BRENHAM, Texas — No. 19 Blinn College volleyball (6-0) defeated Laredo College, 3-0 (25-23, 25-13, 25-17) on Thursday night in the Kruse Center.
"It was nice to see us get better as the match went on and in the third set we really played good defense and our block was a lot better," said Terry Gamble, Blinn head coach. "I feel good about this team in general and think we are going to improve as the season goes on. This weekend will be a good chance for us to hopefully get better."
On offense, Hortelan and Clerkley led Blinn with 12 kills each, while Jenni Liu recorded 35 assists.
"We came into this match wanting to get better as a team and didn't want to let up because we know Laredo is a good team," Hortelan said. "We never gave up when we were down in the set and that's when I really wanted to go in for the kills to give us back the advantage."
Laredo came into the match strong, building a 22-17 lead that the Buccaneers were able to overcome for the win. Tamia Hall started the 8-1 run with a kill, while Hortelan and Mullins rallied for the next six points. Mullins delivered two aces and Hortelan recorded four kills to give Blinn a 24-22 advantage. Laredo's error allowed the Buccaneers to win the first set 25-23.
The Buccaneers carried the momentum into the second set to take off with a 12-4 lead. Havel and Taylor Henderson recorded three block assists for Blinn to jump ahead 23-11. An error on Laredo gave Blinn the game-winning point for the 25-13 victory.
Blinn and Laredo swapped the lead for the majority of the third set until the Buccaneers took off on a 9-1 run for the win. Clerkley tallied four kills, while Havel jumped in for one and Clerkley and Hall each recorded block assists for the 25-17 win.
Next, the Buccaneers will host the Kruse Kickoff Classic on August 30-31. On Friday, the Buccaneers will take on North Central Texas College at 1 p.m. and Ranger College at 5 p.m. in the Kruse Center.
Blinn has competed in intercollegiate athletics since 1903 and captured 41 NJCAA national championships since 1987.