No. 7 Monache pulls out sweep of No. 10 Madera 

The fight seventh-seeded Monache High School volleyball showed in their 3-0 sweep of 10th-seeded Madera in Thursday’s CIF Central Section Division II opening round game at home, demonstrated just how badly the Marauders want to win this season. 

“These girls are hungry,” MHS head coach Rosalia Quinones said. “We want to get to that semifinal, even to Valley. We’re hungry to challenge maybe even [defending champion] Exeter. [Three of my] seniors have been varsity for four years and they want to go there. We want a ring. The girls want a ring.”

Staying focused was important for the East Yosemite League champion Marauders (27-5, 10-0 EYL) as they came from behind in both the second and third set to win the match in three sets 25-14, 27-25 and 30-28.

“Madera picked it up,” Quinones said. “It’s really nothing that we were not executing there. Their big hitter [Isabella Saucedo] was executing and they picked up their defense and they kind of got the flow of what we were running. We struggled a little bit too with passing, serving too. Missed some critical serves. But the team came together and executed and gosh, come back from a deficit [of 23-16] and that’s unbelievable. These girls did not want to go a fourth set.”

Madera (22-11) led nearly the entire third set but even with six and seven point leads, the Coyotes could not put Monache away as the Marauders picked their heads up and cleaned up their mistakes. 

After Madera scored their 23rd point on a short serve from MHS senior Hailey Kelley, Monache rallied and scored the next three points on a kill from sophomore Kailyn Castle, a tip from junior Hally Flynn and an ace from junior Kristen Watson. The Coyotes picked up another point on a kill but kills from MHS senior Madisyn Baxter and Castle, a Madera double contact violation and a block from Baxter gave the Marauders a 25-24 lead. 

For the rest of the match the two team’s traded points with Monache’s crowd exploding with enthusiasm along with the players, as the Marauders scored each one of their points. Finally with the score tied at 28-28, MHS junior Tia Jules scored back-to-back points on a tip and a kill for Monache’s win. 

Baxter led the team with 13 kills and six blocks. Kelley finished with 11 kills, seven digs and two blocks while junior Hally Flynn had nine kills, seven digs, two assists and one block. Castle had seven kills, two digs and one block while Jules finished with six kills and three blocks. Junior libero Kristen Watson had six digs and junior setter Gabriella Cox finished with 41 assists, three blocks and a team-high eight digs. 

“When you mix it up as much as Gabby does, we have more than two hitters,” Quinones said after calling the win an “all-around team effort” and saying Castle’s play was “critical” for the team.

“My big sophomore, [Castle] came back from injury,” Quinones added. “Ashlynn has picked it up for her while she was absent. These girls want to play so everybody’s ready to show up and play. But yeah Kailyn, my sophomore, she was critical there. Her teammate Ashlynn struggled there for a bit so I put her in and she picked it up right for her.”

On Tuesday, Oct. 30, Monache plays the winner of the opening round game between second-seeded El Diamante (25-4) and 15th-seeded Sanger (12-24).

DIVISION IV

Strathmore 3

Taft 0

Sixth-seeded Strathmore High School volleyball swept 11th-seeded Taft 3-0 in Thursday’s opening round game of the CIF Central Section Division IV playoffs. The Spartans won the sets 25-14, 25-20 and 25-19.

For Strathmore, Emily Kissick finished with 11 kills and eight digs. Lucy Bennett had eight kills, two digs and one block. Paige Borges had 10 digs and five kills. Libero Giselle Arellano had nine digs and setter Lena Bennett had 28 assists. 

East Sequoia League champion Strathmore (17-8, 11-1 ESL) travels to third-seeded Chowchilla (25-7) for a quarterfinal game Tuesday, Oct. 30.

Porterville 3

McFarland 1

Fifth-seeded Porterville defeated 12th-seeded McFarland 3-1 in Thursday’s opening round game of the CIF Central Section Division IV playoffs. The Panthers won the first two sets 25-14 and 25-20, lost the third one 25-22 but one the fourth set 25-11.

For Porterville Fallon Alviso had 13 kills, 23 digs and six aces. Abigail Zedda had 10 digs and three aces. Setter Avery Wingfield finished with 25 assists, six kills and four aces while libero Kaila Keovilaysane had 33 digs and two aces.

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