October 19, 2012

Buccaneers pick up pair of non-conference wins

TEMPLE, Texas – The 10th-ranked Blinn College volleyball team already had 20 victories under its belt this season.

The Buccaneers added two more here Friday, rally to beat Temple 3-2 before sweeping Odessa 3-0 in a pair of non-conference matches. Blinn has now won seven consecutive matches.

The Bucs dominated Temple in the day's first set, but the Lady Leopards fought back, taking the second and third sets before Blinn recovered to take the match, 25-11, 20-25, 20-25, 25-22, 15-12. Blinn hit .654 in the first and fifth sets, and the Buccaneers overcame five service errors in the final set.

"It was good for us to be in that situation and respond," said Blinn (22-5) coach Erin Mellinger said.

Freshman middle blocker Erin Mellinger had a huge night with 24 kills, and fellow freshman Emily Salter added 10 as Blinn's middle blockers were left in one-on-one situations throughout the match.

Freshman setter Crystal Young had nine kills and 44 assists, and fellow setter Celeste Ramirez added 10 assists. Freshman outside hitter Hope Cucancic totaled seven kills while hitting .500. Freshman Tyanna Roy had nine kills and 13 digs.

Defensively, the Buccaneers piled up 10 team blocks, including six from Salter, and sophomore libero Cara Fisher posted a team-high 22 digs.

Mellinger said the Buccaneers played better against Odessa in a 25-15, 25-19, 25-18 victory.

"We did some good things," she said. "We're still working to put it all together, but we did a good job today."

Blinn committed just seven hitting errors in the match.

Salter led the way with 12 kills on 16 attempts, and Young almost posted a triple-double, filling the stat sheet with eight kills, 20 assists and 10 digs. Cucancic posted nine kills, and Roy added seven kills without an error.

"We had four people contributing kills and that's a good thing," Mellinger said.

Fisher again led the defense with 25 digs, and sophomore Molly Duge added seven. Ramirez tallied 18 assists and six digs, and Dylan Dean led the defense with three blocks.

Blinn will close out its regular season Thursday with a 6 p.m. Region XIV Conference game against Lee College in the Blinn P.E. Building. The Region XIV Tournament will be held Nov. 1-4.