The Del Norte volleyball team continued its perfect start to the 2017 season in Gold Beach on Thursday with a 3-0 (25-15, 25-11, 25-4) victory over the Panthers on the road.

The Warriors are off to a 7-0 start to the year, sweeping all seven contests to win 16 straight sets.

Although Del Norte ended up pulling away late in the match, Warriors head coach Debbie Lorenzi said the Panthers got off to a hot start in the first set.

“In the first set they took off ahead 4-0,” Lorenzi said. “We eventually came through and won the set. It wasn’t pretty, but we won it. Then we started coming alive and about halfway through the second game we really started to play our game. Our passing and receiving was stronger and our hitters were actually getting to their spots.”

After falling behind 4-0 in the first set, Del Norte traded points back and forth until the Warriors held an 11-9 advantage. Del Norte then used a 6-1 run to grab a 7-point lead and wrapped up the win with an 8-2 run to close out the set.

In the second set the Warriors used a strong 10-point run to grab a 15-4 lead and take control of the set. In the third set, Del Norte scored the first 9 points and never looked back, cruising to a 25-4 win.

“It took a while, but they finally got it halfway through and then we finished it off,” Lorenzi said.

Del Norte is scheduled to be back in action today in Grants Pass, but the Hidden Valley Tournament has been called off due to poor air quality in the area. Lorenzi said Marshfield, also planning on competing in Grants Pass this weekend, has decided to host a four-team round robin style tournament with Marshfield, Del Norte, Southern and Douglas.

“Marshfield is always good,” Lorenzi said. “I know that Southern beat us last year at HV (Hidden Valley) and they shouldn’t have, so it will be interesting to see what happens this year. I don’t know anything about Douglas. I think it is a small school, but that doesn’t mean anything.”

Del Norte will play at noon, 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. in Marshfield. Although Del Norte is still undefeated this season, Lorenzi said the team has yet to find its full stride.

“I am hoping that we start getting our rhythm together. I don’t think we have actually found our rhythm yet and actually kept it,” Lorenzi said. “It comes and goes. Volleyball is all about tempo and rhythm, so when you get out of sync, the whole team gets out of sync.”

After playing in Marshfield, Del Norte will be back in action on Monday, playing its first home game of the season against Brookings-Harbor High School. The junior varsity teams will get the action started at 5:30 p.m., followed by the varsity game at about 6:30 p.m.

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