By Bill Choy
Triplicate Sports Editor
The first game of the season did not lack excitement for the Del Norte High varsity volleyball team.
The Warriors were able to pull out a gritty five-match victory against Brookings at home Tuesday night.
Del Norte lost the first match 25-23, won the second match 26-24, and the Bruins won the third contest 22-25. In the fourth match, the Warriors pulled out the 25-22 win and came back from a 5-10 deficit, scoring the next nine points to eventually win the final match and the game 15-12.
"I was proud of how we came from behind and pulled out the win," head coach Megan Curtis said. "It shows character and determination."
While pleased with the final result, Curtis said the team came out too stiff and lacked focus, letting the Bruins decide the pace of the game. She said the squad needs to play with more intensity and be the ones who determine the pace of the game.
Another challenge for the Warriors, Curtis said, was playing in an unfamiliar gym. The game was held at the small gym. Over the summer, the main gym has had renovation work done and is not yet ready.
In the first match, Del Norte maintained a steady lead going up 19-14 at one point. But the Bruins stated to mount a comeback and with the score tied at 22-22, Brookings took the lead on it's way to the 25-23 win.
The second match did not start out well for Del Norte, with the Bruins taking a 7-1 lead. Del Norte seemed to calm down, focus more and started to get timely kills, assists and digs on its way to the third game victory.
After losing the fourth match, it was do-or-die time for the Warriors and being down 5-10, the team responded and pulled out the win in front of an enthusiastic group of fans who crowded into the small gym. Folding chairs were put out to accommodate fans.
Deja Hartwick had 43 assists and 8 kills. Ashley Owen had 18 kills, Tabitha Hillman had 23 digs, while Jessica Morrow had 15 digs.
In JV action, the Warriors lost to the Bruins 25-18 and 25-19.
Del Norte next plays on Saturday at a tournament in Yreka.