Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
The Liberty Hawks girls volleyball team celebrates a second set victory during Thursday’s sweep over the Dos Palos Bobcats.
After losing in a sweep against the Madera Coyotes, the Liberty Hawks girls volleyball team bounced back two days later with a home sweep against the Dos Palos Broncos.
The Hawks led for most of the game in the win on Thursday, a far contrast from the loss against the Coyotes.
“It was really important that we bounced back and I had a feeling that we would,” Liberty head coach Grant Clark said. “Madera is several leagues above us and we learned some valuable lessons from them.”
It was the first home win of the season for the Hawks, who lost the previous two home games against Madera and Minarets.
Clark said the Hawks have been losing against teams they’re expected to beat, but that wasn’t the case against Dos Palos.
“We would get big leads and lose momentum and we would get complacent,” Clark said.
Against Dos Palos, Clark saw a much better focus from his team.
“We had one moment when [Dos Palos] went on a little run and then immediately we came back and closed them out,” Clark said. “I’m happy with how we bounced back from adversity.”
The Hawks faced a 4-0 deficit in the first set against Dos Palos, but quickly flipped the outcome in their favor.
Liberty scored four consecutive points to make up for an early deficit, including a block by Sarah Shevenell, which tied the set at five.
The Hawks then took the lead with the next point and continued to expand the gap.
With the score 20-9, Liberty senior Stephanie Madrigal added another point to make it 21-9.
The Hawks closed out the first set with a 4-0 run to win it 25-11.
Liberty senior Lucia Somilleda scored two points early in the second set to help the Hawks take an 8-3 lead.
After the Hawks extended the gap to nine points, Dos Palos made its own run to cut the lead to three.
Liberty sophomore Allyx Faretta scored three of the final four points in the second set to help her team hold off the Broncos and take a 25-17 win.
“Second set, [Dos Palos] came back and I just told them to dig for some long rallies because we weren’t putting the ball away, neither were they,” Clark said. “There was probably at least a 20-touch rally that just kept going. I think it was important that we won that and pushed us over the edge.”
The Broncos, once again ,put up a fight early in the third set and trailed 7-5.
Liberty, however, pulled away with a 7-0 run.
After Audrina Vasquez gave the Hawks a 22-10 lead, Liberty put together a 3-1 run down the stretch and closed out the sweep with a 25-11 win.
Vasquez recorded four kills, while Somilleda added three more for the Hawks. Somilleda and Madrigal ended the game with four service aces each,
“We served really well and then we got timely kills to keep the momentum going,” Clark said. “Without a doubt, our number one weapon tonight was our serve.”