Stallions make quick work of Coyotes
Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
Madera South’s Danae Prudente (9) goes up to win a joust against Madera’s Zoe Rodriguez during Thursday’s three-set victory.
In one of the more lopsided matches in the rivalry, the Madera South Stallions picked up a three-set sweep over the Madera Coyotes.
The Stallions outscored the Coyotes 50-19 in the first and third sets. Madera battled with the Stallions in the second set, but Madera South prevailed, 26-24, Thursday night at Madera South.
“Definitely in a rivalry game, both teams are amped and ready to go,” Madera South head coach Travis McEwoen said. “The girls played one of their best matches of the year, so far.”
“We tried not to make a mistake rather than try to score,” Madera head coach Meghan Haas said. “They are playing not to lose rather than playing to win. I told them in the second set it was not over. We were leading 20-15 and we have five more points to push. They did a great job and we did not.”
With one of their big hitters out, Veronica Ramirez and Danae Prudente put the team on their backs and led them to the win. Prudente had 13 kills to go with three blocks and a pair of aces. Ramirez had eight kills to go with five aces. The pair combined for 21 of the team’s 23 kills and five more than the entire Coyotes’ team.
“Those two were very consistent,” McEwoen said. “They hit the ball hard and passed a near perfect game. All-round, they led the team and put them on their shoulders. You always need a couple of people to be that spark plug. Definitely, they were the spark plug in their consistent play.”
The Coyotes, coming off a County/Metro Athletic Conference-opening win over Edison-Fresno, couldn’t keep that momentum Thursday.
“We’re playing a different team,” Haas said. “There’s a different caliber of team. Madera South has a couple of hitters that can put a ball away. We were without our setter (Emma Richardson) and they were without their outside (Jazlynn Vargas). We kind of got in our heads and didn’t play with confidence.”
Elissa Escobar and Ramirez served up aces for a quick 4-1 lead in the first set. Hannah Eades then served up seven straight points, including an ace. Prudente had a pair of solo blocks in the run for a 13-3 lead.
A pair of Ramirez side out kills maintained the 10-point lead. Ramirez served up three straight points with a Prudente kill for a 20-7 lead.
Madera’s Zariah Bryant got the side out kill to stop the run. With Kylie Bursey serving, Bryant added another kill to get within 10.
However, after Madera hit out of bounds, Eades finished the set with three straight points, including an ace to win the set, 24-11.
Two kills and an ace from Zoe Rodriguez helped give the Coyotes a 9-6 lead in the second set. Side out kills from Sabrina Mata helped open the lead to four.
Sofia Marin served up four straight points for the Coyotes. Bursey and Rodriguez had a kill in the run while Rodriguez had a solo block for a 17-9 lead.
After a missed serve, Eades served up three straight points, including an ace. Marin got the side out when her diving dig found the back corner. Emily Lopez got a side out kill by also finding the back corner and Madera led 22-15 after an ace from Rodriguez.
Ramirez got the side out kill to start the comeback. She put down a dunk kill and Ellie Morales served up an ace to cut the lead to four.
After Mata got the side out kill, Ramirez got the side out back to Madera South with a kill.
Escobar served up five straight points to get to set point Ramirez scored the last three points with kills.
After a Stallions’ missed serve, Madera gave the serve back to the Stallions. Prudente ended the set with a kill for a 26-24 win.
Escobar missed her serve to open the third set. It didn’t really matter because the Stallions scored the next 18 points.
Kelly Barrios started the run with a side out kill. Ramirez then served up 17 straight points. Prudente had six kills in the run and added a solo block. Ramirez served up four straight aces at one point and Madera South was in control.
Bursey stopped the run with a kill, but Prudente got the serve right back with a kill. Jailin Verntura served up an ace for a 20-2 Madera South lead.
Madera kept fighting back. Bursey put down a side out kill. Marin served up three points, including a Rae Jackson kill off the net to cut the lead to 21-8.
Prudente got a kill off the net for the side out. She then served up aces on two of the next three points, including on match point for a 25-8 win.