Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
Madera South’s Aleecia Rosel sends a kill past the Edison blocker for one of her team high 11 kills.
In a match between equal teams, it almost became a battle of attrition for the Madera South Stallions and the Edison-Fresno Tigers in a County/Metro Athletic Conference volleyball match.
The Tigers won the first set and made the Stallions work for wins in the next three sets to earn a match victory Tuesday at Madera South.
“We are just working on our consistency,” head coach Travis McEowen said. “Edison threw it all at us. They made us work for every point. We had to clean up the junk balls in transition.”
McEowen used up most of his bench to find the right combination of players and it worked for wins in the final three sets, including a pivotal 27-25 win in the third set to give the Stallions a 2-1 lead.
“They work well together,” he said. “They had good attitudes tonight. We had some players have some things not go their way. We gave them a breather and made an adjustment. They went back in and did their jobs. You have to give it to the bench. They came in and did their jobs.”
The Stallions had five hitters record five or more kills, led by Destiny Perez and Aleecia Rosel with 11 each. Rosel recorded all 11 kills after the first set. Taylor Rogers put down 10 kills, Arelis Chavez had eight and Bianca Guevara had five to go with four blocks, three solo.
For the Stallions, it was a matter of just keeping the ball on the court. The Stallions hit out of bounds six times in the first set and six times in the second set. However, they only hit the ball out of bounds three times in the final two sets.
The Stallions seemed like they were intimidated by the solo blocking of Edison’s Amani Abed, who had five blocks in the first set. However, the Stallion worked around the block the rest of the match.
After Edison opened a 5-1 lead, the Tigers took an 11-7 lead. Madera South helped extend Edison’s lead with a pair of hits out of bounds to give them a 16-11 lead.
Rogers put down a side out kill to start the Stallions’ comeback. Ruth Castillo served an ace and Perez put down a kill to cut the lead to four, but another hit out of bounds stopped the run.
Despite side out kills from Rogers and Perez, another Stallions’ hit out of bounds led to 22-17 Tigers’ lead.
The Tigers worked to set point before a Guevara side out kill. She worked with Chavez for a dual block and Chavez put down a kill to cut the lead to four, but Edison closed the set with a kill for a 25-20 win.
Edison took a 4-0 lead to start the second set, but a Rogers tip kill led the Stallions to within a point.
After the Tigers led 8-4, Rogers put down a side out kill. Rosel put down her first kill of the night and Rogers served an ace to tie the set at eight.
Edison used an ace and a Madera South hit out of bounds for a three-point lead. An Edison hit out of bounds and a Rosel kill tied the set at 11. The Tigers then scored four straight points to take the lead.
After a side out, Rosel put down a kill and Jacky Granados served an ace to cut the lead to one.
Edison opened the lead to three before a Chavez side out kill. A Rosel ace and a Guevara solo block tied the set at 17. Edison got the side out, but Chavez gave it right back to Madera South with a kill to tie the set at 18.
Guevara went back to serve and didn’t give it up, serving up seven straight points, including three aces. Perez had a kill in the run. Guevara’s last ace gave Madera South set point and Edison hit into the net for a 25-18 Stallions’ win.
Madera South jumped to a 4-0 lead in the third set behind a Perez solo block and a Chavez kill.
Two side out kills from Perez, another from Rosel and a Guevara solo block opened a five-point lead.
Edison cut it down to two three times before the Stallions took a four point lead, 15-11. After eight straight side outs, Edison added a point to cut the lead to two. The Tigers eventually tied the set at 19 before a Chavez side out kill.
Castillo served up an ace and Perez put down a kill for a 22-19 lead.
However, Edison took advantage of Madera South mistakes to score five straight points and get to side out leading 24-22. Perez put down a side out kill on the first set point. Rogers aced the Tigers on the second set point.
Rosel put down a kill to give the Stallions set point. Edison got the side out, but a Granados dump kill gave the Stallions set point. Guevara finished off the set with a kill from the middle for a 27-25 win.
Kills from Guevara and Rogers helped the Stallions to a 7-4 lead in the fourth set. A Rogers ace gave the Stallions a 10-5 lead. A Kiara Alvarado back row kill and a Rosel ace opened a 16-10 lead.
Edison scored three straight points to cut into the lead and kept the deficit at three before scoring two points for a 19-18 Madera South lead.
McEowen called time out to calm his troops.
“The reason we’ve been struggling is we can’t close out a game,” he said. “I told them to stay confident, what we were going to do and who was going to get the ball. They did it and Aleecia stepped up to put the ball away.”
Rosel took over from there. She put down three kills in a four point span to give the Stallions a 23-18 lead. Chloe Riddle had an ace in the run.
The Stallions got to match point, but Edison got the side out. Chavez ended the match with her eighth kill of the night for a 25-21 victory.