COLUMBIA – Pink was the new color of choice for the Bruins.
Hosting a game Monday against Hickman to support breast cancer awareness, Rock Bridge donned pink warm-up shirts, pink ribbons, pink headbands and even pink shoelaces.
The Kewpies joined in the gesture, wearing pink game socks and pink ribbons.
The two teams agreed before the season to play the match for breast cancer awareness. All concession revenue from the match is going to be donated to the Side-Out Foundation, along with money raised at the door.
“It gets more people to come to this game, which makes it more exciting,” Rock Bridge coach Beth Newton said. “We’re all playing and pumped up, but it’s almost like we’re not playing against each other but for a common cause. We all know someone who’s suffering from this disease.”
Last week, both teams started hanging posters around the schools to advertise the game and encouraged the student body to wear pink Thursday.
Kewpies senior Natalie Sauble said she thought that Rock Bridge brought up the idea, but was glad to hear that both teams were on board.
“It was really exciting,” she said. “Everybody was in pink all day. Last year we just threw shirts out for cancer.”
The Bruins trailed for only four points during the match, easily handling the Kewpies, 25-17, 25-19, 25-13.
The Kewpies swept Rock Bridge last season.
“Throughout the years we’ve lost (to Hickman),” the Bruins' Lizzie Frericks said. “But this is a new year.”
The Rock Bridge student section known as the “Bru Cru” seemed to enjoy the first rivalry game played at Rock Bridge since 2007.
The section, peppered in both gold and pink, refused to let the Kewpies forget they were there. Lured to the gym by free pizza , the Bru Cru let chants of “Southside! Best Side!” ring through the gym, and never let the Kewpies have a noise-free point. Noisemakers were even involved, which is illegal. The Bru Cru was told to silence the noisemakers by the scorer’s table in the middle of the second game.
Senior representative of the Bru Cru, Austin Kolb, dressed head to toe in pink, said that a Hickman match always brings out more fans and that it was great they chose it to do a breast cancer awareness match.
“We made this a tough place to play in,” Kolb said.
Emily Holt led the Bruins (4-3) with 10 kills. Hickman (1-4) lost its fourth straight match.