The volleyball match belonged to the Warriors from the moment Colette Craig stepped on the court and started bombing serves over the net.
The Warriors setter put up eight unanswered points to open the game against North Tahoe High School, and Whittell claimed Wednesday's match, 3-0. Craig served up five aces and set more than just her 21 assists. She set a tone.
"She was just whaling on the ball with no fear. She just went after it, trying to break the game open, and she did," North Tahoe coach Mike Welch said. "That's a learning lesson for a lot of athletes, to realize that you've got to go out there and make your opportunities."
Maybe it was Craig's precedent, or maybe it was the new pink jerseys Whittell wore in honor of breast cancer awareness month, but either way the Warriors created opportunities.
Whittell hit the court with tremendous energy and sharp serves. Better serves were something Whittell coach Nathan Byrne and the girls talked about going into the game. Message received. -
Tori Jimenez added another four unanswered service points, and the Warriors captured the first game, 25-10. Jimenez recorded six aces on the night.
North Tahoe opened game two with more intensity as Jennay Argiris and Lauren Wilson started connecting for kills, but the Warriors' serving shut the fight down.
Whittell pulled out of reach behind seven consecutive service points from Zoe Bertz, and kill after kill from Amanda Harris and Emily Harris. Amanda sliced nine kills and Emily eight in the night, and the Warriors took game two 25-14.
In game three, the Lakers pulled one point away from Whittell after a crucial kill from Argiris. The momentum was cut short, however, as Whittell again surged ahead for a 25-13 finale.
Also clad in pink, Whittell's junior varsity team defeated North Tahoe, 2-1. The Warriors won the first game 25-20, lost the second game 25-22 before picking up the final game 15-7. --
The varsity Warriors improved to 1-2, and North Tahoe now sits 0-1 in league. Whittell travels to South Tahoe Friday for a 6 p.m. match.
"We just have to go out and do what we did today," Byrne said. "Play mistake free volleyball, but of course that's always the goal."