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Top sports moments: Mercy wins D6 volleyball championship
The year certainly provided a healthy dose of excitement for sports fans in Tehama County, with varsity high school, junior varsity and even youth sports programs shining when the lights were brightest.
There were Northern Section championships and league championships, as well as appearances in championship contests, and win or lose, they all gave us reasons to cheer.
After 2011 almost being the season for Mercy High's varsity volleyball team, this year was it.
The Warriors finished 11-1 as Five Star League champions and 29-10 overall, with the season culminating Nov. 17 with a 25-13, 25-27, 25-20, 25-20 win over Liberty Christian in the Division VI championship matchup.
The Lady Warriors finished second to Champion Christian in 2011, and seemed to have just about every piece in place for a successful 2012 campaign with the nucleus of that squad returning.
If there was even a small piece missing, that spot was filled in a big way with the addition of 6-foot-2 transfer Jessica Curl, who was a force at the net both offensively and defensively, and a tremendous addition to an already strong front line that included Ella Fleet and Breana Kemp taking the swings at sets put up by Kayce Kemp.
With the addition of Curl, opponents also faced the undaunting task of the offensive-minded Warriors always having two hitters up front that they needed to contend with.
Of course, it was a total team effort and the Warriors were very deep, but more importantly, they got along. As senior Mariah Kingwell put it following their first section championship in 10 years, "We're more family than we've ever been before and this means everything, this is what we've been working for all year. After being here last year and not making it, we wanted it this year."
Fleet, the Kemps and Curl were all named to the All-League team.