Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
Madera South’s Veronica Ramirez rises up for a kill past the Bullard block in Thursday’s sweep. Ramirez put down five of her team’s 30 kills in the match.
Heading into the first week of County/Metro Athletic Conference action, Madera South head girls volleyball coach Travis McEowen was worried about his team’s consistency and, maybe a lack of drive coming off last year’s Valley Championship match berth.
However, his team put some of those thoughts to rest with a five-set victory over crosstown rivals Madera in the first game of the week and then put away Bullard-Fresno on Thursday with a three-set sweep despite not playing at its best.
“We came out a little flat after Tuesday’s big win,” McEowen said. “We played very sloppy fundamentally on our side. It’s nice to be 2-0, but we have to clean it up, for sure.”
The Stallions are on the road this week in both CMAC matches. They played at Edison-Fresno on Tuesday and are at Sanger on Thursday.
Stallions’ setter Jacky Granados spread the ball around with 30 assists. Four Stallions recorded five or more kills in the match, led by Bianca Guevara with eight to go with three solo blocks and two dual blocks.
Destiny Perez and Arelis Chavez each had six kills while Veronica Ramirez had five.
The Stallions came out a little flat in the match despite jumping out to a 3-0 lead in the first set.
Bullard came back to tie the set at five and then took a 10-5 lead behind three straight aces. After a trade in side outs, the Knights jumped out to a 15-7 lead after two kills and another ace.
Madera South began to inch back into the set after a Bullard missed serve. Kiara Alvarado served up three straight points with a Ramirez kill. After six straight side outs, the final one coming on a Guevara solo block, Guevara took over the set.
She recorded back-to-back solo blocks and had another kill inside the back line to cut the lead to one. Chloe Riddle served up another point to tie the set at 18.
Bullard got the serve back and recorded another ace for a 20-18 lead before missing its next serve.
Guevara served a ball that couldn’t be returned while Jewely-Ana Rodriguez and Perez put down kills for a 23-20 Stallions’ lead.
After a Bullard side out, Granados put down a dump kill and served up two more points to get to set point leading 24-22 before a Bullard side out.
However, the Knights hit the out-of-bounds antenna to give the Stallions a 25-23 victory.
In the second set, it seemed like the Stallions would run away with the match. Samantha Yamusak served up eight straight points after a Chavez side out kill.
In the run, Chavez and Guevara combined on a dual block and Yamusak served up an ace. The other six points came from Bullard errors and Madera South led 9-2.
Bullard got the serve back and proceeded to score eight straight points with an ace to take a 10-9 lead.
Chavez stopped the run with a side out kill. Ramirez had three kills while Diana Abendano served up six straight points for a 16-10 Stallions’ lead.
Chavez and Guevara put down side out kill for a six-point lead.
Perez put down a kill of a Knights’ overpass. Rodriguez put down a kill and added another after the Stallions scrambled all over the court to keep the ball alive for a 21-12 lead.
Two missed Bullard serves gave the Stallions a 23-16 lead. Kiara Alvarado served up a point for set point and Chavez ended it with a kill for a 25-16 win.
Bullard, again, jumped out to the early lead in the third set, leading 7-5 despite side out kills from Ramirez and Guevara.
Perez put down a kill off a Jessica Velasquez serve to tie the set at seven. Bullard scored two straight points for a 10-8 lead before a Chavez kill. The Knights added another point to their lead before a service error.
Chavez and Guevara combined on a dual block, Yamusak sent a serve that wasn’t returned, Guevara put down a block off a Knights’ block and Chavez had a kill for a 14-12 lead.
Bullard came back with four straight points to take a 17-15 lead. However, the Stallions closed the match by scoring 10 of the next 13 points for the win.
After Bullard’s ninth missed serve of the match, Ramirez served up seven straight points, including three straight aces. Guevara had two kills in the run and Perez put down another while the Stallions took a 22-17 lead.
Bullard scored two more points before Perez got the side out with a kill off the block for match point.
Madera South hit out of bounds to give Bullard the side out, but Granados ended it with a dump kill and a 25-20 victory.