BAYTOWN, Texas – Blinn College volleyball was able to show enough resolve to come back and sweep Navarro College 3-0 to stay alive in the Region XIV tournament hosted by Lee College Friday.
The Buccaneers beat Navarro by the score 25-23, 25-21 and 25-22 to keep hopes alive in the consolation bracket. Blinn was sent to the consolation bracket after suffering a 3-1 loss to Trinity Valley Community College by the score 25-23, 23-25, 22-25 and 23-25. The split of matches moves the overall record for Blinn to 18-21.
Trinity Valley 3 – Blinn 1
Blinn started off the tournament in the right direction by taking the opening set but it was Trinity Valley marching right back and claiming the next three sets to win 3-1.
Alexis Kingston led the way with 16 kills and tied for the lead with 17 digs. Amina Olajuwon added 10 kills. Including Kingston, Blinn had five players in double figures in digs as Danusia Sipa Borgeaud had 17, Shayla Eugene earned 14, MeKayla Gurley had 12 and Eboni Mitchell earned 10 in the loss. Ally Lanik dished out 40 assists.
The first set started out pretty even with both teams trading points. With the match tied at 21-21, Blinn was able to edge Trinity Valley down the stretch and clinched the first set 25-23 after a kill from Mitchell.
Every set was close between Blinn and Trinity Valley as Blinn was able to claim an 11-8 edge in the second. The set was again tied late at 19-19 but this time it was Trinity Valley making the plays in the second set to tie the match at 1-1 after a 25-23 victory. The third and fourth set was more of the same as both sets were extremely close but it was Trinity Valley coming away with both sets to move on to the semifinals while Blinn was sent to the consolation bracket.
Blinn 3 – Navarro 0
Blinn was able to bounce back in the last match of the day in the region tournament and it took a balanced performance to earn the 3-0 sweep.
"I like our team balance and the fact that we were able to get a sweep," said Kalie Mader, Blinn head coach.
Paola Marie Salas Adorno was the co-leader in kills with 11, including a .409 hitting percentage to do along with 14 digs. Olajuwon also added 11 kills and a .500 hitting percentage. Kingston added nine kills and eight digs. Borgeaud earned 15 digs while Lanik dished out 43 assists and earned 13 digs in the win.
It took a balanced effort for the Buccaneers to get past Navarro as all three sets were close. Unlike the Trinity Valley match, it was Blinn coming out on top in all three sets to stay alive in the Region XIV tournament.
Blinn will next play on Saturday, Nov. 5 at 1 p.m. and will face the loser of Panola College and Wharton County Junior College.
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 19,422 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.