Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
Madera South freshman Arelis Chavez sends a kill past Sanger blocker Stephanie Herring during Thursday’s three-set loss to the Apaches.
After losing the first two sets to the Sanger Apaches, the Madera South Stallions girls volleyball team battled in the third before getting swept on Senior Night.
The Apaches put away the Stallions 25-15 and 25-7 in the first two sets. However, the Stallions came back fighting away in the third set before losing 25-23.
“We went with a different line-up,” head coach Travis McEowen said. “We saw people that we wanted to give a chance that have been itching for playing time. They went out there and produced.”
On a night honoring seniors Alejandra Barranco, Alexis Ayala, Jacqueline Camarillo and Oliva Molina, the Stallions played inspired in their final set at home.
“The attitude changed,” Barranco said. “Everybody played their hearts out in the third game. The second game felt off like nobody was connected. The third game, we felt the connection and that’s what helped us.”
“It was different,” McEowen said. “They came out and changed our style of play, changed our attitude and changed our demeanor that we were going to play to win no matter who was on the court. We’ve had some things going on and we are working on that and figuring out who’s ready for a challenge.”
The Stallions only recorded 17 kills in the set, but were led by freshman Arelis Chavez and sophomore Bianca Guevara with five each.
The Stallions started off strong in the first set getting a pair of aces from Jacky Granados. A kill by Chavez helped the Stallions maintain a 7-6 lead.
However, Sanger scored 10 straight points to take the lead they wouldn’t relinquish.
An ace by Camarillo, a side out kill from Aleecia Rosel and a point served up by Granados helped the Stallions cut the lead to six. The Apaches scored four straight points to get the lead to 21-12.
The Stallions scored three points, including a Chavez kill to cut the lead to seven. However, two Madera South service errors led to the Apaches scoring four of the final five points of the set for a 25-10 victory.
The Apaches rode the first set momentum in the second set. Sanger scored the set’s first 10 points, which included five aces.
In the second set, the Stallions didn’t record any points with serve and scored points on seven side outs including kills from Chavez, Guevara and Rosel and a solo block from Guevara.
Sanger scored six of the final seven points for a 25-7 victory. The Apaches won the set on a service ace.
In the third set, the Stallions had a different attitude. Kiara Alvarado and Chavez recorded kills to open a 2-0 lead, but the Apaches scored four straight to take the lead.
A kill and solo block by Guevara tied the set at six. Two Sanger hitting errors gave the Stallions an 8-7 lead. Sanger came back with two straight points before a Guevara bump kill.
“When we took our break, our coaches told us to play our hearts out and that’s what I told the girls,” Barranco said. “I told them to play for each other and that’s what we did.”
The teams exchanged 10 straight side outs with the Stallions getting two side out kills from Alvarado and another from Chavez.
A Stallions’ service error and an Apache ace gave Sanger a 15-13 lead. Molina and Guevara put down side out kills, but Sanger extended its lead to three.
Granados served up a point to cut the lead to one, but another Sanger ace gave the Apaches a three-point lead.
A Sanger service error, a Sanger hit into the net and a Chavez solo block tied the set at 20.
However, the Apaches closed the match by scoring five of the next eight points, including getting match point on an ace, for a 25-23 third set victory.