MHS beats PHS 3-1, EYL win streak reaches 18
Under head coach Rosalia Quinones, Monache High School volleyball is dominating the East Yosemite League.
The first-place Marauders (20-9, 5-0 EYL) picked up their 18th straight EYL win under the four-year head coach and are now 31-4 in EYL with Quinones at the helm.
Keeping their win streak alive Tuesday evening at home, defending EYL-champion Monache pulled out a challenging 3-1 win against rival Porterville (12-11, 3-2 EYL) to finish the first round of league play undefeated. The Marauders won the first set 25-18, dropped the second 25-23, then won the last two 25-18 and 25-23, respectively.
“I've come in telling my girls it's 10-0,” Quinones said about the team's goal of repeating last year's 10-0 EYL finish.
“It's been hard,” she added. “We're defending champions, everybody plays their best against us.”
The Panthers, who last season finished 1-9 in EYL but are now in second place, kept things close in the first set but took over the second with a 17-6 lead.
“They keep the ball up and it frustrates our hitters,” Quinones said. “Our hitters had a lot of attempts and (Porterville) just battles with the ball, they dig balls and they keep the ball in play. And they were good servers. Not our best night at passing tonight, at receiving, but they found a way.”
Trailing 19-8, Monache started a late rally that saw them cut Porterville's lead to 24-17. From there the Marauders scored six straight points to make it a one-point match. However they lost the final point when they blocked the ball straight down on their side.
The third set was almost all Monache but in the fourth, Porterville showed they weren't quite ready to go home yet. The Marauders led the entire set but never by more than four points while the Panthers managed to tie the score up six times.
Leading Monache in kills was senior outside hitter, Hally Flynn, with 16. Flynn also had six digs and one block. Senior middle blocker, Tia Jules, had 11 kills and one block while freshman middle blocker, Morgan Hunter, had 10 kills, three blocks and one ace. Senior libero, Kristen Watson, had 18 digs, five aces and 12 service points. Senior setter, Gabriella Cox, had 41 assists and 13 digs.
The Marauders kept things interesting late in the match with a 6-2 formation in the fourth set. Junior Katie Ramirez got time as a setter with Cox getting a chance to provide another outside hitting option. Ramirez and Jules also linked up for some kills to keep the Panthers on their toes.
“I wanted to try something different because depending on the opponent, it gives us an extra hitter with Gabby so I said why not try it,” Quinones said. “...Gives us a different option. But Katie and Tia connected. I mean she had a monster hit there and that was exciting to see.”
Monache's focus returns to the rest of the EYL, beginning with Thursday's match at Tulare Union (10-15, 2-2 EYL) while Porterville hosts Mission Oak (4-15, 1-3 EYL) on Thursday as well.
“Union is always tough away,” Quinones said. “We've got to be ready to play. We went four with them at home. Obviously want to go in there, get that first set under our belt and take it from there.”