The 16th-ranked Buccaneers earned their third consecutive trip to the national tournament Sunday when they swept Panola College to win the Region XIV Tournament consolation bracket at Panola College in Carthage, Texas.

Blinn’s 25-20, 25-13, 25-17 victory gives it an automatic bid for nationals, which take place Nov. 17-19 at the West Plains Civic Center in West Plains, Mo. The Buccaneers will join No. 9 Trinity Valley in West Plains after the Cardinals defeated Panola in the finals of the winner’s bracket.

“I’m just so proud of the girls for beating Tyler in a tough match and then Panola on its home floor,” Blinn head coach Terry Gamble said. “I’m proud of how we played and to come out and finish as strong as we did just shows the effort this team puts in. Today was a team effort and everyone played really well.”

Blinn (33-9) won its first match of the tournament on Friday, ousting Tyler to advance to the semifinals of the winner’s bracket. Trinity Valley defeated the Bucs in the semifinal match, but they responded with victories over Lee College (Saturday) and Tyler (Sunday) in consolation play before knocking off Panola.

“It was really fun to watch these girls perform the way they did,” Gamble added.

Against Panola, freshman hitter LaNeah Lara tallied a team-high 22 kills, while sophomore Kierslynn Wright followed with 18. Freshman Taylor Glendening chipped in eight. Freshman setter Darby Nash recorded 44 set assists to keep the offense moving. Wright also had a pair of aces from the service line.

On defense, sophomore libero Ellie Turner recorded 17 digs and Nash added 11. Wright finished with seven and freshman utility Kaylen Kruse posted seven. Freshmen Don’Yah Cosie and Zuzia Rut along with Glendening and Nash had two block assists apiece.

Next up, the Bucs will await the bracket reveal for the national tournament. The NJCAA will announce the 16-team field during a selection show on the NJCAA YouTube channel at noon on Thursday, Nov. 10.

“We’re excited, and we’re going to celebrate our play this weekend,” Gamble said. “Then when we get to nationals, we’re going to play hard just like we have all season.”

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