Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
Madera’s Lauren Grewal (9) and Isabella Saucedo (3) goes up to block a Tehachapi attack during a three-set quarterfinal victory Tuesday in Joe Flores Gym.
The Madera Coyotes girls volleyball team continued its quest for a Div. II championship after a three-set sweep of the fifth-seeded Tehachapi Warriors in the quarterfinals in Joe Flores Gym.
“It was good volleyball tonight,” said head coach Meghan Haas. “At the end of the game, they made some huge digs that, on anyone else, it would’ve gone down. We’re playing exciting volleyball and people are excited to see it so it’s fun, it’s good.”
Led by Hallie Page and Isabella Saucedo, who combined for 24 kills, the fourth-seeded Coyotes pushed past a stubborn Warrior team, 25-20, 26-24, 28-26, to set up a date with top-seeded Bakersfield Christian in the Div. II semifinals Thursday in Bakersfield with the winner advancing to the Valley Championship match at College of the Sequoias in Visalia.
The first set opened with an intense rally back and forth. The Warriors took an early 2-0 lead after a mishit and a kill caught the Coyotes off guard.
Gisselle Morado-Miramontes delivered a kill on the Coyotes first chance with the ball. They tied the game 2-2 before the Warriors mishit the ball out of bounds.
The Warriors went on a three-point run before Saucedo lightly tapped the ball over the net for the point. Lily Ascensio followed with an ace to tie the game at five.
Page pushed the Coyotes lead 7-6 after she recorded the kill, which brought the home crowd to their feet.
The Coyotes then took a two-point lead after Saucedo rose above the net for a momentum-changing kill.
Saucedo added to her strong start after she added back-to-back points to force a Warrior timeout.
Halfway through the first set, the Coyotes led 15-11.
The action picked up after Katelyn Siegl recorded a kill to put the Coyotes up 20-19. Madera capitalized on miscues by the Warriors to score three straight points to lead 22-19.
Ascensio served an ace to close out the set with a 25-20 win.
The second set started much like the first after the Warriors scored four unanswered points.
Page broke the deadlock after she recorded her first kill of the set. Alicia Velasco brought the Coyotes even closer after she served an ace to cut the deficit to one.
The Warriors pushed back after the Coyotes got into the game. A kill by the Warriors led to a 10-4 lead.
Saucedo’s kill capped off a 4-1 run, which the Coyotes rode throughout.
Siegl’s play generated a three-point run which tied the set at 15. The Coyotes took the lead for the first time in the set after Siegl put down a powerful shot off a deflection.
The Coyotes took a 16-15 lead, which forced the Warriors to take a timeout.
With the score tied at 17, Page came up with an important kill. A miss-timed hit by the Warriors allowed the Coyotes to take a 19-17 lead.
With the game tied at 23, both teams buckled down. After each team traded a point, the teams found themselves deadlocked once again.
Fortunately, the Coyotes capitalized on a deflection by the Warriors to take a one-point lead. Page closed out the game after she delivered a kill that was deflected out of bounds for a
Madera reversed the script in the third set after Page’s kill put her team up 3-1.
After the Warriors missed out on back-to-back points, the Coyotes capitalized and pushed their lead to six, 13-7.
The Warriors jumped on the Coyotes down the stretch. They went on an 8-3 run to get themselves into a position to win the set.
The run continued after consecutive aces put the Coyotes into a three-point hole, 19-16.
Page cut the deficit to three after her kill stopped a Warrior run.
Down 23-19, the Coyotes staged a dramatic comeback.
After a kill by Ascensio and a soft tap by setter Lauren Grewal, the Coyotes clawed their way back. Siegl then registered a kill to tie the set at 23.
After the Warriors took a one-point lead, the Coyotes executed on the defensive end with a key rejection to tie the set again.
Tied at 26, the Coyotes capitalized on the Warriors mistakes to win two straight points and the quarterfinal matchup.