Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
Madera South’s Taylor Rogers goes up to put down one of her team-high 10 kills in a four-set win over Minarets.
Despite coming back to take a late leadm but losing the first set of its home-opener against Minarets, the Madera South Stallions girls volleyball team battled back to win the next three sets rather easily for a match victory.
A day after losing a three-set match to Div. I Clovis North, the Stallions defeated Minarets 23-25, 25-17, 25-16, 25-15.
“It was a good win,” head coach Travis McEowen said. “A lot of them put in a lot of work over the club season. They knew they had a chance this year. This year, they came in and are ready to go. We’re looking for a good season. We still have to work.”
The Stallions pounded more than 40 kills in the four-set victory. Taylor Rogers led the Stallions with 10 kills. Madera South had four players with seven or more kills and five with five or more. Alecia Rosel and Bianca Guevara had nine kills each.
Guevara added five blocks while Arelis Chavez had six to go with seven kills.
“They knew they could put the ball down,” McEowen said. “They knew they could get the pass. They are attacking the ball. When we come out unaggressive, tipping and being afraid to make the mistake is a problem. It’s been our challenge after getting beat by Clovis North. It showed us a lot of our weaknesses. We need to be aggressive and not be afraid to lose.”
New libero Kiara Alvarado recorded 31 digs. It was her first time as the primary defensive specialist after starting the previous two seasons as the team’s outside hitter.
“She’s real young in her libero career,” McEowen said. “We just made the move at the end of the summer to get her in the libero jersey. She still has a lot of work to do. She has the moves. She’s played sand volleyball for the last four years. She has the ball handling. It’s about putting it all together and getting more reps in that position. She’s been clutch for us and will keep getting better.”
In the beginning, Madera South mistakes staked Minarets to an 11-4 lead.
The Stallions began its comeback with aces from Guevara and setter Jacky Granados. After a Rogers put down a kill, she combined with Guevara for a dual block. Alvarado served up an ace and Minarets hit two balls out of bounds to tie the set at 15.
A Rogers kill and solo block helped Madera South to an 18-17 lead. A Rogers ace and a Guevara kill led to a 21-18 lead.
However, the Mustangs closed out the match by scoring seven of the next nine points for a 25-23 victory.
Kills by Destiny Perez and Rogers gave the Stallions the early lead in the second set. A Rogers side out kill followed by a Guevara and Chavez dual block and a Guevara kill gave Madera South a 5-4 lead.
Aces from Rogers and Chloe Riddle opened an 8-5 lead. A Rosel kill extended the lead to five.
After a Chavez kill, Rosel went back to serve and gave the Stallions a 16-8 lead. In the run, Chavez and Perez had kills and Rosel served up an ace.
Kills from Rogers and Rosel led to a 21-11 lead. Guevara and Perez put down side out kills and Minarets hit out of bounds to get to set point.
Minarets battled back, but by the fourth set point, Rosel put down a kill for a 25-17 victory.
In the third set, Rosel put down two kills and Alvarado put down a bump kill. After a Rogers kill, Alvarado served up six straight points, including an ace. Guevara and Chavez had a pair of dual blocks and Guevara put down a kill for a 10-2 lead.
A Guevara kill opened the lead to 10. Minarets came back with six straight points to get the lead down to 14-10.
Guevara stopped the run with a side out kill. After a trade in side outs, a Rosel side out kill led to a Chavez and Perez dual block and a Granados ace for an 18-11 lead.
A Chavez side out kill set up Alvarado again. She served the Stallions to set point, 24-14. In the run, she served up an ace and got kills from Guevara and Rogers and a dual block from Guevara and Chavez.
On the third set point, Minarets missed its serve and the Stallions won 25-16.
Minarets opened the fourth set with a 4-1 lead, but the Stallions quickly came back to get within one. Minarets took the lead to 10-7 before the Stallions tied the set at 10.
Minarets hit out of bounds to help Madera South tie the set at 13. Alvarado went behind the service line and the Stallions scored eight straight points. In the run, Guevara and Chavez combined for a block. Rogers put down three kills and Guevara had another while Alvarado served up another ace for a 21-14 lead.
After the side out, a Minarets rotation error gave the serve back to the Stallions. Castillo served up a pair of aces for a 24-14 lead and Minarets hit out of bounds for a 25-15 set win.