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Warrior football and volleyball teams garner NCS home playoff games

 (Left) Tabitha Hillman, (right) of the Del Norte High girls volleyball team during a match against Fortuna earlier this season. Joseph Alexandre (right) of the Warrior football team runs during a home game on Nov. 2.agsint McKinivlle oN Nov. 2. (The Daily Triplicate/Bryant Anderson).
(Left) Tabitha Hillman, (right) of the Del Norte High girls volleyball team during a match against Fortuna earlier this season. Joseph Alexandre (right) of the Warrior football team runs during a home game on Nov. 2.agsint McKinivlle oN Nov. 2. (The Daily Triplicate/Bryant Anderson).

By Bill Choy

Triplicate Sports Editor

CRESCENT CITY — The Del Norte High football and volleyball squads both earned first round home games in the North Coast Section playoffs.

The Warrior volleyball team earned the No. 8 seed in the NCS Division III bracket and will face No. 9 seed Terra Linda at 7 p.m. tonight in Crescent City.

The undefeated Del Norte football team faces a very familiar foe. The Warriors, the No. 3 seed in the NCS Redwood Empire division 2A playoffs, will play the No. 6 seed and fellow Big 5 Conference member Fortuna at 7 p.m. Saturday at Mike Whalen Field.

The Warriors won the first two matches of the year 39-6 and 50-6.

The seedings were announced on Sunday.

Volleyball

The Warriors are 20-8 overall and went 8-0 in the Big 5 Conference. Terra Linda of San Rafael is 12-12 overall. Both teams faced each other in the playoffs in Crescent City two years ago, with Terra Linda winning in five games.

Meagan Curtis, head coach for Del Norte, said the selection committee went back and forth between them and Drake High for the No. 7 seed, finally settling on the Bay Area school to earn the No. 7 seed and the first-round bye.

Curtis said she was OK with the No. 8 seed and the chance to play at home against a lower seed. If they had received the No. 7 seed, they would have faced the No. 2 seed Albany High, at home on Wednesday.

"It's nice to have another home game," she said. "It's a comfort zone—our home court. The girls are pleased to play at our home court one more time."

Last year, the Warriors won its first round game at home against Acalanes High in five games before falling to top-seed Campolindo on the road the next night.

If Del Norte defeats Terra Linda tonight, they will play on the road against top-seed Bishop O'Dowd of Oakland on Wednesday, which Curtis said "would be a challenge." But, she added, she knows the coaching staff at Bishop O'Dowd and said that know what the Warriors have accomplished over the years—such as winning 19 straight Big 5 titles and "respect us."

Curtis said after the selections were announced, the head coach of Terra Linda said, "Please tell me your whole town is not going to show up again," as they did when they came up to Del Norte County two years ago. Curtis said she is looking forward to seeing the community support tonight.

Two fellow Big 5 schools also made the playoffs in the Division IV section. McKinleyville, which is 21-10 overall, received a No. 8 seed and will face No. 9 seed Lower Lake on the road tonight. Fortuna, 14-8 overall and the No. 6 seed, has a bye and will face No. 3 seed Salesian on Wednesday on the road. Del Norte defeated both Big 5 teams twice this season.

Football

The Warrior football team is 9-0 for the year and has dominated all year—never having truly been in danger of losing a game all season. They will see if they can continue their winning streak in the postseason.

This will be the third time they will face 5-5 Fortuna.

Warrior head coach Lewis Nova said his team will be ready to play the Huskies—although he said, it would had been nice to face another team they have not played this year to see "new competition."

He said both teams are aware of each other's tendencies and said his team is excited to start the playoffs after having last week off.

"We'll be ready to go, ready to face Fortuna," Nova said.

Although Del Norte was undefeated, Healdsburg, with one loss, received the No. 2 seed.

The No. 1 seed is Novato, which went 10-0 in the regular season. After winning two playoff games at home last yea as the No. 3 seed, the Warriors lost to Novato on the road to end their season.

Nova said garnering the No. 3 seed this year "was expected" and said it has been common practice over the years for the selection committee to give preference to Bay Area teams.

The good news, he said, is if the Warriors and Healdsburg win both their games, Healdsburg would come up to Crescent City because Del Norte won its conference.

Nova added he's excited to have a home game and the support of the home crowd.

Novato will have a bye. Healdsburg will face No. 7 seed Analy on Friday. The No. 4 seed, Terra Linda, will face No. 5 seed Lower Lake.

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