Warriors take another big step toward league crown 

File photo – The Del Norte warriors are now 4-0 in the Big 5.

The Del Norte Warriors took a big step toward retaining their Big 5 crown in volleyball on Tuesday night with another straight sets victory.

The Warriors defeated Arcata 25-13, 28-26, 25-19 in Crescent City, handing their closest challengers a second league loss in two league matchups between the two schools and improving to 4-0 halfway through their league schedule.

And it was another exciting showdown between the two teams despite going just three sets, with an outstanding night for the Warriors defense.

“Our defense and serve receive passers had a phenomenal night,” Del Norte head coach Meagan Curtis said. “It was some fun volleyball.”

Arcata head coach Laurie Griffith also praised the play of both teams.

“There were lots of intense rallies and great volleyball,” she said. “I am really proud of how we stayed up, played hard and supported each other.”

Reigning league MVP McKenna Curtis had another big night in the win.

The Del Norte senior finished with 15 kills, three aces and block, while teammate Lauren Stutes also impressed with eight kills and a block.

Breann Winingham added seven kills and a block for Del Norte, while Bliss Blackburn had five kills and an ace and Reece White finished with three kills.

Lili Nunez round out a strong all-around team performance and dished out 33 assists to go with three kills, a block and an ace.

The Warriors, who are now 17-7 overall, also placed fourth at the weekend South Medford tournament as they continue to prepare for the North Coast Section playoffs.

Audrey Dart led the way for Arcata on Tuesday with eight kills, as the Tigers dropped to 3-2 in the Big 5 and are now 17-5 overall.

Teammate Melanie Luh added four kills three blocks, while Bella Campbell finished with 10 digs.

The Tigers also got some good serving from Alexia Felix and some strong defense form Maria Williamson and Dart.

Halfway through their league schedule, the Warriors have played Arcata twice, winning both matches, and will face Fortuna twice in their last four league matches.

Next up, on Thursday, the Warriors play at McKinleyville and Arcata plays at Fortuna.

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