For the Del Norte High School volleyball team, a summer of preparation and hard work paid off as they defeated Brookings-Harbor High School in three straight games, 26-24, 25-16, 25-11.
"We were coming in - I don't want to say we were expecting to win because we weren't - and we knew that we were strong and wanted to win in three," senior captain Kaitlyn Clemann said. "We've trained all summer. We've been in the weight room all summer and we worked a lot together as a team. All the coordination on the floor comes as part of working out together so much."
The Warriors did indeed look as though they had spent a considerable amount of time together since last season with the rotations working like a well-oiled machine.
"A win is a win; we're happy about that," head coach Pablo Lorenzi said. "There were some things that we haven't been doing well that we did great, and there were some things that we're getting better at, just not at the rate we need to be. But I'm happy."
The first game of the match began as domination on the part of the Warriors, but a few mental errors that compounded into physical mistakes allowed the Bruins into the game, taking the score all the way to 24-24 before Regin Loftin served the final two points of the game to win the first one for the Warriors.
"We feel pretty good," Clemann said. "We wish we could have come out stronger in that first game, but it feels good to get the win."
After the Warriors eked out the first-game win 26-24, it was all just a matter of keeping the wheels pointed in the right direction and coasting to victory in the next two.
The second game was a kill-fest for the Warriors, with ball after ball being smashed through, around and off the Bruin defenders as the Warriors moved to within one game from match victory with a score of 25-16.
The third game was a carbon copy of the second with only the final score changing as the Warriors limited the Bruins to just 11 points in their 25-11 victory.
The Warriors will host the Bruins on Wednesday to finish out the home-and-home series and Lorenzi is looking for more of the same.
"We need to stay focused and work on the basics," he said. "We're going back to the chalkboard and we're going to work on the fundamentals. Consistency and communication are the biggest things we need to work on."
Wednesday night's varsity matchup is scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. at the Del Norte High School gym.