Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
Madera’s Hallie Page (8) and Lillith Ascencio rise up to block a Bullard hit Tuesday in Joe Flores Gym. Page led the Coyotes with 11 kills in a sweep over the Knights and remain undefeated in the County/Metro Athletic Conference.
The Madera Coyotes girls volleyball team capitalized on a hot start to sweep the Bullard-Fresno Knights and improve to 7-0 in the County/Metro athletic conference.
“It was good,” head coach Meghan Haas said. “The last time we played them we went to five and didn’t play that great so we definitely came out with a different mindset and had a better connection from our setters to our middles and it made a big difference.”
Tied 21-21 in the third set Tuesday in Joe Flores Gym, the Coyotes and Knights were locked in a heated battle. The Coyotes looked to finish off their opponent while the visiting Knights fought to stave off a thumping defeat.
Isabella Saucedo led the way down the stretch on offense and defense. Saucedo rose up and executed a powerful kill to tie the game late and came back the next play, blocking the Knights’ shot for the game-leading point in a 25-21 win.
The Coyotes grit down the stretch is a only another reminder of how good this team can be. Undefeated in the CMAC, the Coyotes look to continue their dominance throughout the season.
Four Coyote hitters combined for 35 kills, led by Hallie Page with 11 and Lillith Ascencio with 10.
The Coyotes started off hot after a kill pushed their lead to five in the first set. The scoreboard read 12-7 before the Knights countered with a quick point of their own.
Katelyn Siegl rose above the net and slammed home a well-timed kill to push the lead further. Page followed her lead after she sent a quick shot over the net, deflecting out of bounds to give the Coyotes the point.
The Knights called a timeout after the deficit jumped to eight points.
It didn’t seem to work after Lauren Grewal set up Page again for the powerful kill. The Knights front three couldn’t handle the Coyotes.
The score read 19-10 and the Coyote crowd made sure the Knights were aware of it too.
After consecutive mishits, the Coyotes were well on their way leading 21-10. The Coyotes closed out the set with four straight points for a 25-10 win.
Gisselle Mirado-Miramontes opened the second set with an ace, bringing the crowd to its feet.
Page and Grewal combined once again, but this time on the defensive end with a huge block on the Knights player. The ball ricocheted off their arms and back into the opponent’s floor for the point.
Although the Coyotes got off to a quick start, the Knights matched them. The score read 6-6 until the Knights broke the tie with an accurate kill.
The lead was cut after Siegl outjumped her blocker for the kill. The score ballooned after Page scored on another kill.
The Coyotes lead 12-7 halfway through the set.
The Knights couldn’t keep up with the home team after they failed to capitalize on multiple opportunities. The visitors had trouble keeping the ball inside the boundaries.
Luckily for the home crowd, the Coyotes were able to respond. They went on a 10-5 run, which pushed the score to 22-10.
With victory in sight, the Coyotes seized the momentum and finished off the Knights 25-14.
With their backs against the wall, the Knights opened the third set with determination. They countered the Coyotes blocking multiple shots in the process.
The Knights led 10-5, forcing the Coyotes to use their first timeout.
The Coyotes cut the deficit to two after the ball pin-balled around the Knight front court, 18-16.
Page surfaced in the third set with a strong kill to cut the deficit to one point, 18-19.
She came back again and slightly nudged the ball over the net for the point. Cassadi Mata repeated the same tactic and the game was tied 21-21.
Saucedo took the game into her own hands and finished off the Knights behind a four-point surge.
The conference-leading Coyotes turned their attention to a showdown with the San Joaquin-Fresno Memorial Panthers on Thursday and close out the season with a game at Edison-Fresno on Tuesday and host Madera South on Thursday.