Stallions drop opener, beat Eagles
Courtesy of Christopher Cross
Madera South’s Veronica Ramirez rises up for a kill attempt in Tuesday’s loss to the San Joaquin Memorial Panthers. He had a team-high eight kills Tuesday and added 21 more in a four-set win Wednesday against Fresno Christian.
In another busy week for the Madera South Stallions girls volleyball team, head coach Travis McEwoen’s team lost the County/Metro Athletic Conference opener to San Joaquin Memorial-Fresno, but picked up a win against Fresno Christian and some familiar faces.
The Stallions, who just came back from a week off from COVID quarantine, opened the CMAC schedule against a tough SJM team without one of their top hitters, junior Jazlynn Vargas, who is out with a concussion.
Madera South came out flat against the Panthers on Tuesday and couldn’t find anything consistent. They dropped the first set 25-15 and the third set 25-10, but played spirited in the second set before losing 25-20.
Playing their second of three straight games in three straight days, the Stallions overcame a tough second set to defeat the Eagles, 25-16, 14-25, 25-20, 25-12. The Stallions saw familiar faces on the other side of the net. Last year’s assistant coach and the only boys volleyball head coach in Madera South’s history, Steve Guglielmana, is the head coach of the Fresno Christian girls volleyball team. In addition, his daughter, senior Jacklynn Guglielmana, is also playing for the Eagles after playing the first three high school years with the Stallions.
“Fresno Christian came out and was digging balls and made us work for it,” McEwoen said. “We just had to raise our level to compete with them after the second set. The message to the team after the second set was to figure it out, start fighting and start playing for one another and the team to get the job done.”
Veornica Ramirez led the Stallions with 21 kills and Danae Prudente had 16 to go with nine aces. Ramirez recorded 11 kills in the fourth set to secure the victory.
“Veronica came up clutch,” McEwoen said. “She was digging up balls and set the tone for us to put the team on her back and to push through for the win.”
The Stallions also held their own from the service line. In addition to Prudente’s nine aces, Hannah Eades had four and Ramirez added three more. Madera South had 21 aces, but also had 10 missed serves.
Ramirez also led the team with eight kills in Tuesday’s loss to the Panthers. However, the rest of the team combined for nine kills, including four from Hannah Eades.
Elissa Escobar started Wednesday’s match with an ace. Then, Prudente served up three aces in a six-point run. Anna Kajitani and Ramirez put down kills for an 8-1 lead.
After an Ellie Escobar solo block and a Kajitani side out kill, Eades served up two aces and Jailin Ventura put down a kill for a 13-3 lead.
Escobar added a bump set kill for a side out and Prudente put down two side out kills for a 17-10 lead.
Prudente added to her ace numbers with four in a row and five in a six-point span. She also added a back row kill to open the lead to 13 points.
Fresno Christian got a kill and an ace before a Kelly Barrios side out kill for set point.
Madera South missed its next serve and Fresno Christian added two more points before giving the set to the Stallions with a missed serve.
The Stallions couldn’t get out of their own way in the second set. They only recorded three points with serve.
The Eagles served up five aces and the Stallions couldn’t answer. Madera South got side out kills from Eades, Ramirez (2), Prudente (3) and Kajitani, but didn’t record one with a serve in the 25-14 loss.
In the third set, Kajitani put down a kill to start the Stallions. Prudente served up an ace and Ramirez put down a pair of kills for a 4-3 lead.
The teams exchanged side outs before Prudente put down a kill for a three-point lead.
However, the Eagles scored five straight points for a 15-12 lead before libero Karina Alvarado made a diving dig that fell on the Fresno Christian side for a kill. From there, Madera South outscored Fresno Christian 12-5.
Ramirez put down a kill and Morales served an ace to tie the score at 15. The Eagles put down three straight kills to get the lead back to three.
After a missed serve, Ramirez put down two kills and Eades served up a point for a 19-18 lead.
Fresno Christian got a side out and Madera South hit a ball into the net for a 20-19 Eagles lead.
Ramirez got the side out and the Stallions didn’t give the Eagles the serve back. Ramirez recorded back-to-back back row kills and then served up two aces to get to set point. Prudente finished the set with a kill for a 25-20 win.
In the fourth set, side out kills from Ramirez and Prudente gave the serve to Morales, who added another ace. Prudente put down two kills for a 5-3 lead.
Ramirez then put down kills for five of Madera South’s next six points. A Ventura aces was the only other point for a 13-7 lead.
Prudente added two kills and Ramirez served up another ace for an 18-9 lead. Escobar got a side out with a dump kill.
After a Fresno Christian side out, Kajitani put down a kill. Eades served up two aces and Fresno Christian hit out of bounds for a 23-11 Madera South lead.
After a missed serve, Fresno Christian hit out of bounds for match point.
Fittingly, Ramirez closed the match with a kill for a 25-12 win.