Coyotes’ volleyball falls in four to Central Grizzlies

The Madera Coyotes boys volleyball team is finally starting to get its team in order, and it couldn’t come at a better time.


The Coyotes are still struggling to find itself and are still making too many errors on the court to help themselves in a 3-1 loss to the Central-Fresno Grizzlies on Tuesday in Joe Flores Gym.


“We are still making too many errors on the court,” head coach Rhonda Jefferson-Counsel said. “We are still inexperienced and are still working on our chemistry. We finally got all of the team together and now they need the court time.”


Jaden Gaeta led the Coyotes with 10 kills while Angel Leon added seven. Boys soccer goalkeeper Chris Arias had four kills to go with five blocks.


“Everyone is still learning their roles, but we are getting better,” Jefferson-Counsel said. “We haven’t really played in almost two years so we are still catching up. We have so many players from other sports coming in so they need time to get into volleyball shape.”


The Coyotes found themselves traling 9-5 in the first set despite two Gaeta kills. However, Arias and Leonel Marquez combined on a block and Leon put down a kill for a 10-9 lead.


The two teams played close for the next 20 points. After Central scored three straight points, the Coyotes came back to tie the set with four straight points behind two Arias kills and two serves from Diego Barriga.


Leon served up an ace in a three-point run for a 22-20 lead. Central came back to tie the score. Six side outs later and the Coyotes couldn’t convert on two set points. After Central missed its serve on set point, Madera got to set point, but a tip kill gave Central the side out.


The Grizzlies closed the set with two straight points for a 29-27 win.


“That first set was a backbreaker,” Jefferson-Counsel said. “We had chances to win, but couldn’t put the final point away.”


The Coyotes couldn’t put down a kill over the final seven points.


Central jumped out to a 10-6 lead in the second set.


Leon combined with Damian Bispham for a dual block and put down a kill to cut the lead to 10-8. However, Central scored four straight points for a 16-10 lead.


Gaeta put down a kill, but the Grizzlies increased their lead to 21-13. After five straight side outs, Leon got a side out kill and Gaeta put down a kill to cut the lead to six.


However, a missed serve gave the Grizzlies set point and a kill ended the set with a 25-17 Central win.


Marquez served up two straight points to tie the third set at five. After a missed serve, Central scored four straight points for a 10-5 lead. The Grizzlies added two more points for a 12-6 lead and then scored four more points for a 16-8 lead.


After five straight side outs, Joshua Landeros served up two points. Central got the side out, but Madera got the serve right back. Marquez served up two straight points to cut the lead to 19-16.


After a Central side out, Gaeta put down a side out kill and Kelvyn DeLeon served up two straight points to cut the lead to one. After another trade in side outs, Ayden Orlando served up another point to tie the set at 21.


Another trade in side outs led to a Leon kill and a Central hit out of bounds for set point, 24-22. Arias and Marquez combined on a dual block for a 25-22 win.


Central jumped to a 7-2 lead in the fourth set before a Madera side out and a Bispham solo block. DeLeon served up two more points to cut the lead to one.


However, Central scored three straight points. Leon put down a kill to get the lead back to one, but Central added a pair of points for a 15-12 lead before an Arias side out kill.


Landeros helped Madera cut the lead to 15-14. However, Central scored the next four points. A trade in side outs led to three more Central points for a 22-15 lead.


Central hit out of bounds for a side out. DeLeon served up an ace, Bispham put down a dunk kill and Leon put down another kill to cut the lead to 22-19. Central hit out of bounds, but got a kill for a side out.


Madera got the serve back when Central hit into the net, but a kill gave the Grizzlies match point. Madera hit into the net to give Central a 25-21 win.

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