TYLER, Texas – No. 7 Blinn College volleyball used a consistent and solid effort to open the 2016 season with a 3-0 sweep Friday afternoon over Midland College by the score of 25-15, 25-21 and 25-21 in the Ronda Shirley Classic in Tyler.
The Buccaneers weren't able to keep the momentum going as No. 10 Salt Lake Community College was able to battle back from dropping the first set to beat Blinn 3-1. The Buccaneers lost by the score 25-23, 18-25, 15-25 and 17-25 to hold a 1-1 record after the first day of the new season.
Blinn 3 – Midland 0
Blinn used a .306 team hitting percentage to grab control of the match against Midland and didn't let up in earning the sweep.
The Buccaneers started fast in taking the first set 25-15 as Midland kept it a little closer in the second and third but Blinn was able to hold on for the sweep.
Paola Maria Salas Adorno tied for the team high in kills with 10 in only 20 attempts for a .500 hitting percentage while adding six digs in the win. Alexis Kingston also picked up 10 kills and added nine digs for Blinn. Eboni Mitchell added nine kills with a .263 hitting percentage.
"We came out and played with conviction and took care of business and the team looked like they were having fun," said Kalie Mader, Blinn head coach.
Salt Lake 3 – Blinn 1
Blinn had the wrong type of momentum going against Salt Lake as the Buccaneers let one mistake snowball into more and Salt Lake took advantage with a 3-1 victory.
Blinn did start out on the right path winning the first set 25-23 but the fast pace of Salt Lake proved to overwhelm the Buccaneers. Blinn went on to lose three consecutive sets for the four-set loss.
Adorno led the Buccaneers in kills with 16 and added 17 digs. Mitchell added 11 kills while Kingston chipped in with eight kills and 16 digs. Lanik dished out 39 assists and earned five digs in the loss.
Aside from the mistakes, Blinn's hitting percentage was much lower in the second match as the Buccaneers hit .123 as a team compared to the .306 hitting percentage against Midland earlier in the day.
"We are young in some positions," Mader said. "Inconsistency hurt us and we got a little frazzled on the court."
Blinn will continue in the Ronda Shirley Classic on Saturday, Aug. 27 with two more matches. The Buccaneers will first face Missouri State University – West Plains at 1 p.m. and North Central Texas College at 3 p.m.
Blinn has competed in intercollegiate athletics since 1903 and captured 34 NJCAA national championships since 1987. For more information, visit www.buccaneersports.com.
About Blinn College
With an enrollment of 19,370 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. For more information, visit www.blinn.edu.