BRENHAM, Texas – The No. 19 Blinn College Buccaneers fell to the No. 6 Hill College Lady Rebels, 3-1, in a non-conference match on Thursday night in the P.E. Building to finish the regular season.
The Buccaneers closed out the regular season with a 23-7 record and 9-1 conference record for the No. 1 seed heading into the Region XIV conference.
"I think every team we play at the regional tournament will be just as tough as Hill," said Kalie Mader, Blinn head coach. "We did some nice things in set three; we attacked the ball well, we stayed aggressive behind the line, and that showcased some potential."
Hill defeated Blinn by the score of 17-25, 18-25, 25-19, and 16-25.
Paola Marie Salas Adorno led the Buccaneers with 14 kills to finish the regular season with 433 total kills, the fourth best in the nation. Amina Olajuwon, Roxanne Morris, and Kayla Valigura followed with five kills each. Valigura led the defense with six blocks, while Kylee Kaaihue served the Buccaneers only ace in the match.
After falling behind in the match, 2-0, the Buccaneers charged back to win the third set. The Buccaneers took an early 6-4 lead as Kaaihue sparked the offense with two kills and an ace. The Buccaneers held onto the lead until Hill even the scored 15-15. The set remained even at 16-16 before Morris led a rally with two kills and once block to outscore Hill 9-3 to win 25-19.
In the fourth set, the Buccaneers came close to evening the match and forcing a fifth set, but didn't pull off the victory as Hill pulled ahead 25-18. Blinn rallied back from a 9-6 deficit to even the score 10-10 and take the lead with a kill by Adorno. However, Hill eventually pulled ahead 16-15 and took advantage of six errors made by Blinn to claim the victory.
Hill opened the first set strong after taking an 11-5 lead that the Lady Rebels would hold on to. The Buccaneers came within four points of Hill as Olajuwon led the way with two kills for Blinn to trail 18-14, but Hill maintained the lead to win the first set 25-17.
In the second match, Hill once again took off with a 12-5 lead, but five kills by Adorno gave the Buccaneers a chance to make a comeback as they trailed 19-16. However, Hill went on to win the match 25-18.
The Buccaneers will open the Region XIV tournament as the No. 1 seed against No. 5 Lee College on Friday, Nov. 3 at 1 p.m. at Panola College in Carthage, Texas.
Blinn has competed in intercollegiate athletics since 1903 and captured 36 NJCAA national championships since 1987.