BRENHAM, Texas – The No. 19 Blinn College Buccaneers fell short of pulling off an upset against No. 13 San Jacinto College-Central after falling to the Ravens 3-1 on Tuesday night in the P.E. Building.
"San Jacinto College-Central is a very good team and is No. 13 in the country for a reason," said Kalie Mader, Blinn head coach. "We played up at times and then we played really down at times, and they capitalized on those moments that we were down."
After being swept by the Buccaneers earlier in the season, the Ravens came into the match strong enough to down Blinn by the score of 25-23, 24-26, 20-25, and 22-25.
Paola Marie Salas Adorno led the Buccaneers with 18 kills, while Kayla Valigura followed with nine and Amina Olajuwon with eight. Adorno and Samantha Boatman each recorded three aces in the match, while Darian Ibarra recorded two.
The Buccaneers opened the match with a 25-23 victory over the Ravens after kicking off the first set with a 15-11 lead fueled by two aces and two kills by Adorno. After the Ravens evened the score 17-17, a kill by Adorno allowed Blinn to take back and hold the lead for the remainder of the set. Valigura delivered the final blow for Blinn to take a 25-23 victory and lead the match 1-0.
Although the Ravens took off with a 17-12 lead in the second set, the Buccaneers fought their way back into the match to even the score 24-24. Adorno, Valigura, and Olajuwon tallied four kills, while Boatman and Adorno each delivered aces for Blinn to outscore San Jacinto College-Central 12-7. However, the Ravens propelled to a 26-24 victory with a kill and block to even the match 1-1.
In the third set, the Ravens pulled ahead 17-12, until an eager Buccaneer offense led by Olajuwon allowed for the Buccaneers to even the score 19-19. Valigura used a tip for Blinn to take a 20-19 lead, until three Blinn errors contributed to the Ravens taking off with the next six points to pull ahead in the match 2-1.
After falling behind 7-4 in the fourth set, the Buccaneers rallied to even the score 9-9. Adorno led the Buccaneers from there with five kills to keep the score even at 22-22. The Ravens sealed the win after scoring the final three points needed to take the match 3-1
Blinn's overall record dropped to 22-6, while its Region XIV conference record fell to 8-1.
Blinn will host Lee College in a conference match on Thursday, Oct. 19 at 6 p.m. in the P.E. Building for Dig Pink Night.
Blinn has competed in intercollegiate athletics since 1903 and captured 36 NJCAA national championships since 1987.