Prep Girls Volleyball: Del Norte High clinches at least a share of first Valley League crown
By Michael Bower
The Del Norte High girls volleyball team came within two points of sharing the Valley League crown a year ago. But Valley Center rallied from down 2-0 to win three straight games on the Nighthawks’ Senior Night, sticking a dagger in those hopes.
That was not going to happen again this year.
The Nighthawks raced out with a 25-4 victory in Game 1 Thursday and proceeded to sweep the visiting Jaguars 3-0 (25-4, 25-21, 25-20) to clinch at least a share of their first Valley League crown in school history.
“We have had a rivalry with Valley Center in every sport so it was really nice to clinch this tonight,” said senior outside hitter Lexi Reddick, who finished with a team-high 10 kills. “We didn’t really think too much about last year so it did not get in our heads, but we wanted it.”
The Nighthawks (24-6, 8-0 Valley League) are two games ahead of second-place Ramona with just two games to go. A Ramona loss to Orange Glen or a Del Norte win at Oceanside on Tuesday will clinch the league title outright for the Nighthawks.
“We have worked hard for three years on varsity and we figured this is our year to do it,” Reddick said. “We came out and proved to ourselves that we are one of the strongest teams in the league.”
Jordan Gerwig registered 22 assists and eight kills in the three games. The senior setter also had three aces in Game 1 to help the Nighthawks score six straight points to take a commanding 13-3 lead. Reddick then polished the Game 1 victory off by serving the final 11 points in a row.
“I think with it being Senior Night and the crowd helping us out a lot and knowing that if we won this then we clinch league, gave us a lot of energy,” Reddick said. “I think everyone played for each other tonight. It was nice.”
Game 3 seemed as if it would be similar to Game 1, as the Nighthawks stormed out to a 6-0 lead. But Valley Center rallied to eventually earn a 13-12 advantage. The game seesawed from there until it was 19-19. Senior Sierra Rhoades then posted three kills during a 6-1 run to give Del Norte the match-clinching 25-20 victory.
Third-year Del Norte coach Nathan Rendon had always talked about preparing the program so it can enjoy a moment like Thursday nights.
“It is great for the girls and the school,” he said. “Since I have come in here, we have talked about building up to this.”
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