Big 5 volleyball thrown wide open

We knew coming into league play last week that the Big 5 was going to be an intriguing battle on the volleyball courts this fall. We just didn’t know it was going to be this interesting.

On Tuesday, the Fortuna Huskies threw the race wide open with a four-sets win over McKinleyville, while Eureka hosted Del Norte and posted a straight sets win over the powerhouse Warriors.

Screen Shot 2018-09-19 at 2.32.06 PMThrough four matches, Eureka leads the way at 2-0, followed by Fortuna and McKinleyville at 1-1, with both Del Norte and Arcata at 0-1.

“This year’s league is going to be a toss-up,” McKinleyville head coach Janis Grondalski said. “Eureka beat Del Norte in three, we beat Arcata in five, Fortuna beat us, it’s going to be an interesting league.”

After an opening loss to Eureka, the Huskies got right back in the mix with Tuesday’s big win.

“Fortuna came out to play,” Grondalski said. “We were off, but that’s no excuse whatsoever, Fortuna came out and they played hard.”

Juniors Hailee Henry and Rian Heenan each had big games for the Panthers.

Henry finished with six kills and five blocks, while Heenan had eight kills.

Setter Alexis White also had a big game in the loss, finishing with 25 assists, while libero Olivia Alves added 20 digs and four ace serves.

No individual stats were available for the Huskies.

Despite the loss, Grondalski is more than happy with what she’s seen from her players through the early part of the season.

“I have 11 excellent athletes who all have a competitive heart,” the head coach said. “It’s a joy to coach them.”

The Panthers have a bye in league play on Thursday and will travel for the one day Brookings-Harbor Tournament on Saturday.


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