Buccaneers overcome early jitters to sweep Navarro College, 3-0

BAYTOWN, Texas – Shaking off the early jitters, Blinn College was able to get into a groove and secure the 3-0 sweep of Navarro College by the score of 25-17, 25-11 and 25-20 in the first round of the 2014 Region XIV Tournament played at Lee College in Baytown.

"I think we felt a little bit of the jitters and at first I didn't think we played that well," said Blinn head coach Erin Mellinger. "But then I looked at the stats and it turned out better than I previously thought."

Tawnee Luafalemana led the way for Blinn with 11 kills and a .347 hitting percentage with three block assists. Trinity Alualu added eight kills and nine digs with a .240 hitting percentage.

Rachel Sharp was able to contribute with five kills and a .286 hitting percentage in the win. Abolanle Onipede picked up seven kills and had a .428 hitting percentage and added four block assists.

Rebecca Reeve was able to earn seven kills with a .217 hitting percentage and 10 digs. Setter Jordyn Keamo was able to set up 33 assists with four aces and six digs. With all the stats, Blinn was able to get better after their shaky start.

"The girls did gain some confidence as the second game was better and then we improved in the third," Mellinger said. "We don't have to be amazing for every match but we do have to be consistent. We are going to have to play at a high level to win regionals though."

Mellinger has no doubt that her team has the right game plan to succeed at the tournament.

Blinn will now face Panola College in the second round of the tournament Nov. 8 at 11 a.m. at Lee College in Baytown.

Blinn has competed in intercollegiate athletics since 1903 and captured 29 NJCAA national championships since 1987. For more information, visit www.buccaneersports.com.