VOLLEYBALL ROUNDUP — League leaders win; Loggers bounce back in style

Del Norte and St. Bernard’s both won on Thursday night to remain atop their respective leagues, while Eureka continued their impressive league campaign with a five-sets win over the defending Big 5 champs.

Two days after a tough loss at Del Norte, the Eureka girls responded with a big 25-20, 25-17 25-27, 16-25, 15-12 at home to Arcata.

“I’m super proud of their resilience after a tough loss in Del Norte,” Eureka head coach Stephanie Napoleon said. “They really focused at practice yesterday and it showed today. They were hungry to win and put everything on that court tonight.”

Mariah Napoleon had a big night in the win and finished with 19 kills, five aces and two blocks as she continues to play a key role for the team, while Maeghan Hampton also had a big night and finished with 11 kills and three aces.

Pule Fonoti added a team-high 30 assists and three kills, while Isis Poteet chipped in six kills and three blocks and Josie Montana and Sierra Mendoza had three aces apiece and both played “amazing in the back row,” according to the coach.

Bridgette Dunn (two kills) and Natalie Rogers (one kill) rounded out a balanced team performance.

The Loggers caused problems for the visitors at the service line.

“Eureka had excellent serving tonight and it took us out of our game,” Arcata head coach Laurie Griffith said.

Caroline Dieker led the Tigers with eight kills and four blocks, while Nora Talty had 30 assists.

The win lifts the Loggers to 3-1 in league play at the halfway point, just one win behind league leaders Del Norte (4-0).

The loss drops the Tigers to 2-2, with both of their defeats coming in five sets.

The Warriors, meanwhile, remained atop the standings with a three-sets win at Fortuna, 25-18, 25-18, 25-13.

The consistent McKenna Curtis had another big night in the victory and finished with a game-high 18 kills, to go with eight digs and two aces.

Lauren Stutes also had a big all-around game and finished with seven aces and six kills, to go with two digs and a pair of blocks for kills, while Breann Winingham chipped in six kills.

Lili Nunez also had an impressive all-around game with 30 assists four aces, four digs and two kills, while Lilly Wilson had two kills and two blocks for kills, Sheena Xiong had nine digs and Bliss Blackburn had eight digs. 

“We played solid, Del Norte’s just really good,” Fortuna head coach Rob Hayes said. 

In JV action, the Fortuna girls defeated Del Norte in three sets.

In the Little 4, meanwhile, St. Bernard’s won the battle of the league frontrunners in Hoopa, 25-18, 19-25, 25-17, 25-7.

The ever-dangerous Madelyn Shanahan had a big night and finished with 13 kills in the win, as the Crusaders moved to 4-0 in league play, while the Warriors dropped to 2-1.

Jocelyn Sundberg also had a good night and added five kills, while as a team the Crusaders impressed at the service line.

Marce Davilla finished with seven aces, while Ella Jimenez had five and Sahara Tupua and Nina Clayton four each.

Kodi Meyer also was instrumental in the win and had 26 assists.

Tatianna Colegrove continued to impress for the Warriors and finished with a team-best 12 kills, while teammate Nae-rew Martin added 20 assists.

“I thought we played well but kind of mentally lapsed there towards the end,” Hoopa head coach Amber McCovey-Billings said. “The girls have the athleticism and skill to be able to rebound, we just need to clean up the mental game and communication on the court  and I think we’ll be fine.”

Tatianna, Nalania Colegrove and Tashee Tracy each had two blocks in the loss, while Nessa King, Aati Tripp and Jewely Bibancos all played well in the back row.

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