Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
Madera’s Brian Garcia rises up for one of his team-high 14 kills in a three-set loss to Clovis in the home opener Thursday.
The Madera Coyotes boys volleyball team opened its home season against one of the top teams in the section, the Clovis Cougars.
The Coyotes, the reigning Div. II boys volleyball Valley Champions, were no match for the Cougars, who were Div. I finalists last season after winning the Tri-River Athletic Conference, losing three sets 25-13, 25-16, 25-14 in Joe Flores Gym.
UC Irvine signee Brian Garcia led the Coyotes with 14 kills, but Madera had just 20 kills in the match. Hunter Brown was the only other Coyote with more than one kill (4).
The Cougars helped the Coyotes with mistakes behind the service line. They committed seven service errors in the first set and 15 for the match.
In the first set, the Coyotes tried to stay in the set behind a pair of Garcia kills and four Clovis service errors.
Clovis went on a three-point run to open a 12-6 lead. A pair of Clovis aces helped the Cougars open a 17-9 lead.
Three more points, including an ace opened a 23-12 Clovis lead. The Cougars got a side out and put the set away with a kill.
In the second set, despite two Garcia side out kills and a Brown kill to tie the set at three, Clovis went on a six-point run for a 9-3 lead.
Clovis scored five straight points, including two aces to get the lead to nine. From there, the Cougars and Coyotes exchanged nine side outs over the next 10 points for a 24-14 lead.
A Clovis service error and a hit out of bounds cut the lead to 24-16, but the Cougars put down a kill for the 25-16 win.
Three straight Garcia kills led to a 4-2 Madera lead. A Brown side out kill and a Clovis hit into the net led to a 6-3 Coyote lead.
After a Madera side out, Clovis scored three straight points for a 7-6 lead.
Garcia stopped the run with a kill and a four contact gave the Coyotes an 8-7 lead.
Clovis came back to score nine of the next 10 points to open a 15-9 lead. Despite a Brown side out kill, the Cougars scored five straight points for a 22-11 lead.
The Cougars got to match point, but the Coyotes got the side out and a Garcia kill. Clovis blocked a Madera hit for a 25-14 victory.
Madera played in the Sanger Slam over the weekend and at Central, its Valley Championship match opponent, on Tuesday before playing in the San Luis Obispo tournament this weekend.