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Stallions open season with tough loss

Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune

Madera South’s Nicolas Maldonado (11) and Mario Aguirre (12) rise up for a block attempt during Thursday’s three-set season-opening loss to Central.


For just the second time in the program’s history, the Madera South boys volleyball team has a new volleyball coach.

Former Stallions’ volleyball player and assistant coach Jesus Camacho-Martinez took over after Steve Guglielmana, the program’s lone coach, left before the fall season to coach at Fresno Christian.

“It’s awesome to come back,” Camacho-Martinez, who is a 2009 grad and has been a part of the coaching staff since 2010, said. “It’s very overwhelming at times, but it’s very rewarding when it comes to the players that are interested in playing the sport. I want to get the kids back interested in the sport. I have three teams this year. To come back from COVID, that’s the rewarding part. Now, we have to work towards our success.”

With a new coach, the Stallions opened the season with a three-set loss to Central-Fresno to open the season Thursday.

“I think the kids had more first-game jitters,” Camacho-Martinez. “It definitely has sunk in that I am the second coach since day one. There’s a lot that goes with the program. I’m learning the ways around. I used to just coach. Everything was done for me. This time, I have to paint the whole picture.”

The Stallions found themselves in an early 13-4 hole to open the match. A kill from Mario Aguirre got a side out and Ivan Miranda served up three straight points. After a pair of service errors, Nicolas Maldonado put down a side out kill and Axel Moya served up a point to cut the lead to five.

Central extended the lead by one, but two out of bounds hit cut their lead to five.

The Grizzlies got a side out kill and scored five straight points for a 23-13 lead. After both teams missed serve, Aguirre held off set point with a tip kill, but the Grizzlies got a kill on the next serve for a 25-14 win.

In the second set, Central took an 8-3 lead before an Alejandro Gil-Franco kill.

Maldonado put down a side out kill, Flavio Quiroz recorded a solo block and Edgar Montecinos served up an ace to cut the Central lead to 11-8. The Grizzles scored the next three points and eventually extended their lead to 20-11.

Maldonado put down a kill to get within seven, but the Grizzlies scored five of the next six points for a 25-14 win.

The Stallions started to settle down and eliminate mistakes in the third set. Despite trailing 7-4, they battled back. After a side out, Aguirre put down a kill and Quiroz served up a point to tie the set at seven.

The Grizzlies scored the next two pints, but Aguirre and Maldonado put down kills to tie the set at nine. Central scored three more points, but the Stallions answered with two Maldonado kills and an Aguirre ace to tie the set at 12. A Central hit out of bounds gave the Stallions a 13-12 lead.

Central scored two points to take the lead back, but Maldonado recorded a solo block to tie the set. Central scored three straight points. The Stallions scored with a Central missed serve and a Montecinos ace to cut the lead to one.

Despite side out kills from Aguirre and Maldonado, the Grizzles led 22-19. Central got a side out kill and two aces for the 25-19 win and the match.



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