Stallions sluggish in sweep to Hoover


Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune

Madera South’s Karina Alvarado goes up for a kill attempt in Tuesday’s sweep at the hands of the Hoover Patriots. After playing the first set as a libero, Alvarado played every rotation in the third set and led the team with three kills.

Just three days removed from a nine-match, two-day tournament, the Madera South Stallions girls volleyball team couldn’t find the energy in a lethargic 3-0 loss to the Hoover-Fresno Patriots.


The Stallions advanced to the Silver Division Championship match at their own Madera Classic on Saturday. However, the extra matches fatigued the Stallions heading into Tuesday’s match.


“We have played a lot of matches,” head coach Travis McEowen said. “Fatigue has definitely kicked it. It wasn’t our best match. Hoover took it to us and we didn’t have any answers. It was not our normal us. We have to back to the drawing board to see how to improve.”


The Stallions were scheduled to have matches Wednesday and Thursday with a tournament on Friday and Saturday. However, a person in the program tested positive for COVID and the team had to get shut down. The Stallions will now get some practice time before beginning the County/Metro Athletic Conference schedule next week.


The Stallions lost the three sets by a combined 75-41 score, although the third set was more competitive and more fun to watch.


“They were very energetic,” McEowen said of his third set group. “They did a good job coming in and competing. They just brought the fun, energetic style back in the game. They were diving everywhere, hustling, getting balls up. They had a blast and it looked fun.”


Jailin Ventura, Kelly Barrios and Karina Alvarado led the third set group that brought enthusiasm back to the Stallions’ side of the court.


The Stallions recorded just 14 kills in the match. Alvarado and Veronica Ramirez led the Stallions with three kills each.


Meanwhile, the Patriots recorded 21 aces against the Stallions, getting nine in the first set and eight in the third set.


A Ramirez side out kill and a Jazlynn Vargas ace gave the Stallions a 4-0 lead in the first set.


The Patriots got the side out on a Stallions’ missed serve. The Patriots tied the score with three straight aces.


After a trade in side outs, two more Hoover aces led to a six-point run and an 11-6 lead.


A Vargas kill cut the lead to 14-10, but the Patriots took advantage of Madera South hitting out of bounds to go on a five-point run for a 19-11 lead.


Another Hoover ace opened the lead to nine and a seventh ace of the set gave the Patriots a 10-point lead. Ramirez put down a kill, but the Patriots put down a side out kill for set point. The Patriots closed the set with an ace for a 25-14 win.


In the second set, Hoover jumped out to a 4-0 lead and then opened the lead to 7-2.


Madera South couldn’t find any traction in the second set. They only had two kills — both from Hannah Eades — and couldn’t do anything right. Eighteen of Hoover’s points came on Madera South mistakes, whether it was an ace, a ball down or a hit out of bounds.


The Patriots put the set away by scoring four straight points for a 21-10 lead. Another ace opened the lead to 12 and the Patriots closed the set with a kill for a 25-13 win.


In the third set, McEowen took out his normal starters and gave other players playing time. The reserves enjoyed their time of the court and battled the Patriots for the first half of the set.


Side out kills from Barrios and Alvarado (on a bump kill) helped give the Stallions a 6-5 lead.


Two Hoover aces opened an 8-6 Patriots’ lead before an Alvarado kill.


However, the Patriots got the side out and recorded six straight points with three aces and a kill for a 14-7 lead.


After a missed serve, Alvarado served an ace and Barrios put down a kill.


However, the Patriots got the side out and scored seven straight points with the help of four aces for a 21-10 lead.


Alvarado got the side out with a bump kill on serve receive. Ventura put down a kill, but it wasn’t enough for the Stallions. While Madera South missed its next two serves, Hoover scored three points to get to match point.


The Stallions got the side out, but the Patriots ended the match with a back row kill.

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