The Dos Palos High School volleyball team swept Chowchilla Tuesday evening, but the Redskins took the Broncos to the wire in each set.
“We’ve had a rough start to our season, and it felt like this match we came out and showed a lot of heart and hustle,” Chowchilla coach Tricia Iest said following her team’s 25-19, 25-21, 28-26 loss. “It was kind of the first time they showed up to play.”
Dos Palos (6-1-1) had the height advantage at the net, but Chowchilla (0-3) was able to block several of middle blocker Madison Pierce’s spike attempts. Pierce finished with a match-high nine kills. Teammates Kayla Hall and Makenna Pierce had six kills each with Hall – all 5 feet, 5 inches of her – putting down several kills with the same power as one by Madison Pierce.
“When you have a hitter like Madison, you just tell her to keep swinging,” Dos Palos coach Mary Schofield said. “They’re going to get some blocks. That’s OK. Just keep swinging hard. Try to use the block if you can, hit through it, or use it to our advantage. I don’t want them to hit over it, just hit through it.”
After Dos Palos held a steady lead throughout the first set, Chowchilla kept the second set close with no team holding more than a two-point advantage until the Broncos jumped ahead 15-10 behind the serving of Julia Walker. Chowchilla held a slight lead in the third, but Dos Palos swept back for a 21-20 lead. The teams went back and forth until two Chowchilla errors gave Dos Palos the victory.
“We have to keep swinging. We can’t go into prevent defense and start playing soft,” Schofield said. “In that third game, you’ll notice how many times they go, ‘Yes, yes, yes!’ Maybe two times? That’s not enough swinging. They kept us out of system a little too well.”