Stallions eliminated in five-sets
Tyler Takeda/The Madera Tribune
Madera South senior Veronica Ramirez rises up for a kill attempt during Tuesday’s match against East in the Div. IV semifinals.
BAKERSFIELD — The Madera South Stallions came in as the underdog, but played like they belonged before falling in the fifth set to the East-Bakersfield Blades in the Div. IV semifinals.
The sixth-seeded Stallions won the first set before dropping the next two. Madera South forced a fifth set against the second-seeded Blades Tuesday night with a 25-20 victory before losing the fifth set 16-14.
“We just had some missed opportunities,” head coach Travis McEowen said. “We had opportunities that we didn’t finish. East had a go-to girl she whaled away all match. She was a factor. We had a lot of ups and downs in the match.”
Jazzlyn Vargas led the team with 12 kills while Veronica Ramirez had 10 and Danae Prudente added nine.
However, the Blades took advantage of Madera South’s off-night in serve receive. Although East had 13 missed serves, they recorded 14 aces. The two teams were close all night. East won the match by just three points combined (108-105).
If the Stallions would have won, they would have been the home team in Saturday’s championship match at West Hills College in Lemoore because No. 8 seed Garces-Bakersfield upset top seed Immanuel.
The Stallions opened the match a little nervous and off their game and fell into an 11-5 hole in the first set. Of East’s 11 points, six came on Madera South errors and two were on aces.
The Stallions began to chip away at the lead. A tip kill from Prudente cut the lead to four. With Prudente serving, Ramirez recorded a solo block and a kill in a four-point run to cut the lead to one.
Two Madera South hits out of bounds led to a 16-12 East lead. Another out of bounds Stallions’ hit gave the Blades a four-point lead.
After a Madera South time out, Vargas put down a kill for the side out. Ramirez served up three points to tie the set at 19 before Prudente put down a kill for a 20-19 lead. Prudente added a bump kill before the side out for a 21-19 lead.
Two East kills and a side out gave the Blades a 22-21 lead before a missed serve tied the set.
Junior Varsity call-up Diana Moreno served up the final three points of the set with help from a Vargas kill for a 25-22 Madera South victory.
Again, the Stallions fell into a quick hole in the second set with East scoring the first five points.
Elissa Escobar served up three points to cut the lead down to one. Ramirez served up three more points for a 9-8 lead.
The teams exchanged seven straight side outs before the Blades scored four straight points for a 15-12 lead.
Ramirez stopped the run with a side out kill. However, East got the serve back and scored four more points, including two aces to open a 20-13 lead.
Back-to-back missed East serves gave the Stallions a chance. Vargas put down a kill to cut the lead down to six, but the Stallions couldn’t add any more points with the serve despite a pair of Vargas side outs.
The Stallions hit into the net to give East set point and then hit out of bounds for a 25-18 East win in the second set.
Escobar served up the first two points of the third set, but East scored four straight points for a 4-2 lead.
The teams went back and forth before a Prudente kill and a Vargas ace gave the Stallions an 8-6 lead.
East battled back with three straight points for a 9-8 lead before a missed serve tied the set.
Prudente served up a point an Ramirez put down a kill for a two-point lead.
Ellie Morales served up a point to increase the lead to three. A Madera South missed serve led to two East points.
The Blades served up three straight aces to open an 18-15 lead.
Vargas put down a side out kill and served up an ace down the sideline to cut the lead to one. However, she missed her next serve for the side out.
Madera South got the serve back and Prudente served up an ace to tie the set at 20.
The Stallions hit into the net for a side out and East served an ace for a 22-20 lead.
Ramirez got the side out with a tip kill, but the teams traded side outs. Escobar served up a point to tie the set at 23, but the Blades got the side out for set point and finished the set with a kill.
East tried to take advantage of a dejected Madera South team in the fourth set by jumping out to a 7-2 lead.
Prudente put down a kill after a missed serve and the Stallions tried to wake up.
East took a 12-8 lead after a double contact violation, but Vargas got a kill for a side out. Prudente put down a kill for a 13-11 East lead.
The Blades got the side out and added two more points for a five-point lead.
Vargas served up two points to cut the lead to two. Prudente put down a soft kill for a side out and served up four straight points. Moreno got a dig that fell on the East side for a kill, Morales recorded a solo block and Ramirez got a kill off the block to lift Madera South to a 19-17 lead.
After a Madera South missed serve, Moreno got another bump kill for the side out. Morales served up a point when Ramirez got a tip kill for a 21-18 lead.
East got the side out and put down a kill to cut the lead to one, but Ramirez put down a kill for the side out.
Escobar finished the set by serving the final three points. Ramirez got a solo block for set point and finished the set with a kill for a 25-20 win.
Madera South jumped to a quick 5-3 lead in the fifth set with help from two missed serves by the Blades. Vargas put down a side out kill and Prudente had a tip kill.
The Blades battled back to tie the set at seven.
After a Blades lift violation gave the Stallions side out, Escobar served up two more points, including a Vargas kill, for a 10-7 lead.
Madera South hit out of bounds for side out and went into the net for another point to lead by one.
An East out of bounds hit gave the Stallions the serve. Ramirez served up an ace in a two-point run for a 13-9 lead.
However, the Stallions were called for a double contact for side out. An out of bounds hit, an ace, a ball into the net and an over the line violation after a long rally gave the Blades a five-point run and a 14-13 lead.
East missed its serve for a side out, but back-to-back East kills gave the Blades the 16-14 fifth-set win and the match.