VOLLEYBALL: Marauders block Trailblazers from advancing

The Monache Marauders sweep the Golden West Trailblazers and continue their quest for an East Yosemite League championship

VISALIA – The Monache Marauders stifled the Golden West Trailblazers attempts to tie for second place in the East Yosemite League with a 3-0 sweep.

The matchup between the Monache Marauders and the Golden West Trailblazers was one for the second spot in the East Yosemite League. The illustrious top spot is held by the undefeated Redwood Rangers, the only team to defeat the Marauders so far this season. Golden West was 3-2. If they could defeat the 4-1 Marauders, the two teams would tie for second.

The Marauders came out strong in the first set, quickly stifling any of hopes Golden West may have had of winning. They won the first set 25-14. Though the Trailblazers had a good chance of a comeback in the second set, they couldn’t quite get the match point, and the Marauders took it 26-24. They sealed their win and kept second place in the EYL.

“[Our blockers] worked on timing a lot,” Monache head coach Rosie Quinones said. “Last time Golden West came to us, we struggled with our blocking. They were hitting over us.”

All of the Marauders played well, but the front row stood out. Setters Gabby Shimer and Zoe Czaja ran the offense impressively well, giving the hitters plenty of opportunities for kills. Outside hitter Mikayla Rodriguez had several impressive kills from the outside while middle hitter Savannah Ellis had a few solo blocks that resulted in points for the Marauders.

The Trailblazers played very well, nearly winning the second set. Their hitters sent the Marauders scrambling for balls and did well at getting around Monache’s blockers, who did not make life easy for them, but the Golden West hitters also made several costly errors.

“We really wanted to come out guns blazing and fight really hard for this,” Golden West head coach Kayla Swift said. “We just had too many errors.”

It’s Swift’s first year coaching the Trailblazers and she has laid a good foundation with her team, putting them solidly in the third spot in the EYL. Swift acknowledged that Monache is an excellent team and Quinones has been their coach for years. With the Marauders in second place, they’re still hoping to repeat their win from last year.

“We’re the EYL returning champs,” Monache head coach Rosie Quinones said. “We appreciate the new competition. It’s a much tougher league.”

The East and West Yosemite Leagues were shaken up between seasons. Monache previously did not face the Visalia schools in league play, but Redwood, Golden West, El Diamante and Mt. Whitney were added to the EYL with Monache and Porterville.

The Marauders’ quest to defend their title as EYL champions will continue on Oct. 10 when they travel to face El Diamante.

“We were down by a lot in the second and we pushed back and I was very, very proud of the girls,” Swift said.

The Trailblazers will travel to face Mt. Whitney on Oct. 10.

Start typing and press Enter to search