Tyler Takeda/The Madera Tribune
Madera libero Mariyah Alvrez gets up a hit to help start the Madera offense against the Sanger Apaches while Lauren Dybas tries to get out of her way. She recorded a team-high 14 digs in a three-set sweep over Sanger.
SANGER — After avenging its only loss of the County/Metro Athletic Conference season, the Madera Coyotes girls volleyball team and head coach Meghan Haas has its sights set on the CMAC championship.
The Coyotes, who can win the CMAC outright by winning their last four matches, took a step towards that goal with a three-set sweep of the Sanger Apaches on Tuesday.
“The end goal is to win the CMAC championship,” Haas said. “It’s ours to lose. That’s our focus now.”
Heading to Sanger is always a precarious predicament, but Tuesday proved to be a rather easy task with a 25-8, 25-19, 25-20 victory.
“Last time, we won in four (at home),” Haas said. “This time, the goal was to win in three. You never know what to expect from Sanger. The last time we faced them, in serve receive they were awesome and kind of wavered. Tonight, they started out slow and we did well on our side. As the match went on, they figured some things out.”
Madera was, again, led by Isabella Saucedo, who recorded a game-high 20 kills. She also had four aces and three solo blocks. Lauren Dybas also had five kills, but setter Sofia Perez spread the ball around for her 40 assists. Perez had five different hitters record three or more kills.
However, one of the big keys for the Coyotes was the use of their selective blocks.
“It is always different when you hit against the block,” Haas said. “To hit without a block changes the way you swing and it’s more for us on defense. We’re trying to get the girls to be a little smarter about making the choices when to block and not to block. We still tell them certain players or sets to block, but they are making the decision on their own, too.”
Saucedo jumped the Coyotes to the early lead in the first set, recording two aces for a 6-1 lead. Brianna Guerrero had a kill in the run. She also had tip kill for a side out.
Kaci Gonzalez put down a kill for a side out and then served up three straight points, including an ace for an 11-3 lead.
After a Saucedo kill, Jade Davie served up five straight points with Saucedo recording kills on four of them.
Saucedo put down a tip kill for a side out and Mariyah Alvarez served up three points with a Saucedo kill for a 22-6 lead.
Madera got the side out back and Saucedo recorded a back row kill for set point and then hit her serve off the net onto the Sanger side of the court for an ace and a 25-8 victory.
Sanger jumped out to the early 8-5 lead in the second set before a Davie side out kill. Saucedo recorded a solo block to cut the lead down to one. Davie served up two more points for a 10-9 lead.
Alvarez served up another ace for a two-point lead. Saucedo put down a kill and recorded a block to extend the lead to five.
After a Sanger missed serve, Perez served up three points with a Davie kill to lead 20-12.
The two teams exchanged seven straight side outs with Madera leading 23-16. Gonzalez, Guerrero and Saucedo had side out kills in the run.
Sanger then scored three straight points on two tip kills and a ace to cut the lead to four.
Saucedo got the side out kill and Sanger hit into the net on set point for a 25-19 victory.
Saucedo served the Coyotes to an early 5-2 lead in the third set with Perez recording her first solo block of the season.
After two side out kills by Dybas, the second coming off a clutch dig from Alvarez, Madera kept a three-point lead.
Sanger scored four straight points to take the lead, but Dybas served up an ace to take a 9-8 lead.
Saucedo put down back-to-back kills and Alizae Vasquez recorded a solo block for a 12-8 lead.
Sanger scored two points before Saucedo put down a kill. After another Saucedo side out kill, Alvarez served up two points, including a Saucedo solo block, for a 17-12 lead.
Saucedo put down a side out kill and served up an ace for a 19-13 lead. Dybas put down a side out kill and another to open the lead to six.
Sanger took advantage of a pair of missed Madera serves to cut the lead to 23-20 before missing its serve to give Madera match point.
Saucedo ended the match with her 20th kill for the 25-20 victory.