Courtesy of Christopher Cross
Madera South senior Kiara Alvarado digs up a Sanger attack during Tuesday’s victory over the Apaches.
After stopping a three-match losing streak in its previous match, the Madera South Stallions got a battle with the Sanger Apaches for a four-set victory on a night to honor seven seniors.
The Stallions easily won the first set, 25-13, but the Apaches came back to give the Stallions all they could handle. Sanger won the second set 25-22, but Madera South battled back for wins in the third (26-24) and fourth set (29-27) for the match win.
“It was big to come back,” head coach Travis McEowen said. “Sanger came out and punched us. We came through at the end when we needed it. We showed some heart. It would have been great to play like that the whole match on each set and not get down in those holes. At the end of the day, we got the win.”
In the third set, Madera South trailed 23-19 and outscored the Apaches 7-1 to win. In the fourth set, the Stallions faced set point twice before finally defeating Sanger.
“Our energy and our motivation was high,” senior Bianca Guevara said. “Everyone was talking and giving everyone advice to fix our errors.”
Guevara led the charge at the end of the fourth set. After Sanger got its first set point, Guevara recorded three kills and two solo blocks to keep the Stallions in the match. She finished with 10 kills in the match.
“I really wanted the ball,” Guevara said. “It was our Senior Night and I wanted it to be real special for my teammates.”
“Bianca has the talent,” McEowen said. “She hits the ball hard and works really hard. She moves around to get swings. We just have to keep working on the connections. When she gets more vocal, she will hit more balls. With this team, when they want to hit the ball and get set, they do really good things. When they want it, good things happen.
Arelis Chavez led the Stallions with 17 kills while Destiny Perez added seven.
The Stallions took control of the first set early. After trailing 5-3, Jacky Granados served up five straight points to take the lead. Chavez, Perez and Veronica Ramirez had kills in the run while Granados served up an ace.
After Sanger cut the lead to 9-7, Chavez put down a side out kill. Samantha Yumusak served up two aces to give the Stallions a 13-7 lead.
Chloe Riddle served up four straight points with an ace and a Guevara kill to open the lead to 19-10.
Sanger missed consecutive serves and Ramirez and Perez put down kills for a 23-12 lead.
Sanger hit into the net to give the Stallions set point and Granados served up another ace for the 25-13 win.
In the second set, the Stallions tried to put away the Apaches early behind a Yumusak ace and a Perez kill.
However, Sanger fought back and took a 15-12 lead before a Stallions’ time out. Side out kills by Guevara and Granados kept the Stallions close, but another three-point run gave the Apaches a 20-14 lead.
Guevara got a side out kill and Diana Abendano served up a point, but the Apaches got the side out. Granados and Yumusak served up points to cut the lead to two before a Sanger side out.
Chavez got a push kill for the side out and Kiara Alvarado put down a kill to cut the lead to one. However, a missed serve and a Sanger kill gave the set to the Apaches, 25-22.
Madera South jumped to a 4-0 lead in the third set behind two Chavez kills and two Granados aces.
The Stallions kept the lead until Sanger recorded back-to-back kills to tie the set at 11. Back-to-back Chavez kills gave the Stallions a 14-12 lead.
The Apaches took advantage of a missed serve to score four straight points for a 17-15 lead. Sanger extended the lead to four after two aces. Guevara served up a point to cut the lead to two, but a Madera South four-contact violation gave the Apaches a 23-19 lead.
Perez put down a kill for the side out and Granados served up a pair of aces to cut the lead to one. Chavez put down a kill to tie the set and Sanger hit into the net to give Madera South side out.
The Stallions hit out of bounds, but Chavez got the side out back with a kill. On set point, Kelly Barrios and Perez combined on a dual block for the 26-24 victory.
In the fourth set, Sanger jumped out to a 5-1 lead and opened the lead to 9-2 after a pair of aces.
The Stallions chipped away at the lead. Perez recorded a solo block and two side out kills. Ramirez served up an ace and Chavez put down a kill to cut the lead to one.
Sanger extended the lead to three, but Chavez put down a kill and Guevara had a bump kill find an open spot in the back corner to cut the lead down to one.
After eight straight side outs, Ramirez served up a point to tie the set at 21. Sanger scored two points to take the lead before a missed serve. Madera South hit out of bounds to give the Apaches set point.
However, Guevara recorded a kill and then added a solo block to tie the set at 24. After a Sanger side out for set point, Guevara, again put down a kill and added a solo block to give the Stallions match point, 26-25.
Sanger got the side out, but Guevara put down a kill to keep match point. Sanger got the side out with a missed serve, but Perez put down a tip kill to give Madera South its third match point. Chavez ended the match with her 16th kill for a 29-27 win.