Stallion start off season right with win
Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
Madera South’s Jazlynn Vargas records a dig to start the Stallions’ offense. Vargas led the team with 20 kills in a four-set win over Minarets on Tuesday.
The Madera South Stallions girls volleyball team looked like they were in midseason form during a four-set victory over the Minarets-O’Neils Mustangs in the season opener at Madera South.
After a 28-26 loss in the first set, the Stallions outscored Minarets 50-28 in the next two sets and closed the match Tuesday with a 25-23 win.
“The first set, nerves set in,” head coach Travis McEowen said. “I was proud for the girls for digging deep and coming back. We had a chance to win it. The next three sets, we put it to them.”
Jazlynn Vargas led the Stallions with 20 kills to go with five aces. Her partiner-in-crime, Danae Prudente, added 15 kills after recording just one in the first set. The pair also got contributions from Hannah Eades, Anna Kajitani and Angelina Aguirre, who combined for 16 kills.
“Minarets is a team that doesn’t make little errors,” McEowen said. “They force you to play against them. We were able to put balls down.”
Diana Moreno impressed as the libero with a team-leading 26 digs. She also added five aces. Setter Elissa Escobar controlled the match and recorded 48 assists.
“We still have a lot of work to do,” McEowen said. “I was definitely proud of the way the girls came together against a really good Minarets team.”
The beginning of the match didn’t go the way McEowen wanted. After Vargas opened the set with a kill, the Stallions had trouble on serve receive.
Minarets scored seven straight points for an 8-1 lead.
The Stallions tried to chip away at the lead after eight straight side outs. Moreno served up three points with an ace and a Vargas kill.
Minarets added to its lead, but Vargas put down a kill. Eades put down a kill off a Minarets overpass to cut the lead to three.
Minarets added an ace before Vargas recorded another side out kill. Off an assist from Moreno, Eades put down a kill and Vargas served up an ace to cut the lead to two. Kajitani added a kill to cut the lead to one.
After a side out kill from Aguirre, Minarets hit out of bounds and Aguirre put down another kill to tie the set at 19.
The teams exchanged seven straight side outs before Vargas served up an ace for a 24-23 lead and set point. Minarets scored two straight points for its first set point, but Prudente put down her first kill of the match.
The teams exchanged three straight side outs before Minarets finished the set with a kill on its third set point.
Madera South began to take control in the second set. Vargas (with two side out kills) and Prudente (with three side out kills) didn’t let Minarets score a point with serve until its 11th point.
Moreno served up two points for a 9-5 lead and Kajitani served up an ace and Eades got a kill for a 12-6 lead.
After a Minarets service error, Kajitani put down a tip kill and Prudente put down another kill for an 18-11 lead.
After another Minarets missed serve, Moreno served up four straight points, including back-to-back aces. Eades put down a kill off a Kajitani assist and Prudente sent back a Minarets attack for a 23-12 lead.
Minarets got the side out and an ace, but Kajitani put down a side out kill for set point. Minarets hit the ball into the net for a 25-14 Madera South win.
Madera South fell behind 3-0 and 6-1 in the third set. Vargas started the comeback with an ace to cut the lead to 9-6.
Prudente put down a pair of kills and Moreno served up an ace to cut the lead down to one. Prudente put down a side out kill and added another kill to give Madera South a 12-11 lead.
Prudente kept her dominance with a side out kill and then served up five straight points, including back-to-back aces. Vargas and Eades had kills in the run for an 18-12 lead.
A Minarets missed serve led to Madera South ending the third set. Vargas put down three straight kills. The last one came on the heels of a diving dig from Prudente. Escobar’s serve wasn’t return for set point and she aced the Mustangs for a 25-14 win.
In the fourth set, Madera South took a 6-3 lead after two Prudente kills, a Vargas side out kill and a Jocelyn Prudente-Martinez solo block.
However, Minarets scored five straight points, including an ace for an 8-6 lead.
Prudente-Martinez put down a kill and Escobar served up a point to tie the set. Minarets scored three straight points to take the lead, but Vargas served the Stallions into the lead.
In a five-point run, Vargas had two aces and got kills from Prudente and Aguirre for a 14-11 lead.
An Aguirre side out kill led to a Moreno ace and an Eades solo block for an 18-13 lead. A Kajitani side out kill led to three more points, including a Prudente kill for a 21-14 lead.
The Stallions took a 23-16 lead after a Minarets missed serve. However, the Mustangs recorded four straight aces and back-to-back kills to tie the set at 23.
Vargas put down a side out kill, with an assist from Moreno, to get Madera South to match point. With Escobar serving, Vargas ended the match with her 20th kill for a 25-23 win.