November 2, 2012

Sixth-ranked Tyler sends Blinn to elimination bracket


BAYTOWN, Texas – The ninth-ranked Blinn College volleyball team will put its season on the line here Saturday at the Region XIV Volleyball Tournament when it faces Panola in an elimination contest.

Sixth-ranked Tyler defeated Blinn 25-23, 25-20, 25-23 in their second-round match this afternoon to send the Bucs to the elimination bracket. Blinn was coming off a 3-1 victory over Paris in the first round of the tournament.

"We opened doors for ourselves to win and we just could not shut them," said Blinn (24-6) coach Erin Mellinger. "We needed to get some defensive stops and we didn't do it."

Freshman middle blocker Bruna Evangelista had a match-high 14 kills for the Buccaneers while freshman middle blocker Emily Salter added seven. Freshman setter Crystal Young had a big day with six kills, 22 assists and a team-high 15 digs.

"I'm proud of the fact that this team hasn't given up and is playing really tough," Mellinger said.

Freshman outside hitter Tyanna Roy had 13 digs and fellow freshman Tori Estrada added 11.

Freshman setter Celeste Ramirez was out with an injury suffered Thursday, and the Buccaneers are battling a handful of other injuries, Mellinger said.

Tyler (28-3) was led by Jordan McArdle with 10 kills, while Ivana Bulajic and Lindsey Jones each had nine. The Lady Apaches were coming off a 3-0 victory over Wharton County in the first round.

Blinn will face Panola in an elimination game at 10 a.m. Saturday. The Bucs defeated Panola 3-1 on Sept. 1.

Saturday's game will be broadcast online at PSNsports.com.