BAYTOWN, Texas — No. 17 Blinn College volleyball fought back after falling behind 2-0 in the match against No. 11 Trinity Valley Community College on Saturday afternoon in the Region XIV tournament to take it to the fourth set. However, the Cardinals came back after trailing in the fourth set to walk away with a 3-1 victory and eliminate the Buccaneers.
Trinity Valley won by the score of 25-23, 25-20, 14-25 and 30-28. The Buccaneers ended the year with a 29-10 overall record.
"I could not be prouder of the season we had," said Terry Gamble, Blinn head coach. "The girls played great and are a great group of young ladies. They represent Blinn College with class and everyone affiliated with Blinn should be proud of them."
Shelby Sheets led Blinn's offense with 25 kills, while also recording eight digs. Roxanne Morris led the Buccaneers with 21 assists and 16 digs, while also recording seven kills. Rachel Barnett and Taylor Henderson followed with six kills and Samantha Boatman followed with 15 assists, while also recording 10 digs. Cheyenne Te'o recorded 15 digs in the match.
After losing the first two sets 25-23 and 25-20, the Buccaneers fought back and were within one point away from pushing the match into a fifth set.
Blinn began its rally in the third set as Sheets delivered two kills and an ace and Morris recorded a kill and a block for the Buccaneers to lead 10-3. Three kills by Sheets allowed Blinn to hold an 18-9 lead. Barnett recorded the final kill for Blinn and Sheets followed with an ace for the Buccaneers to win the set by 11 points.
In the fourth set, Blinn and Trinity Valley exchanged points until it was tied 19-19. Barnett sparked Blinn's offense with a kill and an error by the Cardinals allowed the Buccaneers to lead 21-20. Blinn stayed ahead until Trinity Valley evened the score 24-24. Sheets took back the lead for the Buccaneers with a kill, but the Cardinals evened the score 25-25. Blinn was one point away from the victory four times, but Trinity Valley kept fighting back to even the score. An ace allowed the Cardinals to take a 29-28 lead and they recorded the final kill to win the set 30-28.
"I want to personally thank Blinn College District Chancellor Dr. Mary Hensley and athletic director Scott Schumacher for the support they gave my team," Gamble said. "It is a blessing to work at Blinn College."
Blinn has competed in intercollegiate athletics since 1903 and captured 38 NJCAA national championships since 1987.