BIG 5 VOLLEYBALL — Warriors inch closer; Tigers win ‘epic battle’

Photos by Ray Hamill/ – The Del Norte Warriors in action at McKinleyville on Thursday night.

The Del Norte Warriors moved within one win of clinching the Big 5 championship with another straight sets win on Thursday night.

The Warriors won at McKinleyville 25-13, 25-9, 25-10 and improved to 5-0 in the Big 5.

The Del Norte girls, who have yet to drop a set in league play, can clinch at least a share of the league title with a win over Eureka in Crescent City next Thursday.

Also in action on Thursday night, the Arcata Tigers won what head coach Laurie Griffith described as an “epic battle” at Fortuna, rallying form a two-set deficit to win in five.

The Tigers won 24-26, 26-28, 25-15, 25-15, 15-6.

Del Norte senior McKenna Curtis continued to impress for the league leaders at Mack and finished with 10 kills and six aces, while teammate Breann Winingham had eight kills.

With the win, the Warriors improved to 18-7 overall.

Lili Nunez also had a good night in the win and dished out 24 assists to go with three aces, while Bliss Blackburn chipped in five kills and Lauren Stutes had four kills.

Rounding out another good overall team performance, Reece White finished with two aces.

At Fortuna, meanwhile, the Tigers improved to 4-2 in league play after overcoming a slow start.

“Fortuna served amazing and we shored up our serving and serve receiving to bounce back and take the match,” Griffith said.

Melanie Luh was instrumental in the big comeback, particularly at the service line where she finished with seven aces.

Luh also had five kills.

Teammate Taya Holmes also had a good night serving and finished with six aces, while Quincy Collins added seven kills and four blocks.

Nora Talty also helped key the rally and finished with 21 assists and five kills.

The Tigers, whose only two league losses have come against Del Norte, improved to 18-6 overall and will host McKinleyville on senior night on Tuesday.

No stats were immediately available for Fortuna.

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