Stallions fall to better Hoover in three sets
Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
Madera South setter Elissa Escobar keeps her eye on the ball while starting the offense during Thursday’s match with the Hoover Patriots. Escobar recorded four kills in the three-set loss.
The Madera South Stallions girls volleyball team wanted to make a statement last week and earn a share of the top spot in the North Yosemite League.
However, the Hoover-Fresno Patriots showed they were the better team in Thursday’s battle with a 25-14, 25-16, 25-16 victory at Madera South.
“Sometimes, you have to give props to the other team,” head coach Travis McEowen said. “Hoover served aggressive and hit balls hard at us. We did our best. We are dealing with some injuries so we’ve had to change our line-up.”
The Stallions also had trouble stopping Hoover’s Makayla Smith, who recorded 18 kills in the three sets. Meanwhile, the Stallions recorded just 20 kills as a team.
Jazlynn Vargas led the team with six while Anna Kajitani had five. Danae Prudente added four and setter Elissa Escobar also had four.
“The girls wanted this match, for sure,” McEowen said. “They have been working hard. We had some critical situations we couldn’t take advantage of. Hoover went on runs to put us in deficits and we couldn’t get out of it.”
Both teams battled in the beginning of the match when there were 12 side outs in the first 15 points while Hoover led 9-6.
Two Smith kills increased Hoover’s lead to 12-6. Two ace and a Smith kill led to a 16-7 lead.
Kajitani put down two side out kills, but Madera South trailed 19-11.
Two Smith side out kills led to a 21-13 Hoover lead. Vargas got a side out kill and Hoover hit out of bounds to cut the lead to seven.
However, Smith put down two kills in the final four points for a 25-14 Hoover victory in the first set.
Kills by Vargas and Escobar gave the Stallions a 3-1 lead in the second set. An ace from Escobar, a dual block from Vargas and Jocelyn Prudente-Martinez and a point by Vargas gave the Stallions a 7-3 lead.
However, the Patriots came back to score the next five points that included a Smith back row kill and an ace for an 8-7 lead.
Prudente got a bump kill off the net and Kajitani put down a kill for a 9-8 lead. But, the Patriots scored three straight points for an 11-9 lead. The Patriots added three more points twice to increase their lead to 18-11. An ace opened the lead to 20-12.
Vargas put down an ace and Escobar served up two aces to cut the lead to five. Hoover scored two points, but a missed serve gave the Stallions a chance.
The Patriots got the side out and served up an ace on set point for a 25-16 victory.
Vargas served up an ace and Prudente put down a kill for a 7-4 lead in the third set.
The Patriots chipped away at the lead to tie the set at 11 before a side out kill from Kajitani. Hoover scored three straight potions for a 14-12 lead, and added an ace for a 16-13 lead.
A Madera South missed serve and a Hoover kill gave the Patriots an 18-14 lead.
Hoover missed a serve and Karina Alvarado served up a point for the Stallions.
However, Alvarado missed her next serve and Madera South didn’t get to serve for the rest of the match. The Patriots closed out the match with seven straight points that included an ace and two Smith kills, including one on match point for a 25-16 win.
Despite the two losses to Hoover, the Stallions have swept through the rest of the NYL and will try to keep the run going to secure second place.