Stallions stumble in loss to Knights
Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
Madera South’s Ellie Morales pushes a ball over the net during Tuesday’s three-set loss to the Bullard Knights. She helped kick start a third-set comeback attempt with a pair of aces.
After an emotional victory last week where the Madera South Stallions girls volleyball team outplayed their rivals, the Stallions suffered a let down in a three-set loss to the Bullard-Fresno Knights.
The Stallions recorded the sweep over the Madera Coyotes last week without the services of starting outside hitter Danae Prudente, who was in concussion protocol. However, Prudente was back and expectations were high against the Knights.
However, the Stallions couldn’t find their way in the first two-thirds of the match and by the time they did, they couldn’t come out of the huge hole they dug.
“Bullard is definitely a good team,” head coach Travis McEowen said. “They played well. We had nothing to match them the first two sets. We switched things, used different line-ups to try to find something that worked. We were looking for that spark to come about. We finally got that spark and we scored 18 points.”
The Stallions recorded just 16 kills in the three sets. Prudente led the team with five kills and she played libero for the first two sets. She also had 36 digs to lead the match.
The Stallions looked to have control early in the match. Veronica Ramirez recorded an ace to lead the Stallions to a 7-1 advantage.
The Knights got an ace to cut the lead to three. On a bump from by Jazlynn Vargas, Bullard hit out of bounds for a side out. Ellie Morales served up two points for a 12-7 lead.
Ramirez put down a tip kill for a side out and Elissa Escobar served up a point for a five-point lead.
The Knights scored the next six points to take the lead. After a trade in side outs, Bullard scored four straight points for a 21-16 lead.
After a trade in side outs, the Knights got an ace and two kills for a 25-17 victory.
Bullard took a 6-0 lead in the second set and extended the lead to 10-2 before a Vargas kill. After a Madera South missed serve, Bullard served up two aces for a 14-4 lead.
The Knights maintained their lead while the Stallions couldn’t get out of their own way. The Knights won the match when the ball fell on the Stallions’ side of the court for a 25-15 win.
In the set, the Stallions had 12 unforced errors, including four balls hit out of bounds.
The Stallions scored the first point of the third set. However, the Knights scored the next 17. Of the 17 points, 10 came on Madera South errors, including three balls hit out of bounds.
Finally, Morales and Vargas combined on a dual block for the side out.
That woke the Stallions from their slumber. Morales served up a pair of aces and had another serve not returned to cut the lead to 12.
“Ellie’s serve really helped getting us going,” McEowen said. “There was some big swings from Danae on the outside that got the team going. It helps to keep the ball in play.”
After a Bullard side out, Vargas put down a side out kill.
Vargas went back to serve and scored eight straight points. In the run, Prudente had three kills and Bullard committed five mistakes to cut the lead to 18-14.
Bullard added a point after five straight side outs for a 22-16 lead. Ramirez put down a tip kill for the side out, but Bullard got the side out back.
Ramirez got the side out, again, with a kill, but a missed serve and a block kill finished the match with a 25-18 win.