The Del Norte volleyball team reached the championship round of a weekend tournament for the first time in several years Saturday.
The Warriors fought their way out of a tough pool to earn a spot in the championship bracket of the Marshfield Tournament in Coos Bay, Ore., and came away with a second-place finish.
In the morning, Del Norte played through a grueling pool, tying Valley Christian (Beaverton, Ore.) 1-1 and Marshfield 1-1 before beating Coquille 2-0. Their 4-2 record in pool play was good enough to advance to the championship bracket.
"We were in a very tough pool to begin with," said Del Norte volleyball coach Debbie Lorenzi. "Valley Christian and us were in the championship game and Marshfield and Coquille were in the championship game in the lower bracket. So they were the best four teams in the tournament. We had good competition all day."
In the championship bracket, Del Norte beat Reedsport 2-1 in the first round and topped Grants Pass 2-1 in the semifinals. The Warriors had to fight through some adversity in both rounds.
"They never gave up," Lorenzi said. "In both of the first two playoff games, we lost the first game, then came back to win the next two games. I really like seeing their competitiveness. That is something that we have really improved on. The girls are actually learning how to go for a win and how to compete. They are learning how to work together."
Del Norte ran out of steam in the championship match, falling 2-0 in the rematch against Valley Christian.
"By the last game, mentally they were not as competitive as they were in the other games," Lorenzi said. "They were just so happy and shocked to be in the championship game."
Lorenzi was particularly impressed with the way the Warriors played at the net throughout the tournament.
"I thought that our block was very effective," she said. "We had a lot of net calls that hurt us, butoverall, our block was effective against some good hitters."
Del Norte had strong performances from several players throughout the course of the day.
"Kaitlyn Clemann was our most powerful hitter, Ashton (Smedley) hit very well from the middle and ran well and Kiera Davis was very steady and did her job extremely well," Lorenzi said.
The Del Norte volleyball team will be back at home Tuesday to take on Arcata. The Warriors have moved their senior night game against Eureka, originally scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 31, to Wednesday, Oct. 30.
Reach Michael Zogg at firstname.lastname@example.org.