Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
The Madera Coyotes girls volleyball team celebrates winning a point during Thursday’s victory over Madera South
There were times during her team’s match against Madera South that Madera Coyotes head coach Meghan Haas thought her team’s winning streak in the County/Metro Athletic Conference was going to end.
However, her team battled back to win a fourth set and then score three of the final four points of the match for a 3-2 victory over the Stallions to begin the second half of CMAC and extend Madera’s league winning streak to 18.
“It was a struggle,” Haas said. “Every point, we had to battle for. It’s good for them to be able to do that. It was very frustrating, point after point. We never got into a groove. That’s a testament to Madera South. That’s the best I have ever seen them play. They dug everything we threw at them. We took some good swings and they came up with a lot of balls.”
“We should have won,” Madera South head coach Travis McEowen said. “Our stats say we should have won. We had some silly plays. You have to credit to Madera High. They took advantage of plays that we didn’t take advantage of.”
The Stallions put down 52 kills in the match, recorded 14 blocks and five aces. Meanwhile, Madera had 45 kills with eight blocks and five aces.
Madera South opened the match with a confidence-boosting 26-24 win in the first set after facing two Madera set points. The Coyotes came back to win the second set, 25-22, but Madera South took advantage of Madera errors for a 25-17 win in the fourth set.
However, Madera South didn’t come out in the fourth set and the Coyotes took advantage with a 25-14 victory. Madera South took an early lead in the fifth set, but Lilly Ascencio recorded seven kills to lead the Coyotes to a 16-14 win in the fifth set.
“Madera laid the egg in set three,” McEowen said. “Credit to them in set four and they stuck it to us. We popped out to a nice lead in set five. We got loose and made some critical mistakes. It’s going to happen. The pressure was on and Madera took advantage of it.”
Ascencio led the Coyotes with 20 kills. However, Madera had only three players with six or more kills. Along with Ascencio, Isabella Saucedo had 16 and Cassadi Mata had six.
“She (Lilly) was huge,” Haas said. “We did not play well. Madera South played great. Lilly came up big for us at the end. She attacked when we needed her to attack and played smart when we needed to.”
Madera South had four players with six or more kills led by Arelis Chavez with 16. Aleecia Rosel put down 11 and Taylor Rogers had 10. Bianca Guevara added seven kills to go with eight blocks, five solo.
“We had it, played well and couldn’t finish the last part,” McEowen said. “We battled to the end.”
Madera jumped out to a 9-6 lead before the Stalions mounted a comeback in the first set. After a Guevara solo block, she teamed with Chavez for a solo block to tie the set at nine.
After Destiny Perez tied the set at 12 for Madera South, Madera scored four straight points with Alicia Velasco serving for the lead. An ace from Ruth Castillo cut the lead by one, but a Saucedo kill kept the lead at four.
Rosel put down a side out kill and Kiara Alvarado went back to serve the Stallions to tie the set. Rosel put down a kill and Alvarado served an ace to tie the set at 19.
Mata recorded side out kills for the Coyotes to keep Madera in the set. Chavez and Guevara combined on a block for a 22-21 Stallions’ lead.
Trinity Davie put down a kill for the Coyotes to tie the set at 22. Mariyah Alvarez served up two points, including a Saucedo kill to get to set point.
Rogers recorded a side out kill for the Stallions. Madera was called for a lift on the second set point to tie the set at 24. Guevara served up an ace and Madera was hit with another lift call on set point for a 26-24 Stallions win.
A kill by Guevara helped open a two-point lead for the Stallions in the second set, which they held until the Coyotes scored three straight points, keyed by an Ascencio kill to take a 12-11 lead.
Rosel put down a back row kill for the side out and Guevara blocked a Coyotes’ overpass to give Madera South the lead.
The two teams stayed close until Saucedo recorded a side out kill. With Alvarez serving and behind a Saucedo and Elizabeth Corchado dual block, the Coyotes took a 19-17 lead.
From there, the teams exchanged seven side outs and Madera closed the set with eight of the next 11 points with just two kills (Mata and Davie on set point) for a 25-22 second set win.
Madera South jumped to the early lead in the third set. After a Rosel side out kill, Alvarado served up two aces in a six-point run. Guevara recorded a solo block and Chavez put down two kills for a 9-1 lead.
The teams exchaged eight straight side outs where Maera South held a 15-8 lead. Alvarado served up two more points, including a Chavez kill for a 17-8 lead.
Saucedo’s kill cut the lead to six, but Jacky Granados recorded a dump kill for the side out. Guevara added a backslide kill and Castillo served an ace to open the lead to 20-11.
Saucedo recorded two side out kills and Ascencio had a solo block to cut the lead to seven.
However, a Guevara solo block led to a side out. She added an ace and Rosel put down a kill to get to set point, leading 24-14.
Madera got the side out and two straight Madera South errors kept the match alive. However, on the fourth set point, Madera hit into the net for a 25-17 Stallions’ victory.
Madera jumped to the early lead in the fourth set. Davie and Ascencio combined on a dual block, Ascencio put down a kill and Saucedo served an ace. The Stallions cut the lead down to one, but the Coyotes kept extending the lead. Ascencio served an ace and Saucedo put down a kill with the help of the net.
After a Rosel kill gave the Stallions side out, Saucedo gave the side out back to Madera. Mata went back to serve and scored eight straight points to open the lead to 18-6. In the run, Saucedo had a solo block and a kill. However, Madera South hit out of bounds twice, hit the ball into the net twice, had a double contact violation and couldn’t return a serve.
Madera South showed signs of life after a Rogers kill, a Rosel ace and a Chavez kill. However, the Coyotes just exchanged side outs with the Stallions and won the set 25-14 after a Madera South service error.
In the fifth set, the Stallions took the early lead behind three Chavez kills.
Side out kills from Chavez and Guevara offset two Ascencio side out kills for a 7-4 Stallions lead.
Madera battled back with an ace from Sofia Perez and an Ascencio kill to cut the lead to one. The teams exhanged eight straight side outs. Rosel had two kills and Guevara had one in the side out run. Meanwhile, Ascencio and Mata put down side out kills and Davie recorded a solo block.
Jocelynn Markle served an ace to tie the set at 11 and Madera South hit out of bounds for a 12-11 lead. Rogers put down a side out kill, but Ascencio answered for Madera. Madera hit out of bounds, but the Coyotes got the side out back for match point.
Guevara recorded a solo block to tie the set at 14. Ascencio put down a kill to get to match point. She put down the final kill of the match from the back row off a block for the 16-14 win. After a slight delay to go over a possible line-up error, the Coyotes were in the right order and the point stood to keep the winning streak alive.