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The Del Norte girls’ tennis team was scheduled to be on the road for two matches last week, one at Ferndale High School and the other at St Bernard’s High School. However, the former was canceled as the Wildcats don’t have a team and the latter was switched to Del Norte High School only to have Mother Nature have other plans and force a postponement.
With that as a backdrop, after 10 unplanned days off from competition, the Warriors returned to the courts Saturday, traveling to McKinleyville to take on the Panthers in Humboldt-Del Norte League action. The Warriors breezed to their third consecutive victory of the season, defeating the Panthers 9-0, on an afternoon that saw Del Norte drop a total of five games in six singles matches.
For the second time in three singles matches thus far this season, Del Norte senior Danika Scott didn’t drop a single game in winning her match 6-0, 6-0 from the top spot on the ladder. Emily Feeney and Monique Camarena also won their matches by those same 6-0, 6-0 scores from the No. 3 and No. 6 spots respectively. Aliyah Rafalowski and Cynda Thao each surrendered just one game in their respective matches, with Rafalowski winning her No. 2 singles match 6-1, 6-0 and Thao breezing to a 6-0, 6-1 victory in her No. 5 singles match. Liz Ward also cruised to a comfortable 6-1, 6-3 win from the No. 4 singles spot.
The Warriors made equally quick work of the Panthers in doubles action, as Feeney and Ward teamed up to post an 8-0 victor in the No. 2 doubles match in the pro-set scoring format. Thao and Camarena won their No. 3 doubles match by an identical 8-0 margin, while Scott and Rafalowski wasted little time in posting an 8-2 victory from the No. 1 singles position.
The Warriors are scheduled to play two H-DNL matches this week, the first coming Tuesday as they travel to Eureka to take on the Loggers at Eureka High School. Action is scheduled to get underway at 3:30 p.m. The Warriors are then scheduled to play host to the Arcata Tigers Saturday at Del Norte High in what could potentially be a battle of two undefeated teams, provided continue to take care of their respective business. Saturday’s matches are scheduled to begin at 10 a.m.
On the soccer field, after dropping a heartbreaking 1-0 match to the St Bernard’s Crusaders in what as impromptu contest at Del Norte High just over two weeks ago, the Warriors and Crusaders returned to the same field Saturday in Humboldt-Del Norte League action.
For the first 25-30 minutes of Saturday’s match, it was the home team that appeared to be in complete control, dominating the offensive end of the field and limiting any scoring chances from the Crusaders on the defensive end of the field.
The game was played to a stalemate until midway into the first half, when Warrior senior Lanayea Botehlo found the bottom left hand corner of the net with a free kick from 25 yards to give the home team a 1-0 advantage. A short time later fellow senior Bailey Gonzalez found open space down the right flank and turned that into a second goal in a five-minute span, as the Warriors took a 2-0 lead.
The Warriors weren’t done mounting an offensive charge by any stretch of the imagination, as Botehlo wound up behind the Crusaders defense routinely throughout the first 40 minutes and junior Jadence Clifton narrowly missed finding the back of the net with a bicycle kick, but the home team was unable to add to its two-goal lead.
The momentum built from the early offensive surge would be all too fleeting though, as the Crusaders answered with three consecutive goals in the final 10 minutes of the opening half, taking a 3-2 lead into intermission and leaving the home team visibly deflated.
The two teams played to a virtual standoff throughout the second half, as the Warriors fell to 0-2 in conference play with two crucial matches on the schedule for the upcoming week. The Warriors will play host to the Fortuna Huskies Wednesday in a match that was originally scheduled to be played at Fortuna High School, but instead will be played at Del Norte High. That match is scheduled to begin at 5:30 p.m. The Warriors will then play host to the defending North Coast Section champion Eureka Loggers Saturday, September 28 at Del Norte High School beginning at 3 p.m..
The Warrior boys were scheduled to face the St Bernard’s Crusaders Saturday afternoon at Del Norte High as well, but the Crusaders were unable to make the trip north due to a shortage of players. The squad will instead play host to the Fortuna Huskies Wednesday afternoon in what will be its 2019 home opener. Action is scheduled to begin at 3:30 p.m. The Warrior boys will then play host to the Eureka Loggers Saturday, September 28 at Del Norte High School. That match is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m.
The Del Norte varsity volleyball team opened Big Five Conference play with a 25-20, 25-17, 24-26, 25-15 loss to the McKinleyville Panthers at McKinleyville High School Thursday evening in a match highlighted by numerous extended rallies throughout the four sets. Caroline Hamm led the Warriors offensively with a team-high 16 kills, while Sarah Peters added 14 kills of her own. The Warriors hit the road again Saturday when they head to Medford for the North Medford Tournament. Matches begin at 9 a.m.
The squad then stepped away from conference play Saturday, heading north to participate in the one-day North Medford Tournament hosted by North Medford High School. The Warriors dropped their three matches in succession, falling to Crater, Crook County and West Salem all in two straight sets in the best-of-three set format. The Warriors (6-12 overall, 0-1 in Big Five Conference) return to the court Monday when they travel to Eureka to take on the St Bernard’s Crusaders in a non-conference match. The Warriors will resume conference play Thursday, September 26 when they play host to the Eureka Loggers at Thunen Gymnasium.