BRENHAM, Texas - Blinn College volleyball knocked down No. 9 Missouri State- West Plains, 3-1, to kick off the Blinn College Premier Tournament on Friday night in the P.E. Building.
The Blinn Buccaneers topped the West Plains Grizzlies by the scores of 25-10, 22-25, 25-15, and 25-20 to improve their record to 5-1.
"Our team stepped up to the plate and played well in front of their home crowd," Kalie Mader, Blinn volleyball coach said. "They played together and worked really hard no matter what the score was so that was a good feeling and hopefully it makes us hungry."
The Buccaneers stomped on the Grizzlies early, taking a 10-3 lead in the first set. The Grizzlies managed to close in on the Buccaneers 17-14, but an ace by Samantha Boatman and block by Valigura allowed Blinn to stay ahead 20-14 and hold on to win the first set 25-10.
In the second set, it was the Grizzlies that jumped on the Buccaneers early for an 11-3 lead. The Buccaneers rallied as Roxanne Morris and Adorno scored on back-to-back kills to put Blinn behind 24-22, but the Buccaneers suffered their only deficit in the match as the Grizzlies claimed a 25-22 victory.
The Grizzlies took the momentum into the third set to take an early 4-1 lead, but the Buccaneers hurried to comeback and build a 16-7 lead as Blinn scored six straight points. Blinn held the lead to cruise to a 25-15 win and lead the match 2-1.
"I think we came together as one to get all the points that we needed, so we did a good job bouncing back," Adorno said.
In the final set of the match, the Buccaneers and Grizzlies continued to play a close set. West Plains grabbed a 14-9 lead over Blinn until a kill by Valigura was the point needed for Blinn to take a 19-18 lead and go on to win the set 25-20.
The Buccaneers opened the Blinn College Premier Tournament with a 1-0 record and will face No. 3 Iowa Western Community College at 3 p.m. and No. 17 Tyler Junior College at 7 p.m. tomorrow in the P.E. Building.
Blinn has competed in intercollegiate athletics since 1903 and captured 36 NJCAA national championships since 1987.