TYLER, Texas — The N0. 19 Blinn College volleyball team (29-7) lost to No. 18 Panola College, 3-0 (25-13, 27-25, 25-22), in the Region XIV Tournament at the Tyler Junior College Wagstaff Gym.
Three Buccaneers recorded double-digit digs as Chloe Mullins led with 14, Tatum Smidovec recorded 11 and Giulia Hortelan tallied 10. Hortelan was also strong on offense, recording 11 digs, while Essence Clerkley led Blinn with 13 kills and three blocks. Jenni Liu led with 21 assists and Kaitlyn Pollard recorded 12.
Blinn held the lead early in the first set, but Panola managed to take off on a run to grab an 18-8 advantage. The Fillies held onto the momentum for the remainder of the game for a 25-13 win.
After falling behind 8-3 in the second set, Clerkley and Henderson combined for three kills and Liu served an ace to take Blinn on an 11-8 run. The Buccaneers grabbed a 17-16 lead when Clerkley and Hortelan recorded three straight kills. Blinn and Panola swapped the lead several times at the end of the match until the Fillies came out on top, 27-25.
In the third set, the Buccaneers jumped out to a 13-8 lead following a 5-0 run where Borden delivered an ace and Henderson recorded two kills. Blinn stayed ahead until Panola evened the score 20-20. A kill by Hortelan allowed Blinn to take back a 21-20 lead for the final time as Panola went on a 5-1 run for a 25-22 victory.
Next, the Buccaneers will face No. 9 Trinity Valley Community College on Saturday, Nov. 2, at 11 a.m.
Blinn has competed in intercollegiate athletics since 1903 and captured 41 NJCAA national championships since 1987.