Coyotes open state championship defense with win
In its first appearance since winning the CIF State NorCal Div. III championship last year, the Madera Coyotes boys volleyball team had to wait longer than it wanted to start the home season.
In their home opener, the Coyotes had trouble getting going before recording a four-set victory over the Reedley Pirates on Tuesday in Joe Flores Gym.
Madera, which also won its second straight Div. II Central Section Championship, got its home opener started more than an hour after the scheduled time due to Reedley arriving late and the freshmen and junior varsity matches playing three sets each.
Both teams struggled behind the service line. Each team missed 20 serves in a match that took almost two hours to complete. The Coyotes pulled out a 31-29 win in the first set and beat the Pirates 25-16. However, Reedley battled back for a 26-24 win in the third set before the Coyotes closed the match with a 25-23 win in the fourth set.
The Coyotes had three players record double-digit kills. Hunter Brown led the Coyotes with 12 kills. Alex Olvera-Gil added 11 while chandler Fowler had 10.
The Coyotes took advantage of Reedley errors to jump out to an 11-6 lead. After a Bryson Smith kill, Reedley had three straight errors with Denzel Villa serving.
A Brown kill and a Javier Maciel ace led to a 16-12 lead. the Pirates battled back and cut the lead down to one before a Fowler ace. Three straight Coyote service errors helped the Pirates take a 22-21 lead.
Smith put down a side out kill to tie the set at 22. Olvera-Gil put down a kill off a Smith set and Olvera-Gil added another to get to set point leading 24-22.
Reedley scored three straight points to take set point away from the Coyotes and get to set point, leading 25-24. A service error gave tied the set, but Reedley got two more set points before a service error gave the advantage to the Coyotes.
Fowler won a joust at the net for a 28-27 lead, but a missed serve tied the set at 28. Reedley added a point and got to its fourth set point, but Brown tied the set with a kill. Reedley hit out of bounds for Madera’s set point. Brown finished the set with a kill for a 31-29 win.
In the second set, Brown put down a pair of kills for a 7-6 lead to start the second set.
Reedley battled back for an 11-12 lead before a Fowler kill tied the set. Reedley hit in the net twice for a 14-12 Coyote lead. Two more Pirate errors gave Madera a 17-13 lead. Then, Fowler served up an ace to get the lead to six.
After a Reedley service error, Olvera-Gil put down two kills and Smith put down a kill on set point for a 25-17 victory.
A service error and two Reedley mistakes gave the Coyotes an 11-8 lead. The Pirates battled back to take a 14-12 lead. Kills from Olvera-Gil and Brown tied the set at 14.
Reedley then scored four straight points after a Coyote service error. A Reedley service error followed by a Noel Luviano-Duque and Fowler dual block and a Fowler kill cut the lead to one.
The Pirates scored three straight points, but a service error, double contact, net violation and lift violation tied the core at 23.
Madera missed its next serve to give Reedley the side out, but Brown got the side out with a kill.
However, Reedley got the side out and put down a kill for a 26-24 victory.
In the fourth set, Fowler served an ace and Brown put down a kill for an early 4-1 lead.
Reedley scored five straight points to open a 10-6 lead. Madera chipped away at the lead and after Luviano-Duque put down a kill, tied the set at 12. Reedley answered with four straight points after Madera’s 19th missed serve of the match.
Madera missed its 20th serve and Reedley held a four-point lead.
Olvera-Gil got a side out kill and Luviano-Duque served up a point to cut the lead to 18-16. A Reedley missed serve and a Fowler kill cut the Pirates’ lead to one.
After a Reedley side out, Fowler gave the Coyotes the side out with a kill. Reedley hit out of bounds twice to give Madera match point. Then, the Pirates were called for double contact and the Coyotes won the fourth set 25-23.