Tyler Takeda/The Madera Tribune
The Madera South Stallions girls volleyball team holds the Div. III runner-up plaque after taking top seed Yosemite to five sets in Saturday’s Valley Championship loss at the College of the Sequoias’ Porter Fieldhouse.
VISALIA — If there was a silver lining from its Div. III Valley Championship loss to the Yosemite-Oakhurst Badgers, the Madera South Stallions girls volleyball found it after CIF State Championship seedings were announced.
The seventh seeded Stallions gave the top-seeded Badgers everything they could handle in a five set loss, including leading 14-11 in the fifth set before getting outscored 6-1 in a 17-15 loss Saturday at the College of the Sequoias’ Porter Fieldhouse.
“We played well,” head coach Travis McEwoen said. “The girls gave it their all. It could have gone either way. That fifth set was a game of runs and they had the last one.”
The Stallions were credited for their tough County/Metro Athletic Conference schedule and by taking Yosemite, the No. 1 seed in the Div. III state playoffs, to the limit. Madera South received the No. 1 seed in the Div. V State tournament Sunday and get a first-round bye. The Stallions host No 9 Oakland Tech or No. 8 Hamilton on Thursday at 6 or 7 p.m. A win Thursday gives the Stallions a Saturday home date.
The Stallions controlled the first set for a 25-21 victory, but the Badgers won the next two sets. The Stallions battled back to win the fourth set and forced a fifth set. However, the senior-laden Badgers had just enough, including three straight kills from senior Sayda Taylor to get past the junior-laden Stallions.
“There were some spots where you can tell we had nerves,” McEwoen said. “Our girls battled and put up a fight.”
Bianca Guevara led the Stallions with 17 kill to go with five blocks, all solo. Aleecia Rosel added 14 and Arelis Chavez had 11. Taylor Rogers pitched in with eight kills and four aces while Destiny Perez had five with four blocks.
The Badgers opened up the game with a 7-3 lead in the first set and held a four-point advantage before the Stallions started to come back.
After a Guevara tip kill, Rosel put down a kill to cut the lead to two. A Rosel side out kill proceeded two points from Granados to tie the set at 10. A Chavez tip kill gave the Stallions a 12-11 lead.
Guevara put down a tip kill to maintain a one-point lead and Rogers served up four straight points, including two aces. Guevara and Rosel put down kills and Madera South led 19-14.
After Yosemite put down a side out, Guevara put down a kill. Perez recorded a solo block and Rosel put down a kill for a 22-15 lead. After a Yosemite side out, Granados caught Yosemite with a dump kill and a 23-16 lead.
The Badgers got the side out and scored three straight points to cut the lead to 23-20 before a Rosel side out kill gave the Stallions set point. After a Yosemite kill, the Badgers hit into the net to give the Stallions a 25-21 victory.
The Badgers opened a 7-3 lead in the second set and kept a four-point advantage despite two kills each from Guevara and Rosel. Rosel recorded an ace to cut the lead to two.
Yosemite took advantage of a missed Stallions’ serve to score three straight points for a five-point lead. After a trade of six straight side outs, Yosemite still led 17-14.
The Badgers opened the lead to four after a kill off a block. Despite solo blocks from Chavez and Guevara, Yosemite got to set point, leading 24-19. Granados recorded a dump kill, but Yosemite put down a tip kill to tie the match at one with a 25-20 lead.
The Stallions took a 9-6 lead in the third set after a Rogers kill and a Rosel ace. Madera South scored six straight points to take a 12-9 lead before a Rogers side out kill.
Another three-point run opened the lead to five and another three-point run led to a 21-15 lead. The Stallions got the side out, but Yosemite closed the set with four straight points for a 25-16 victory.
Yosemite jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the fourth set. After a Badgers’ missed serve, the Stallions started to take control of the set. Guevara put down a kill and recorded a solo block to cut the lead to one. A Guevara kill gave the Stallions a 7-6 lead.
Kills from Rosel and Perez and Guevara served up two points for a 12-8 lead. A Rosel kill opened the lead to five. After Yosemite scored two points, Chavez put down a tip kill.
Rosel and Chavez added kills and Perez put down a kill on an overpass for an 18-11 lead.
After a Perez solo block for a side out, Rogers recorded a kill off a Yosemite net violation. A Guevara kill and block opened the lead to 22-14. A Rogers ace gave the Stallions set point, leading 24-16.
Yosemite got the side out, but Guevara put down a soft kill for a 25-17 victory to force a fifth set.
In the fifth set, Yosemite took a 5-2 lead before the Stallions got two kills from Guevara and an ace from Rogers to tie the set at five.
Yosemite took a 7-5 lead before a Guevara side out kill. After Yosemite took a 10-7 lead, the Stallions got a side out.
With Rosel serving, Perez and Rogers combined on a dual block. On an assist from Perez, Chavez put down a kill. Yosemite was called for a double contact and Chavez put down a kill for a 12-10 lead.
The Badgers got the side out, but Chavez recorded a side out kill. Kiara Alvarado served up a point to get Madera south to match point, leading 14-11.
The Badgers got three straight kills on match point to tie the set at 14. Chavez got the side out kill for match point No. 4. However, Yosemite got the kill to tie the set at 15.
Madera South hit out of bounds to give Yosemite match point and Yosemite tipped a kill by the Stallions for a 17-15 victory.
No. 7 Madera South 3, No. 6 San Joaquin Memorial 0
After recording a five-set upset victory over the second-seeded Reedley Pirates, the seventh-seeded Madera South Stallions swept County/Metro Athletic Conference foe San Joaquin Memorial-Fresno in the semifinals.
The Stallions closed out the regular season avenging an early-season loss to the Panthers with a five-set victory over the Panthers. Two weeks later, the Stallions swept the Panthers, 25-20, 25-22, 25-19 to advance to their second Div. III Valley Championship match against top seed Yosemite in the Div. III playoffs.
Arelis Chavez led four attackers with five or more kills with 15 kills. Taylor Rogers had eight kills while Aleecia Rosel had seven. Bianca Guevara added five kills.
Madera South had to overcome Memorial’s dominance behind the service line. Despite seven missed serves, the Panthers aced the Stallions 11 times.
In the first set, four Memorial aces led to a 9-6 first set lead. A kill and solo block from Rogers and a solo block from Chavez gave the Stallions a 13-11 lead. The Stallions didn’t relinquish the lead. Perez put down a kill to keep the Stallions ahead.
Jacky Granados served up an ace and got kills with Chavez, from three different setters — Perez, Granados and Rogers — to lead 22-17. Alvarado recorded a bump kill and a Rosel side out kill gave the Stallions set point. On the third set point, Chavez put down a kill for a 25-20 victory.
Trailing 7-4 in the second set, a Rosel kill helped the Stallions tie the set at seven. After a Rogers side out kill, Chavez and Rosel put down kills for a 10-8 lead.
Memorial scored four straight points for a 17-14 lead. A side out kill and solo block from Perez tied the set at 18. A Guevara kill gave the Stallions a 21-20 lead.
A side out kill gave the Stalions a 23-21 lead. After a Madera South missed serve, Guevara put down a kill for set point. After a Panthers’ side out, Granados put down a tip kill for a 25-22 victory.
A Granados ace and a Chavez tip kill gave the Stallions an 8-5 lead in the third set. A side out kill from Rogers and another from Chavez opened the lead to 12-7.
The Panthers recorded three aces to tie the set at 12. A Perez solo block helped the Stallions to an 18-16 lead.
After a Memorial missed serve, Chavez put down a kill for a 20-17 lead. Another Panthers’ missed serve led to three Stallions’ points, including a Rogers kill off a Guevara assist for a 23-18 lead.
Chavez put down a side out kill and Rogers finished off the Panthers with her eighth kill of the match for a 25-19 victory.