Bucs open Blinn Invitational with sweeps over Odessa and Coastal Alabama

BRENHAM, Texas — Blinn College volleyball (19-6, 3-0) opened the Blinn Invitational with sweeps over Odessa College and Coastal Alabama-South on Friday to remain undefeated in the Kruse Center.

"I am really happy with the way we played," said Terry Gamble, Blinn head coach. "I thought we blocked and played defense good in both matches."

Blinn opened the tournament with a sweep over Odessa, 3-0 (25-10, 25-16 and 25-22), and finished the day with a sweep over Coastal Alabama, 3-0 (25-18, 25-10 and 25-13). With the wins, the Buccaneers hold a 7-0 record at home.

Blinn 3 – Odessa 0

The Buccaneers sealed their first win in the Blinn Invitational with a sweep over Odessa, 3-0 (25-10, 25-16 and 25-22).

"We worked a lot on defense and what our team did today was a really great job defensively," Gamble said. "Our defense took over at the end of the match when it was close and we made some nice plays. Our block set up our defense really well today and they just keep getting better every match which is really awesome."

Cheyenne Te'o led Blinn's defense with 15 digs, while Shelby Sheets led the offense with 28 kills and three aces. Taylor Henderson followed on offense with eight kills and posted a .727 hitting percentage. Roxanne Morris led Blinn with 26 assists, while also posting eight digs and seven kills.

Henderson and Lauren Symington each recorded two blocks in the match.

"We had a lot of mental preparation and hype coming into the game and were able to keep our focus throughout the match for the win," Henderson said. "We had confidence on the court which allowed us to push ourselves through the third set and get the sweep."

Blinn displayed a strong offense and defense in the first set as the Buccaneers defeated the Wranglers by the score of 25-10.

Sheets recorded six kills early in the set for Blinn to take a 12-3 lead. Two block assists and a kill by Henderson allowed Blinn to pull ahead 20-6. Sheets led the Buccaneers with three kills on a 5-4 run to a 25-10 victory.

In the second set, Odessa managed to even the score for the first time in the match, 12-12. A kill by Sheets started an 8-2 run for the Buccaneers. Morris delivered an ace to finish the run for Blinn to take a 20-14 lead. Odessa made three errors that helped lead Blinn to a 25-16 win.

Odessa worked hard to avoid the sweep by alternating points with Blinn. The Wranglers and Buccaneers were even at 16-16, but two kills by Brie-Anna Armstrong led Blinn to a 19-17 lead. Odessa fought back to tie the game 19-19 until two kills by Sheets and block assists by Sheets and Jasmine McLemore pulled the Buccaneers ahead 22-19. Blinn held a 23-22 lead and Sheets ensured the sweep with a kill and ace as the Buccaneers took the third set 25-22.

Blinn 3 – Coastal Alabama 0

Blinn closed out the first day of the tournament with a sweep over Coastal Alabama, 3-0 (25-18, 25-10 and 25-13).

Sheets led the offense with 17 kills and three aces, while also recording six blocks. Te'o led the defense with 14 digs, while McLemore led with six blocks. Morris led Blinn with 19 assists, while Henderson recorded eight kills and four blocks.

Blinn and Coastal Alabama played a close first set, but the Buccaneers managed to come out on top 25-18. In the second set, Blinn pulled away from the Sun Chiefs for a 25-10 victory. The Buccaneers swept Coastal Alabama by downing the Sun Chiefs by the score of 25-13 in the third set.

The Buccaneers will face two opponents on Saturday, Oct. 6, to finish the Blinn Invitational. First, the Buccaneers will compete against Frank Phillips College at 9 a.m. before competing in their final game of the tournament against No. 5 Navarro College at 2 p.m.

Blinn has competed in intercollegiate athletics since 1903 and captured 38 NJCAA national championships since 1987.