File photo – Lilli Bowman is one of several key returning players for the Arcata Tigers this season.

The Arcata Tigers believe they can challenge for a league title in volleyball this year, as they get set to open the Big 5 at Fortuna on Thursday night.

Last season, the Tigers finished in a tie for second with Del Norte with a record of 5-3, two wins behind champion Eureka, who’s only loss was to Arcata.

This year, the Tigers have a lot of experience on a senior-heavy roster that includes several returning players.

“I’d like to win league this year,” Arcata head coach Laurie Griffith said. “We’re returning a lot of starters and if we play like we can, I think we can do really well.”

Pivotal to that challenge will be the play of some key returning players, including senior outside hitters Mekaynea Solia and Maya Mircetich, as well as senior libero Lilli Bowman.

“They’re really working together well,” Griffith said of her players. “They’ve gelled quickly and they have great work ethic, and they want to win.”

So far so good for the Tigers, who are 11-5 heading into league play with a pair of second-place finishes at pre-league tournaments.

After a strong showing at the Yreka tournament in late August, the Tigers finished runners-up a second time at their own tournament this past weekend, barely losing the deciding match in three games.

They lost game three 17-15, but showed plenty pf promise at the 15-team tournament.

“We played well to get there,” Griffith said. 

Also back from last season and expected to play a big role for the Tigers is senior middle blocker Bella Peterman, who has, according to the coach, been instrumental in the team’s early success.

Thursday’s match gets under way at 6:30 p.m.

Also in action on Thursday, Del Norte travels to play McKinleyville.


Ray Hamill writes at, where you can read lots more about sports in Humboldt County.