Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
Madera’s Hallie Page hits over the Bullard block for one of her four kills in Thursday’s four-set loss to Bullard.
The Madera Coyotes girls volleyball team dropped to 10-11 with a home loss to the Bullard-Fresno Knights.
After losing the first set 25-14, the Coyotes rallied in dramatic fashion with a 25-22 victory in the second set.
Coyotes coach Megan Hass acknowledged that her team was too little, too late in the disappointing loss to the Knights.
“We waited a little too long to get started, and I think we lost that game way before we were down by 10 points,” Haas said.
Bullard had a comfortable lead early while Madera struggle to keep the ball in bounds. After two blocks by Madera’s Rozlyn Holmes, the Coyotes were able to rally and tie the score at six.
Then the Coyotes went on a roll, scoring six straight points behind Alyssa Burton blocks. Lilly Ascensio served up a 12-8 lead. Bullard was able to keep it close the remainder of the second set as Holmes scored consecutive kills.
Tying the score at 22 were two Knights’ serves that the Coyotes let bounce just inside the back line and Bullard’s Kimiah Johnson hit the net on her serve.
Madera responded with an ace by Hallie Page, and two consecutive kills to win the second set.
The Coyotes took that momentum into the third set leading 6-5 before Bullard rallied to score 11 straight. The blocks on Bullard’s side well outnumbered those on Madera’s side.
Haas noticed her team must do a much better job at the net if they want to stay competitive.
“There’s no reason why our numbers shouldn’t be higher there,” Haas said. “We’re not getting that job done at the net.”
Johnson was the bright spot for the Knights, recording five kills during the rally that put the Coyote’s behind 19-9.
Briefly, the Coyotes got up for two blocks in a row as Bullard’s serve struck the net but Madera was unable to stop Johnson’s aerial attack and the Knights pulled away to win the third set by 10.
After scoring the first point of the final set, Madera played from behind the remainder of the match. Two early serves and two digs didn’t make it over the net followed by two kills that went sailing out of bounds. Suddenly, the Coyotes were down 18-9 before Haas called a timeout.
The Coyotes were able to respond coming out of timeout but Haas recognized it might’ve been a little too late for the rally to sink the Knights.
Alexis Carmona put the team on her back and helped Madera start the rally with four consecutive points on two of Carmona’s kills.
The Coyotes were able to tie the final set at 22 as Carmona recorded two digs that kept the score close before Johnson scored three straight points for the win.
“Carmona played great, she kept us in that match.” Haas said. “Every girl on our team played tonight, when normally we only have eight or nine girls who tend be our staples that play all the time and everybody is getting a shot out there to see what kind of job they can do.”
With league play in full swing and the Coyotes stand at 0-2, the goal is get to 2-2 and certain roles become more defined.
“We were 1-9 in league play, and we need to get back to at least .500 and we have the pieces to do that as long as everyone is playing well,” Haas said.
The Coyotes host San Joaquin Memorial on Tuesday, Oct 4.