Monache gets 17th straight league win
The Marauders are 4-0 in the EYL after sweeping their last three opponents
By Jermaine Johnson II @Jerm_10
PORTERVILLE – Monache’s last loss in the East Yosemite League was on Oct 17, 2017. They have won every league match since then, and were crowned champions in 2018. They look ready for another run for the top after defeating their opponents 12 sets to one during their first four league matches of this season. On Tuesday, Oct. 1, they avoided some late surges by Tulare Western, as they pushed their overall season record to 19-9.
The Marauders were in control for most of the first set. They got out to a 9-4 start and went on to win 25-12. The two teams switched sides which sparked new life into Tulare Western. Monache got out to another hot start, but the Mustangs only trailed by one point after they put together a nice run of their own.
Monache scored six of the next seven points and were up 22-16. Tulare Western responded with five straight points, cutting the lead down to 22-21. That prompted a time out by Marauder head coach Rosalia Quinones who wanted to ensure that her team did not blow their lead. She instructed her team to cut out the fancy sets and just keep it simple.
“I didn’t see any intensity,” Quinones said. “I told them we need to be aggressive; I don’t care If we hit it out of bounds.”
The team listened, and scored immediately out of the timeout. They went on to close out the set with a 25-22 victory. The Marauders proved to have too much fire power for their opponent. They got out to another hot start but once again the Mustangs fought hard to keep things close. The Marauders were up 20-18 and scored five straight goals to close out the set. Senior Tia Jules played a major role in the win with nine kills, including a game winning spike, to go along with six digs.
She says it is her job to lead the team in kills, be a good role model, and finish games for her team. She is excelling in her role as she is approaching 200 kills and currently has 20 more than the next highest person on the team. She also leads the team in blocks.
In response to the Tulare Western’s comeback attempt in the last two sets, Jules said “we got down but we stepped it back up and worked together as a team to fight it out. As a team I feel like we just connect and work well together.”
Senior Gabby Cox is also having a strong season as she is just three assists shy of 600. She also leads the team in points and is second in digs. She is been a big reason why Monache has won six of their last seven games.
“We’re executing and I always tell them it starts with the pass. Gabby has great hands, she’s agile, and she can get to any ball,” Quinones said.
Monache has positioned themselves as favorites to repeat as league champions, but they are well aware of the pressures that come with those expectations.
“We’re doing our business and we have teams that are challenging us,” Quinones said. “We were down by a lot in the first set against Mission Oak but we came back to win it by two points and beat them in three sets. We’re trying to stay disciplined, aggressive, and act like we’re the defending champs.”