BRENHAM, Texas – Blinn College volleyball needed to come back from trailing 2-1 to beat Frank Phillips College 3-2 to open the day Friday at the Premier Tournament held at Brenham High School.
The Buccaneers leveled off in the second match in falling to No. 3 Polk State College 3-0 to split the pair of matches. Blinn's overall record moves to 7-6 and the Region XIV record stays at 1-0.
Blinn 3 – Frank Phillips 2
A strong finish helped Blinn come back from trailing 2-1 to beat Frank Phillips 3-2 to open the day at the Premier Tournament by the score 25-19, 23-25, 24-26, 25-22 and 15-12.
The first set started out pretty close with both team splitting the first 20 points but it was Blinn creating a little lead with a four-point streak capped with a kill from Amina Olajuwon. That lead extended to 20-13 after a block by Eboni Mitchell. A kill by Kayla Valigura helped seal the first set by the score 25-19.
The next two sets were not the prettiest for the Buccaneers as Blinn tied Frank Phillips at 23-23 but Frank Phillips was able to tie the match at 1-1 by finishing off the final two points for a 25-23 set. In the third set, the Buccaneers were within one point of taking a 2-1 lead in sets at 24-22 but Frank Phillips scored four straight to win 26-24 and grab a 2-1 lead.
Needing to take two straight sets to avoid a loss, Blinn held a slim 18-15 lead but turned that into a 23-17 lead with four straight points capped by a kill from Mitchell. Frank Phillips made it close but Alexis Kingston forced a fifth set with a tip kill to win 25-22.
Blinn started fast in the fifth set by taking a 6-2 lead after an ace from Haylie Ewald. The Buccaneers were able to hold on to their lead as Kingston closed out the match with a kill to win 15-12.
Polk 3 – Blinn 0
Blinn was able to keep every set close with Polk but was unable to come up with the big points when it was needed and Polk took advantage for the 3-0 sweep by the score 25-21, 25-21 and 25-21.
Alexis Kingston led Blinn with 11 kills and added seven digs. Kaaihue dished out 29 assists in the loss.
Blinn could not grab the lead in the opening set and Polk was able to maintain momentum and take the first set 25-21. Blinn started out better in the second set and took an 8-5 lead after a kill from Kaaihue. With the score tied at 16-16 it was Polk that was able to come up with the big points down the stretch and claim the second set 25-21 to take a 2-0 lead in sets.
Striving to stay alive in the match, Blinn jumped out to a 7-4 lead after a block by Olajuwon. Again, Polk was able rip away the lead from Blinn and the Buccaneers were unable to get it back as Polk closed out the match with a 25-21 victory in the third.
Blinn will finish up the Premier Tournament with two more games on Saturday, Sept. 10. First the Buccaneers will face Tyler Junior College at 3 p.m. and then close out the tournament against Hill College at 7 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.