BIG 5 VOLLEYBALL — Loggers beat the Tigers to set up true championship showdown

File photo – The Eureka Loggers beat the Arcata Tigers in five sets on Thursday.

Perseverance paid off for the Eureka Loggers on Thursday night, as they battled to a five-sets victory over Arcata.

The win was the first in the Big 5 for a young Eureka team that has continued to work hard despite struggling to get wins, and a team that had come close in previous showdowns against Fortuna and Del Norte.

The Loggers won 21-25, 25-23, 25-21, 24-26, 15-3.

The loss was the first for the Tigers in six games and sets up a winner-takes-all showdown against Del Norte in Tuesday’s conference finale at Arcata.

With Del Norte defeating Fortuna in five sets on Thursday, both the Warriors and Tigers are 5-2 heading into their final game.

A guaranteed home North Coast Section playoff game will also be on the line.

On Thursday, Eureka’s Mariah Napoleon was outstanding in the win, finishing with a game-high 34 kills.

After dropping the opening set, the Loggers then rallied to win two straight to take the momentum.

The Tigers would rally themselves to take a tight fourth set, but the Loggers dominated set five, thanks in large part to the clutch serving of Pule Fonoti and Trinity Abercrombie, who served all 15 points between them.

Anisha Rechelluul also was instrumental in the win, finishing with 28 assists, while Bridgette Dunn was a force at the net, posting five blocks and three kills.

Sydney Haselquist led the Tigers with eight kills and a pair of aces, while teammate Abby Costello-Anderson finished with seven kills.

Caroline Dieker added six kills and Audrey Dart had five, with Nora Talty dishing out 31 assists and serving three aces.

Conference play closes out on Tuesday night.

In addition to Arcata and Del Norte, McKinleyville plays at Fortuna.

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