No. 15 Bucs open Blinn Invitational with sweeps over New Mexico and DuPage

BRENHAM, Texas — No. 15 Blinn College volleyball (21-1) opened the Blinn Invitational with sweeps over New Mexico Junior College and the College of DuPage on Friday in the Kruse Center.

"I thought the team played well today and Giulia Hortelan, Essence Clerkley and Taylor Henderson were extremely good on offense," said Terry Gamble, Blinn head coach. "I thought our serve receive and ball control kids were great."

Blinn opened the tournament with a sweep over New Mexico, 3-0 (25-19, 25-23, 25-15), and finished the day with a sweep over DuPage, 3-0 (25-15, 25-8, 25-13). With the pair of wins, the Buccaneers increase their record to 21-1.

Blinn 3 – New Mexico 0

The Buccaneers claimed their 20th win of the season with a sweep over New Mexico, 3-0. 

Henderson led Blinn's defense with four blocks and two block assists, while Hortelan recorded 12 digs and Brooke Borden followed with 11. On offense, Jenni Liu totaled 33 assists, while Clerkley led the Buccaneers with 11 kills.

Blinn and New Mexico went head-to-head in the first two sets, but the Buccaneers managed to pull ahead 2-0 in the match by defeating the Thunderbirds, 25-19 and 25-23. In the third set, Clerkley led the offense with six kills to help Blinn break away for a 25-15 win.

Blinn 3 – DuPage 0

Blinn closed out the first day of the tournament with a win over DuPage, 3-0.

Clerkley and Hortelan led the offense with eight kills apiece, while Hortelan also tallied 11 digs. Henderson led Blinn with five block assists.

Blinn jumped out to a 25-15 lead in the first set to lead the match 1-0. The momentum rolled into the second set for the Buccaneers to grab a 17-point lead (25-8). Blinn's offense continued to roll into the final set as Hortelan led with four kills and four aces for Blinn to claim a 25-13 win.

The Buccaneers will face two opponents on Saturday, Sept. 21, to conclude the Blinn Invitational. First, the Buccaneers will compete against Frank Phillips College at 1 p.m. before playing in their final game of the tournament against Dallas Christian College at 5 p.m.

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