The Buccaneers jumped to 17-4 overall and 3-2 in Region XIV with a 25-14, 25-13, 25-7 win over the Pirates.

Blinn never trailed against Victoria, using big offensive runs and strong defense to pull away from the visitors in each set. 

“It’s a really nice win,” Blinn head coach Terry Gamble said. “When we stay focused, we’re a pretty good team. I’m really happy with what we did tonight.”

NJCAA Division I kills leader and sophomore outside hitter Kierslynn Wright added to her season total with 22 against the Pirates and now has 295 on the season.

“I always want the ball; that’s just my mindset,” Wright said. “In order to be successful, you have to be willing to take risks, so when a set is coming my way, my mind is focused on how I’m going to hit the ball and how I’m going to place it to catch defenses off guard.”

Freshman hitter LaNeah Lara is ranked in the top five in kills nationally (228) after chipping in with seven. Freshmen hitters Don’Yah Cosie and Bojanna Marojevikj had seven, five, and five kills, respectively.

In the opening set, the Bucs and Pirates were tied at 13 before a Wright kill set off a 12-1 run to end it.

Blinn opened the second set with a 4-0 burst behind kills from freshman Zuzia Rut and Wright, as well as an ace from Rut and a Victoria violation.

Following a successful block by the Victoria defense, the visitors were within 10. Lara stopped the threat with a kill, however, igniting a set-winning 15-7 push that ended with a kill from Cosie.

It was more of the same from the Bucs in the final set, turning an 8-4 edge into victory with a 17-3 run. 

Rut served up another ace for the final point of the set to seal the match victory.

(Pictured: Blinn College’s Ellie Turner, left, receives a serve as her teammate Emily Hardee looks during a match against Victoria on Tuesday)

Sophomore libero Ellie Turner also had two aces, and Wright and freshman libero Emily Hardee each had one.

Turner, who racked up 18 digs, was impressed with her team’s defensive effort in limiting Victoria’s offensive success.

“I think all of our defensive players just do a really good job of always going for the ball,” Turner said. “We never want to let a ball drop so we’re always just diving and hitting the floor for balls, which keeps our energy up.”

Hardee and Wright were also effective on defense with 14 and 12 kills apiece. 

Blinn returns to the court for the Blinn Invitational beginning Thursday. The Bucs will open play against College of DuPage at 7 p.m. on Thursday at the Kruse Center. On Friday, Blinn takes on Dallas College-Brookhaven at 11 a.m., and Dallas College-Eastfield at 5 p.m. The Bucs will finish the tournament with an 11 a.m. tilt against Dallas College-Richland and a 3 p.m. bout with Dallas College-Northlake on Saturday.

Blinn has competed in intercollegiate athletics since 1903 and captured 42 NJCAA national championships since 1987.

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