Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
The Madera Coyotes girls volleyball team celebrates a point during its four-set victory over Madera South on Thursday in Joe Flores Gym.
Although the Madera South Stallions broke the Madera Coyote girls volleyball team’s set winning streak, the Coyotes closed out the regular season with a 3-1 match victory over their crosstown rivals.
The Coyotes finished their first-ever 10-0 run through the County/Metro Athletic Conference.
The Coyotes earned the No. 4 seed in the Div. II Central Section playoffs and host No. 13 Hoover-Fresno. Meanwhile, Madera South earned a No. 16 seed and travels to top seed Yosemite-Oakhurst.
“I can’t explain how much joy I have,” middle blocker Hallie Page said. “As a senior, to finally win CMAC, is unbelievable.”
“It’s not the best volleyball we have played, but we managed to get it done,” Madera head coach Meghan Haas said.
Madera won 20 straight sets, running off six straight sweeps in the CMAC before the Stallions pulled out a 25-22 win in the first set Thursday in Joe Flores Gym.
“It was the perfect storm,” Haas said. “It was loud, it was senior night, the girls were stressed and it was a lot coming together and it overwhelmed them. They had to try to claw their way back into it.”
The Coyotes had to come from behind for a 25-20 win in the second set and took control with a 25-11 win in the third set and closed the match with a 25-19 win in the fourth set in front of a packed and raucous Joe Flores Gym crowd.
“It’s huge for the next couple of weeks,” Haas said. “To lose the first set and have to come back in the second set is really good for them. It was really loud in here. Our soccer programs were here and it was huge for them to be here. It added some pressure to the girls. They want to do well. It caught up to us a little bit.”
“It’s usually never this loud in here,” Page said. “Once the nerves were out, we were finally able to play our game.”
Katelyn Siegl led the Coyotes with 12 kills. Hallie Page and Lilly Ascencio added nine kills and Isabella Saucedo had six.
The Stallions came out spirited in the first set and outhit the Coyotes 15-9 to take the first set. The Stallions held a 17-16 lead in the second set before the Coyotes came back for the win.
“We kind of just had some talks over the weekend and we hit a new point, a new beginning,” Madera South head coach Travis McEowen said. “We had some injuries that happened and worked with a new line up. Our second setter set lights out. Everyone just rose to the occasion.”
Back-up setter Ruth Castillo recorded 35 assists to go with 16 digs.
“She definitely felt the flow of the game,” McEowen said. “She was leading the team. It was something we haven’t seen all year and made the most of it.”
Freshman Arelis Chavez led the Stallions with 12 kills. Aleecia Rosel had seven kills and Bianca Guevara added six kills.
Castillo opened the match with an ace. Chavez put down a kill and, off a Castillo dig, Kiara Alvarado put down a kill for a 5-1 lead.
Back-to-back kills by Saucedo cut into the Stallions’ lead. The teams exchanged eight straight side outs. Guevara put down two side out kills and Chavez recorded a solo block for the Stallions. Cassadi Mata, Siegl and Page put down side out kills.
Saucedo and Grewal combined on a dual block to cut the lead to one. Chavez put down two side out kills for the Stallions, who extended the lead to 15-12 lead.
After five straight side outs, the Coyotes tied the score at 17. Page started the run with a kill. A Siegl kill and a lift call tied the set.
Chavez put down a tip kill and Rosel served up an ace to open a
20-17 lead. After a Madera side out, Page served an ace to cut the lead to one.
Chavez recorded a side out kill and Taylor Rogers served an ace. Siegl stopped the run with a kill, but Guevara put down a pair of side out kills to get to set point, leading 24-21.
After Madera hit out of bounds, Rosel recorded a kill after Madera was called into the net for a 25-22 victory.
“It was just how big the crowd was,” Page said. “It was senior night and a lot of emotions were going through us. We kind of said we were 9-0 and we have to play our game. Let’s take CMAC and finish it.”
Lauren Grewal opened the second set with an ace after Madera South hit off the lights. A Rosel kill gave the Stallions the side out. She went back to serve and four Madera hitting errors, an ace and a Chavez kill led to a 7-1 Madera South lead.
A Page ace led to a three-point run to cut Madera South’s lead to two. Saucedo’s two side out kills kept the Coyotes within two, but a Rosel kill and another Stallion points gave Madera South a 12-8 lead.
A back row kill by Oliva Molina led to a two-point run and a 14-10 lead.
The Coyotes came back to tie the set at 14. Siegl put down a side out kill and Page put down two kills for a four-point run.
Rogers put down a kill off a block for the Stallions and Rosel served an ace for a 16-14 lead.
A Page and Lauren Lund dual block helped Madera tie the set at 16. After a Lund kill, Julianna Rodriguez served up an ace and got another point off of Joe Flores Gym to take a 19-17 lead.
After a Madera South service error, Giselle Morado served up two aces to get the lead to
Madera South got the side out and added another point to cut the lead to two.
Ascencio put down a side out kill and Siegl sent a push kill on set point for a 25-20 victory.
In the third set, the Coyotes took control. A dual block by Page and Siegl and a kill by Siegl opened a 5-1 lead.
Page put down a tip kill and Grewal served up eight straight points for a 14-2 lead.
In the run, Grewal served three aces. Page and Siegl combined on a block and Page put down another kill for the lead.
A Chavez and Guevara block earned the side out to stop the run.
The Stallions tried to come back after a pair of solo blocks by Guevara and side out blocks by Rosel and Chavez, but four straight service errors hurt the comeback.
Grewal served an ace, Siegl put down a kill and Madera South hit out of bounds on set point for a 25-11 win in the third set.
“Serving was huge,” Haas said. “Madera South struggled with serve receive in that instance.”
“We kept with the aggressive serve,” McEowen said. “With the gameplan, we had to serve as tough as we could. If we missed, we missed, but we couldn’t let them take advantage of our small block.”
Madera began the first set with a Saucedo kill and solo block and a side out kill by Ascencio.
Chavez recorded a pair of side out kills and Rogers served an ace to tie the set.
Saucedo and Siegl combined on a dual block, but Rosel put down a side out kill after a Castillo pancake dig.
Madera scored three straight points on a Siegl kill and a Page and Grewal dual block. Another Page side out kill, an Ascencio kill and a Rodriguez ace opened an 11-6 lead over Madera South.
A Rosel kill and ace cut the Coyotes’ lead to two. Sideout kills by Ascencio, for Madera, and Rogers and Chavez, for Madera South kept the Stallions within two. Guevara put down a solo block to cut the lead to one.
After a Madera South service error, Grewal served up two points before an Alvarado side out kill.
Barranco recorded a downball kill off the net to cut the Madera lead to two. Ascencio put down a kill to get it back to three. Castillo recorded a bump kill for a side out, but another Ascencio side out kill gave Madera the serve.
Ascencio served up two more points for a 23-18 lead. After a service error, Siegl gave the Coyotes a side out and match point with a kill. Madera South was whistled for getting into the net and the Coyotes recorded a 25-19 victory.