Benny Munoz/The Madera Tribune
Madera’s Marcos Ramos rises up for one of his 18 kills during a five-set victory over the Bullard Knights on Tuesday.
The Madera Coyotes and Bullard Knights boys volleyball team went the distance in a County/Metro Athletic Conference battle and the Coyotes came away with a five-set win to earn a sweep in the series.
The Coyotes, looking to defend its Div. II Valley Championship, head into the final week of the season against the Edison-Fresno Tigers and crosstown rivals Madera South.
“Our next two games aren’t going to be easy,” head coach Rhonda Jefferson said. “We want to be above .500 to make that playoff run. Right now, we are 16-17 so we want to go out 3-0 with the last three games. They are on a mission.”
The Coyotes picked up a 25-21 victory in the first set, but dropped the next two sets 25-20 and 25-21. With its backs against the wall, Madera won the fourth set 25-16 and closed it out with a 16-14 win in the fifth set.
“It’s a big win,” Jefferson said. “We beat them the first time around. This time, we were more calm about it. It was a different demeanor. Game one, we jumped on them from the start. In games two and three, we kind of dropped a little. We cut those mistakes in the fourth and fifth set because it was do-or-die. We went back to what we were doing in game one.”
The combination of Brian Garcia and Marcos Ramos combined for 40 kills to lead the Coyotes. Hunter Brown added six and Ali Escheik had five kills.
With the score tied at five in the first set, the Coyotes went on an eight-point run behind Ribhi Abdallah serving. After Ramos got the side out with a kill, Garcia had three kills in the eight-point run. Escheik put down a kill off an overpass for a 13-5 lead.
Bullard chipped away at the lead despite two side out kills from Garcia. Escheik and Ramos combined for a dual block for a 22-16 lead.
Bullard got the side out and scored three straight points before Ramos put down a kill for a 23-20 lead. Abdallah served up an ace, but Bullard got the side out on set point. Garcia ended the first set with a kill for a 25-21 win.
In the second set, Bullard turned an 8-7 deficit into a 14-8 lead after a seven-point run.
Ramos put down a pair of side out kills to cut the lead down to five. A Ramos side out kill followed by an Alex Olvera-Gil kill cut the Bullard lead to three.
Two Garcia kills kept the deficit at three, but the two teams exchanged five straight side outs and Bullard won the second set 25-20.
In the third set, the two teams were close before Bullard went on a 6-3 run to open a four-point lead. A Charlie Hernandez kill off an overpass and a Garcia kill cut the Bullard lead to two.
The Coyotes tied the set at 14 before Bullard went on a three-point run. The Coyotes also went on a three-point run behind a Bullard missed serve, a Garcia kill and a Garcia and Escheik dual block to tie the set.
Bullard scored three straight points to take the lead. A Garcia kill and an Escheik kill cut the Knights’ lead to one. The Knights scored two straight points to get the lead back to three.
Garcia got the side out with a kill. Bullard got the side out and a tip kill gave the Knights set point. Garcia put down a kill for the side out, but Bullard ended the set with a kill for a 25-21 win.
A Brown and Ramos dual block followed by kills from Brown, Ramos and Escheik helped the Coyotes open a 7-4 lead.
Side out kills by Escheik and Garcia, followed by a dual block by Chandler Fowler and Escheik opened a 10-6 lead. A Fowler solo block helped give the Coyotes a 13-7 lead.
The two teams combined for 13 straight side outs with the Coyotes leading 20-15. In the run, Garcia had four kills and Ramos put down two and had a solo block.
Garcia put down a dump kill and Bullard hit out of bounds for a 22-15 Coyote lead. After a trade in missed serves, Ramos put down two straight kills for a 25-16 Coyote victory to tie the match at two.
In the fifth set, Brown put down two kills and Ramos had another for a 5-2 lead.
Ramos put down a side out kill and Brown served up four straight points. Escheik and Olvera-Gil combined for a dual block and Ramos had a solo block to open a 10-2 lead.
Despite side out kills from Garcia and Ramos and a dual block from Escheik and Olvera-Gil, the Kights kept cutting into the Coyotes’ lead.
Bullard scored four straight points to tie the set at 13. A double contact violation gave the Coyotes set point, but a missed serve tied the set at 14.
However, Bullard missed its serve to give the Coyotes match point. Seth Valencia served up an ace and the Coyotes won the fifth set 16-14 and the match 3-2.