Melton finished with 11 kills and 14 digs, while Toree Tiffee added 12 kills and nine dig for Southside (13-5-2, 4-2 6A-West). Sophia Neihouse added eight kills, while Tinsley Freeman chipped in 12 digs. Setter Kennedy Meadors also dished out 34 assists.
Springdale Har-Ber 3, Rogers 0
Kat Cooper finished with a match-high 16 kills and Kyla Clubb added 10 to help the Lady Wildcats remain undefeated with a 25-20, 25-13, 25-11 win over the Lady Mounties.
Setter Caylan Koons dished out 33 assists to go with seven digs for Har-Ber (19-0, 6-0 6A-West). Kinleigh Hall added two solo blocks and two block assists.
Ryley Martin led Rogers with nine kills, seven digs and two blocks. Abby Harris chipped in seven kills and a team-high 14 assists, while Olyvia Hall contributed 13 digs and an ace.
Fayetteville 3, Rogers Heritage 0
Regan Harp and Maddie LaFata were a nice 1-2 punch for the Lady Purple Bulldogs in a 25-10, 25-19, 25-12 win over the Lady War Eagles.
Kennedy Phelan also served up six aces as Fayetteville improved to 18-1 overall and 6-0 in 6A-West Conference play.
The Lady Purple'Dogs host co-leader Springdale Har-Ber on Thursday to finish the first round of league play.
Van Buren 3, Vilonia 0
Bri Ball led the Lady Pointers with nine kills and Bryslin Oden added seven to help the Lady Pointers to a 25-23, 25-18, 25-23 win.
Team; Conf.; Overall
Springdale Har-Ber; 19-0; 6-0
Fayetteville; 18-1; 6-0
FS Southside; 13-5-2; 4-2
Bentonville; 10-4; 3-3
Rogers; 8-6; 2-4
Bentonville West; 4-10; 2-4
Springdale; 5-5; 1-5
Rogers Heritage; 2-13; 0-6
Bentonville High def. Springdale High, 3-0.
Fayetteville def. Rogers Heritage, 3-0.
Springdale Har-Ber def. Rogers High, 3-0.
Fort Smith Southside def. Bentonville West, 3-0.