CASPER, Wyo. – Arizona Western gave Blinn College volleyball just about all it could handle in a three-set match but the Buccaneers were still able to come away with a 3-0 sweep Nov. 20 to move on to the national semifinal in the Casper Events Center in Casper, Wyo.
The sets were much closer for Blinn against Arizona Western than they were in their opening match earlier in the day but the Buccaneers got the job done by the score of 25-22, 25-17 and 25-23.
Blinn was led in kills by Abolanle Onipede with 11 hit a .733 hitting percentage and five block assists. Tawnee Luafalemana and Trinity Alualu each had eight kills while Rebecca Reeve finished with seven kills and six digs. Jordyn Keamo finished with 32 assists and five digs in the win.
Arizona Western came out strong in the opening set and looked like they wanted to steal the first one by jumping out to a 14-8 lead. To its credit, Blinn did not panic in the opening set and chipped away at the Arizona Western lead and tied the set at 19-19 on a Reeve kill.
From there, the Buccaneers were able to maintain a small lead and clinched the first set on a strong serve by Reeve to win 25-22.
The second set was controlled more by Blinn as they shot out to a 17-11 lead after Keamo converted a block. Arizona Western didn't get much closer from there as Luafalemana converted a block to help the Buccaneers secure a 25-17 win in the second and a 2-0 lead.
The third set didn't come easy for Blinn as it was more similar to the first set as both teams looked for momentum to break away from their opponent. The third was tight throughout but with the set tied 23-23, Blinn College got consecutive blocks from Rachel Sharp and Alualu to seal the match with a 25-23 victory in the third.
Blinn will face the College of Southern Idaho in the national semifinal on Nov. 21 at 6:30 p.m. (Mountain time) for a spot in the national championship match.
Blinn has competed in intercollegiate athletics since 1903 and captured 29 NJCAA national championships since 1987. For more information, visit www.buccaneersports.com.
About Blinn College
Founded in 1883, Blinn is a comprehensive community college committed to educational excellence and to individual and community enhancement. With an enrollment of 19,317 students, Blinn ranks among the nation's leaders in transferring students to leading four-year universities and has received national recognition for affordable educational excellence.
As part of its commitment to student success, Blinn is implementing a Quality Enhancement Plan titled "Destination Success: First-Year Focus," which utilizes learning communities to support first-year college students.
For enrollment information and to learn about financial aid opportunities, visit: www.blinn.edu.