Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
Madera South’s Javier Gil sends a pass past the Bullard Knights defense during a 3-1 victory Thursday to improve to 5-1 in the County/Metro Athletic Conference.
The Madera South boys volleyball team relied on its superior size and athleticism to take three of four games from the Bullard Knights in a County/Metro Athletic Conference match at Madera South.
“It took us some time to get back in the system and get settled in, but once we did that, we played well,” Madera South head coach Steve Guglielmana said. “We let a few things go in set No.3 or else we would’ve been out of here by three, but Bullard played hard though and fought back so we were just able to outlast them tonight.”
The Stallions battled back and forth with the Knights, but took the first two sets, 25-23 and 25-18 before the Knights rebounded 28-26, sending the game to a fourth set, where the Stallions won 25-15.
Behind standout performances from captain Rigo Pineda, Javier Gill and Carlos Hernandez, the Stallions strengthened their position at the top of the CMAC with an important win. The Stallions face CMAC co-leader Sanger on Thursday.
The Stallions began the third set strong after Hernandez and Gil combined to block the Knights player at the net. Their size altered the shot, thwarting the Knights.
Hernandez kept up his aggressive play with a kill to give his team a 4-2 lead.
With the set tied at six, the Stallions relied on Pineda, who soared from about five feet out to spike the ball in the Knight’s area.
With the Stallions trailing by five, Gil stepped up and delivered a punishing kill that the opposing defense couldn’t handle. The Stallions rode a wave of adrenaline after an impressive rally to cut the deficit to three.
After battling back and forth throughout the set, the Stallions found themselves down two with the end in sight. Trailing 21-19, the Stallions capitalized on an kill by Pineda and a sizzling serve by Arreguin to tie the set.
The Stallions then took the lead after Gil rose over the net to quickly spike the ball before any Knight defender could close in.
The Knights tied the set at 24 after both teams traded serves. The Stallions missed a potential lead-clinching point by hitting the net. However, on the next play, the Stallions outjumped the Knights for an easy kill.
After the Knights took a 26-25 lead, Gil stepped with a powerful kill. Unfortunately, the Knights scored consecutive points to take the set, 28-26.
The Stallions opened the fourth set of the matchup on a tear. They began to pull away half way through the set after Hernandez flew across the court to spike the ball with ease.
The Stallions size began to wear down the Knights after consecutive defensive stands by Gil and Hernandez.
Madera South was on cruise control after Arreguin set the ball over the net and into the corner of the Knights area.
The Stallions held a seven-point lead through the midway point of the game and never looked back.
The Stallions rode the energy from the crowd to score on consecutive serves to, effectively, end the game.
The Stallions won the matchup after a 25-15 win in the final set.