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Lady Warriors tangle with Tigers
Mercy High's volleyball team is no stranger to the excitement of the postseason, as they advanced all the way to the D-VI title game last season before being stopped by 34-1-1 Champion Christian.
But that was last year, and with Champion losing almost its entire team to graduation, the Warriors find themselves the favorites and the top seed in this year's bracket.
As the No. 1 team they benefited from a bye in the first-round, and awaited the winner of the match between No. 8 Dunsmuir and No. 9 Redding Adventist.
It took them five games, but the eighth-seeded Tigers advanced to face Mercy in Red Bluff following a grueling 24-26, 25-17, 25-20, 20-25, 16-14 win on Tuesday.
Dunsmuir won the Evergreen League with a perfect 10-0 mark, and stands at 13-5 on the season.
Mercy took the championship of the Five Star League with an 11-1 record, and enters play 26-10.
In the only meeting between the two this season, Mercy tamed the Tigers 25-22, 25-12, 25-14 when they opened the season Aug. 29 in Dunsmuir. That was a strong Warriors team that swept the Tigers.
Now they're even stronger.
The addition of 6-foot, 2 inch transfer Jessica Curl has paid huge dividends, as the Mercy coaching staff was able to move Breana Kemp to the outside so they had two attackers in the front row at all times.
Curl has also added another blocker to Mercy's arsenal, which already features Ella Fleet, Breana Kemp and Kayce Kemp. The latter Kemp sister is also an outstanding setter, ranking eighth in the section in assists per game.
Defensively, Fleet and Breana Kemp are seventh and eighth in the section in digs, respectively.
For the Tigers, middle Chelsea Helms is their biggest hitter with 146 kills, followed by Marki Stibi with 94 on the outside.
Unlike the Warriors, blocking is not one of Dunsmuir's strong suits, as Helms recorded the team's sum total of seven.
Game time is 7 p.m.
CONTACT Craig Purcell at 824-1036 or email@example.com.