Analy High of Sebastopol uses 'great ball control' to defeat Warriors
Del Norte High volleyball's trip to the California Interscholastic Federation North Coast Section playoffs will be a short one.
The No. 10-seeded Warriors were swept in their first-round road contest by Analy High of Sebastopol, 25-13, 25-7, 25-16, on Wednesday night.
"Overall, I think we could've played better, but I think it was a good showing," Del Norte coach Pablo Lorenzi said.
"I think it was a good experience for the younger players. Now we know how it feels to be in that situation."
Lorenzi described the Warriors as loose yet focused entering the game after a six-hour bus ride down to Sebastopol, a suburb of Santa Rosa. Del Norte started the game with confidence, eventually taking a three-point lead.
However, according to Lorenzi, a pair of close calls against the Warriors caused "a little bit of shell shock." First, a DelNorte blocked shot was ruled illegal; the blocker had touched the net, according to the referees. On the next play, the Warriors illegally set the ball for another Tigers point.
The sudden momentum shift stifled Del Norte, according to Lorenzi, as the Warriors lost the first set and their errors bled into the second set.
"In the first game, it was like, hey, we can play with these guys," Lorenzi said. "Then everything fell apart.
"We were pretty much just trying to keep them in the game. We just tried to encourage them."
Del Norte kept pace with Analy in the third set, tying the score at 9-9 at the Warriors' best moment. Three consecutive calls for illegal sets went against them, according to Lorenzi, and the Tigers went on to win the match.
"We had our ups and downs," Lorenzi said. "We played well, they played well. They were a good team. Far more experienced, great ball control - they did a good job of controlling the game."
Lorenzi highlighted the play of seniors Brittany Maready ("She hit the ball extremely well," he said) and Cortney Penner ("She played the middle really well, had some blocks," he said).
Del Norte finishes its season with a 9-10 overall record (5-3 Humboldt-Del Norte Big 5 League).
Reach Robert Husseman at email@example.com .