The Big 5 champs saw their season end on the volleyball court over the weekend, but the Warriors went down battling and came close to knocking off a higher seed on the road.
After going undefeated and not dropping a single set in eight league games, the Del Norte girls opened the North Coast Section Division-4 postseason with a straight sets win over Fort Bragg in Crescent City last week.
The No. 7 seeds followed that with a trip to Napa to play No. 2 seed Justin-Siena and lost in a hard-fought five set match.
“They played phenomenal,” head coach Meagan Curtis said. “It was the best game that we got out of them all year long. We were peaking. I’ve never played or coached with a team that passed so well.”
After dropping the opening set 25-17, the Del Norte girls battled back to take the next two sets by scores of 25-20 and 25-22 and had an excellent chance of completing the road win in the fourth set, before barely losing it 27-25.
The home team rode the momentum of that fourth set to take the final and decisive set 15-10.
The Del Norte players were naturally disappointed after the defeat, although Curtis believes that was more because such a memorable season had ended.
“They were disappointed, but I don’t know if it was disappointment at (the loss) or more disappointment that their time together in a Del Norte uniform was over,” the head coach said.
“I think the whole entire team came in on the first day strong and in shape and ready to go,” the head coach said. “They gave us a ton of time and effort. It was the best weight room team we ever had.
“They broke (weight room) records in our program and were so consistent and so understanding of how much benefit they would get from that preseason time.”
This year’s team featured five seniors, some of whom will take their talents to the college courts, including McKenna Curtis and possibly Breann Winingham.
Curtis is on a college trip this week and visiting some of the top JC programs in the state, including No. 2 Feather River and No. 5 Sierra, as well as Santa Rosa and Siskiyous.
Winingham also has some college trips planned, while there will be plenty of options for multi-sport standout Lili Nunez, who also is a very talented basketball player and one of the top javelin throwers in the state.
All of the seniors closed out their high school careers with a bang, including McKenna Curtis who had 23 kills and 11 digs in Saturday’s loss at Justin-Siena, and Nunez who had 45 assists, five kills and 11 digs.
Lauren Stutes added 11 kills and three digs, Winingham had six kills and Bliss Blackburn had 10 digs and five kills.
Ava O’Reilley added 14 digs and six aces, while Khloe Smith had eight digs and Reece White seven digs.
The Warriors finished the season with a record of 23-9.