The Del Norte volleyball team saw plenty to be encouraged about and a few things that need work as it opened the season at a tournament in Yreka with a third place finish.
The Warriors swept through pool play, beating Trinity and Mt. Shasta to grab the top seed. In the first round of bracket play, however, the Warriors fell to Yreka.
Del Norte bounced back to get another win over Mt. Shasta in the third-place game.
"I was glad that we got the win, but you have to understand that they are little schools," said head coach Debbie Lorenzi. "We have to get better and better and not be happy with these wins. It was good competition for us to start the season with, though, because we have people playing in possessions that they have never played in high school."
Kayla Costello was named to the all-tournament team. Lorenzi said Regin Loftin also had a good tournament and probably would have made the time if Del Norte had placed higher.
Lorenzi was particularly proud of her team, which needs to replace six players from last years' Humboldt-Del Norte Big 5 co-champions.
"One of the things that I was pleased with is we passed the ball well," Lorenzi said. "We have a lot of room to grow still, but we have been working hard on that in practice and we performed it."
That is particularly encouraging as Del Norte has struggled with new rules that constrict the amount of practicing that teams can do to 18 hours per week, including practices, team talks and weight lifting.
"The new practice rules have hurt us. We needed those extra hours to get our ball control down and to get to know each other," Lorenzi said. "Summer is over now and I am trying to make our practices very efficient. When we do something we want to do it efficiently and to the best of our ability for that day."