August 28, 2012

Buccaneers defeat Hill in five

HILLSBORO, Texas – The Blinn Buccaneer volleyball team won a back-and-forth match over Hill College here Tuesday night, defeating the Lady Rebels 25-18, 18-25, 25-20, 18-25, 15-8 in non-conference action.

The Buccaneers (4-1) relied on a balanced offensive attack as five players reached double-digit kills. Middle blockers Bruna Evangelista and Cassidy Melcher each posted a team-high 13, sophomore outside hitter Ksenia Sukhareva tallied 12 and freshmen Dylan Dean and Tyanna Roy each added 10.

Freshman setter Celeste Ramirez entered the match in the second set and dished out 40 assists the rest of the way.

"I'm proud of her," Blinn coach Erin Mellinger said. "She does everything that I ask and she does it with a smile on her face. She went out there and she wasn't perfect, but she distributes the ball well, as you can tell from the numbers. She's doing a very good job."

Blinn looked to be in control through the first set, but errors proved costly in the second as Hill evened the match. The Bucs adjusted in the third set, but the Lady Rebels refused to surrender, capturing a fourth set that saw several lead changes as both teams could only briefly capture the momentum.

It was all Blinn in the fifth, as the Buccaneers never trailed in the final set.

"When it really matters and our backs are against the wall, we seem to do OK," Mellinger said.

Freshman Tori Estrada led the Buccaneer defense with 15 digs while sophomore Molly Duge added 13.

The Buccaneers will make their home debut at the Blinn P.E. Building at 1 p.m. Friday when they host Labette (Kan.), then host 13th-ranked Western Texas at 7 p.m. in the first day of the Labor Day Classic. The tournament will continue Saturday, as the Bucs host Temple at 1 p.m. and Panola at 7.