NCS VOLLEYBALL — Crusaders, Warriors advance to section quarterfinals

Photos by Ray Hamill/ – Action from Wednesday’s NCS playoff game at St. Bernard’s.

Two H-DNL teams won their opening games in the North Coast Section volleyball playoffs on Wednesday night to advance to the weekend quarterfinals.

At St. Bernard’s, the Crusaders defeated Holy Names in straight sets in the Division-6 bracket, while up in Crescent City, the Del Norte girls took care of business against Healdsburg in four sets in a Division-4 matchup.

Also in action on Wednesday, the Arcata Tigers lost on the road at St. Patrick-St. Vincent in Vallejo in four sets and the Ferndale Wildcats lost at Anderson Valley in three sets.

Madelyn Shanahan, who is one of this week’s Humboldt Sports Athletes of the Week, had 14 kills for the Crusaders, while teammate Kodi Meyer finished with a team-high 17 assists.

The Crusaders are seeded No. 8 and got the better of the No. 9 Monarchs by a score of 25-15, 25-19, 25-9.

The Warriors, meanwhile, are seeded No. 6 in their bracket and got the better of No. 11 Healdsburg 25-14, 23-25, 25-8, 25-21. 

McKenna Curtis had 20 kills, four aces and two blocks in the win, while teammate Lauren Stutes had 12 kills, two blocks and an ace. 

Bliss Blackburn also had a big game for the Big 5 champions and finished with nine kills and two blocks, while Lili Nunez had 40 assists, five kills and two aces, and Breann Winingham had four kills and two blocks.  

“The team did a good job playing our game of volleyball,” head coach Meagan Curtis said. “We wanted to win the serving and passing game and we did. Our coaching staff is very proud of how they stepped up to the challenge.”

No. 10 Arcata fell to the No. 7 Bruins by a score of 25-12, 25-18, 18-25, 25-22 in their Division-4 matchup, while the No. 10 Ferndale girls fell 25-15, 25-21, 25-17 to the No. 7 Panthers in Division 6.

The section quarterfinals will take place this weekend, with the Del Norte girls playing at No. 3 Saint Mary’s on Saturday at 5 p.m.

The Crusaders will play at No. 1 San Francisco Waldorf on Saturday at 7 p.m.

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