Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
Madera’s lone senior Hunter Brown sends down one of his team-high 15 kills in a five-set victory over the Edison Tigers in the regular season finale.
The Madera Coyotes boys volleyball team’s lone senior Hunter Brown saw his team struggle this season, but his teammates came together to pull out a five-set victory over the Edison-Fresno Tigers to conclude the regular season.
The Coyotes had three players record double digit in kills while pulling out their first five-set victory of the season Thursday in Joe Flores Gym for their only County/Metro Athletic Conference victory.
“It a joy to watch the team send Hunter out with a win,” head coach Rhonda Jefferson said. “It was a whole team effort. It took all 11 bodies to compete to play all five games. I sent a text out to do this for Hunter and let’s end the season on a happy note. Everybody stepped up and Hunter had a fantastic night.”
Brown also stepped up on his Senior Night, which was renamed “Hunter Brown Night” in his honor. He had 15 kills to go with six blocks.
“It was great to get the win,” Brown said. “After a rough season, seeing my whole team come together, it was a special night. It was my career high game. It was pretty amazing.”
Alex Olvera-Gill also had 15 kills and Chandler Fowler recorded 11. Bryson Smith added six kills to go with five blocks.
“We saw how good this team could be in spurts, but we could never put it together,” Jefferson said. “Tonight, we finally did. We never had a five-gamer. Tonight, it took everybody to get the win.”
Although the Coyotes won’t defend their back-to-back Div. II Valley Championships, they enter next season on a high note with everyone returning except Brown.
“I think it will be great for the rest of my team going forward.” Brown said. “They only have to replace one player since I’m the only one leaving. If they play like that every game, I see no doubt they can win a Valley Championship next year.”
“We are already talking about workouts in the summer,” Jefferson said. “All the guys are ready to come back and working hard. If we can start next year how we ended, watch out.”
The Coyotes opened the match with a quick lead after Javier Maciel served up two aces and Brown put down a kill. A dual block from Smith and Ayden Orlando increased Madera’s lead to 7-2.
However, Edison came back with six straight points to take a 9-8 lead. After a trade in side outs, the Tigers scored eight more points to open a 17-9 lead.
An Orlando kill and a Brown solo block cut the lead to five, but the Tiers increased the lead to eight before a Brown side out kill. Edison took a 24-16 lead before missing its next serve. A kill ended the first set with a 25-17 Edison win.
Madera opened the second set bigger than the first with eight straight points. Maciel served up an ace in the run. Meanwhile, Fowler put down two kills, Brown had a solo block and a kill and Edison hit out of bounds for an 8-0 lead.
A Brown side out kill and a ball down off Joe Flores Gym helped the Coyotes to a 12-3 lead.
Edison began to rally with a five-point run to cut the lead to 12-8 before a Smith side out kill.
Noel Luviano-Duque put down a side out kill to keep the lead at four. Maciel served up a point and Fowler put down a kill for an 18-12 lead. Edison helped Madera close in on set point with two hits out of bounds and hitting the net after a Brown kill for a 23-14 lead.
Madera got the benefit of another ball falling off of Joe Flores Gym to get to set point. After a side out, Olvera-Gill put down the set-ending kill for a 25-16 victory.
A Brown ace and a dual block from Smith and Olvera-Gill led to a 4-3 lead in the second set. Maciel recorded a side out kill with a pass on serve receive that hit the net and fell on the Edison side. Olvera-Gill put down a kill and Gerardo Alavez served an ace for a 7-4 lead.
After a Coyotes’ missed serve, Edison scored five straight points for a 10-7 lead.
Madera missed its next two serves while Brown put down a side out kill. However, Edison took a 15-10 lead after an ace.
Brown put down another side out kill and added another on the next serve. Martinez served an ace and Brown combined with Olvera-Gill on a dual block to cut the lead to one.
An Olvera Gill and a Brown serve cut the lead to one. Both teams exchanged 10 straight side outs with Edison claiming a 22-21 lead after a Brown kill.
Again, the Coyotes got the benefit of a ball off of Joe Flores gym for a point and Olvera-Gill added a kill for a 23-22 lead.
Edison got the side out and blocked a Madera attack for a 24-23 lead and set point. Brown averted the end of the set with a side out kill. Edison was called for a line violation for a 25-24 lead and Madera’s first set point.
Edison got the serve, but a hit out of bounds gave the Coyotes side out and their second set point. Olvera-Gill got the kill off Edison’s block for a 27-25 Coyotes victory.
Edison battled back in the fourth set after two side out kills from Fowler, an ace from Martinez and a dual block by Brown and Alavez. Edison got a block for a 7-6 lead before an Olvera-Gill side out kill.
Madera got two straight kills from Olvera-Gill, the second after a great diving dig from libero Denzel Villa for a 9-7 lead. Edison came back with six straight points for a 13-9 lead.
Madera tied the set after a Smith tip kill, a Fowler kill and a Brown solo block. Edison got the side out and scored four straight points for an 18-14 lead.
Edison kept a three-point lead until Olvera-Gill put down a kill and Smith followed with one of his own to cut the lead to one. The Tigers got to set point, 24-21, but Smith put down a side out kill and Daniel Barriga served an ace to cut the lead to one.
However, Edison tied the match with a block for a 25-23 win in the fourth to force a fifth set.
Madera jumped out to a 4-2 lead in the fifth set behind two aces from Martinez. Edison battled back for a four-point run for a 7-5 lead. After a trade in missed serves, Smith put down a side out kill and Barriga served an ace off the net to tie the score at seven.
Fowler and Brown put down side out kills to tie the set at 10. Brown added another kill on a second hit after faking he was going to set the ball for an 11-10 lead.
Edison scored two straight points to take the lead before a Fowler side out kill. After an Edison block for side out, Olvera-Gill put down a kill to tie the set at 13 and give the serve to the Coyotes they wouldn’t relinquish.
Brown served up a point after Alavez and Smith combined on a dual block and Olvera-Gill ended it for the third time with a kill down the line for the 15-13 victory.