The Del Norte girls wrestling team went down to Arcata and pulled out a 24-18 victory over the Tigers in its most competitive dual of the season to improve to 3-1 in duals this season, finishing in second place in the Humboldt-Del Norte League dual standings.

“Eureka is the No. 1 team right now, so they were trying to battle for that second place spot,” said Del Norte head coach Clinton Schaad. “They wrestled really well. By getting that win they solidified second place in the league in duals. For having our first ever girls team that is really exciting for us. Good for them.”

Del Norte outnumbered the Tigers by three, with seven wrestlers making the trip to Arcata. That gave the Warriors three wins by forfeit, totalling 18 points.

Claire Taylor managed to secure the victory for the Warriors with a win by fall in the second period over Skaidra Pulley.

“Claire is super aggressive, a real go-getter,” Schaad said. “She went out and looked pretty good against the girl from Arcata. She was on her back late in the first round, but she was able to fight off of her back. In the second round we chose neutral and Claire took her down and pinned her. That was cool for her.”

Taylor’s win ended up being the only victory on the mat for Del Norte, but the Warriors had some solid performances throughout the night.

Del Norte’s Jenny Schaad wrestled Lila Davis in the 116 pound match in the longest match of the night.

“She was looking good in the first period or so,” Schaad said. “It was a good solid match. In the third period she almost turned the girl, but then got turned herself. She just kind of made a mistake and instead of her capitalizing on a situation, the girl capitalized on her. She ended up getting pinned, but it was a good solid showing out of her.”

Emily Ricks took on Arcata’s Haley Kenyon in the 126 pound match.

“Emily was wrestling a really experienced girl from Arcata and was a little bit gun-shy at first, but she wrestled herself into the match and started getting a little more aggressive and wrestled herself into the match,” Schaad said. “We thought she was in a good spot, but her bodyweight got out of position a little bit, which is just an experience thing, and she ended up going to her back.”

The last match of the night was at 150 pounds where Del Norte’ Hailey Stover took on Maeve Moore.

“Maeve is on of the better girls in the whole league, she is looking to be a state qualifier at the NCS meet,” Schaad said. “She wrestled Hailey Stover and, oh my gosh, Hailey had a great match. It doesn’t show it in the scorebook, but Hailey put her on her back in a hurry and the ref started to count, but Maeve was able to bridge out of it.

“That was exciting for Hailey to put a girl of that caliber on her back, and to show what her potential is. She didn’t win the match, but she showed that she can wrestle with just about

In addition to the Del Norte girls dual against Arcata, Taylor also wrestled against a girl from Hoopa in a coed dual with the boys team. Taylor picked up a win by fall in the 132 pound weightclass over a female wrestler from Hoopa to help the Del Norte boys to a 78-0 dual victory.

Tuesday’s dual in Arcata was the regular season finale for Del Norte. The Warriors will kick off the postseason on Feb. 12 when they head to the first ever Humboldt-Del Norte Girls Championships.

“The girls got second in the duals and now they will have a chance to try to win the league tournament title, and they will also be wrestling for individual league championships — white stars,” Schaad said.

Unlike the Humboldt-Del Norte Boys Championships, the girls league tournament is not a qualifier for the North Coast Section Tournament, which will be held the following week. The NCS Girls Tournament is open to all entries.

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