No. 17 Blinn volleyball cruises past Clarendon and Richland

CLARENDON, Texas — The No. 17 Blinn College volleyball team (18-1) finished the Clarendon Classic undefeated after sweeping Clarendon College and Richland College on Saturday.

The Buccaneers started the day with a 3-0 (25-22, 25-19, 25-13) win over Clarendon. Then they defeated Richland 3-0 (25-14, 25-10, 25-12).

"I thought the team played really good this weekend," said Terry Gamble, Blinn head coach. "Everyone contributed in one way or another." 

Giulia Hortelan and Essence Clerkley were named to the all-tournament team after leading the Buccaneers to a 3-0 record in the Clarendon Classic. Hortelan tallied 38 kills and Clerkley recorded 34 in sweeps over Trinidad State Junior College, Clarendon and Richland. 

Blinn 3 – Clarendon 0 

The Buccaneers used a solid offense to open the day with a sweep over Clarendon. 

Three Buccaneers recorded double-digit kills as Hortelan led with 15, Clerkley followed with 11 and Paige Havel recorded 10. Setter Jenni Liu helped the offense with 38 assists. 

Kya Yanez led Blinn's defense in the match with 13 digs. 

Hortelan and Havel combined for 11 kills in the first set to help Blinn open the match with a 25-22 win. In the second set, Hortelan and Clerkley led the offense with a combined 10 kills for the Buccaneers to come out on top 25-19. Tatum Smidovec led the defense with six digs for Blinn to seal a 25-13 victory in the third set.

Blinn 3 – Richland 0

Blinn concluded the tournament by sweeping Richland, 3-0.

Hortelan recorded 13 kills, while Clerkley came up with 12, and Liu had 35 assists in the win. Smidovec led the defense with 11 digs, while Liu and Clerkley combined for seven block assists. 

Rachel Barnett led Blinn with six kills in a 25-14 win to start off the match. In the second set, the Buccaneers claimed a 15-point win (25-10) before defeating Richland 25-12 in the third set for the sweep. 

Next, Blinn will host Coastal Bend College on Tuesday, Sept. 17, at 6 p.m. in the Kruse Center. 

Blinn has competed in intercollegiate athletics since 1903 and captured 41 NJCAA national championships since 1987.