It took a little longer than Madera South Stallions boys volleyball coach Steve Guglielmana would have liked, but his team stayed in control of the County/Metro Athletic Conference with a 3-2 victory over the Sanger Apaches.
Despite a tough loss to the Bullard-Fresno Knights the week before, the defending CMAC champions got a nice bounce back victory over the Apaches.
“It was good to get into the battle and stay the course,” Guglielmana said.
After losing the first set, the Stallions won the next two before Sanger won the fourth set and took an early lead in the fifth set.
However, the Stallions closed out the match with a 15-11 win.
“They didn’t overthink things,” Guglielmana said. “They kept playing hard and that’s something we’ve been working on. That’s the first time we’ve been able to come back and close out a team, so it’s huge. We’ll be able to draw upon this experience to get stronger and better to keep moving forward.”
Jared Guglielmana led the Stallions with 24 kills to go with 18 digs. Javier Maciel added 14 kills while Christian Sylvia had 12 with 11 digs and Ruben Jaimez had 10 with 19 digs.
The Apaches closed the first set by scoring the final four points for a 25-21 victory.
Madera South took control of the second set behind two Guglielmana kills and another from Sylvia for a 10-4 lead.
Sanger chipped way at the lead, cutting it down to one before a Jaimez tip kill. A Maciel block led to a three-point lead.
Guglielmana put down two straight side out kills for a 17-14 lead. Sylvia and Guglielmana added kills to extend the lead to five.
The teams exchanged five straight side outs with two Sylvia side out kills and one from Guglielmana. Sylvia served up an ace to get to set point, leading 24-17.
Sanger scored two points before Jaimez ended the set with a tip kill.
In the third set, a Sylvia side out kill and a Jaimez kill gave the Stallions a 7-4 lead.
Jaimez, Maciel and Alvarez put down side out kills to maintain a two-point lead.
Sebastian Moreno served up two more points with Jaimez putting down a tip kill. Maciel added another kill for a 14-9 lead.
Joey Chavez served up five straight points to extend the lead to 10. Sylvia put down a kill, combined on a dual block with Alvarez and recorded a solo block. Guglielmana added a kill in the run.
Sylvia had two side out kills while Guglielmana and Maciel put down side out kills while Madera South kept its 10-point lead.
Maciel’s kill gave the Stallions side out, but Sanger scored three straight points. Alvarez put down a kill for a 25-17 victory.
In the fourth set, Sanger jumped out to a 7-5 lead and extended it to 10-7 before a Jaimez side out kill. Sanger scored four straight points to open the lead to 15-9.
Sanger was determined to extend the match to a fifth set. The Apaches scored four straight points to open a 21-14 lead.
After a Sylvia side out kill, Maciel and Alvarez combined on a block to cut Sanger’s lead to 22-19. After the Apaches got the side out, Madera South got the side out back, but missed its next serve. The Apaches closed the set with a kill for a 25-20 victory.
Sanger jumped out to a quick lead to open the fifth set. Sylvia, Guglielmana and Maciel put down side out kills, but Sanger held a three-point lead.
Sylvia served up an ace to cut the lead down to one. Moreno served up a point and the Stallions tied the set at seven. After Sanger got the side out, Guglielmana got the side out kill to tie the set at eight.
Off a good dig from Chavez, Guglielmana put down a kill for the lead the Stallions wouldn’t relinquish. Sanger hit two balls out of bounds and was called for a line violation for a 12-8 Stallions’ lead.
Sanger got the side out, but Guglielmana put down a kill to get the serve back. Jaimez added a kill to get to match point.
Sanger got the side out and blocked a Stallions’ attack to cut the lead to three. However, Sylvia put down the final kill of the match for a 15-11 victory.