BRENHAM, Texas -- Buccaneers sweep Trinity Valley, 3-0
With sophomores resting, freshmen play key roles
The 13th-ranked Blinn College volleyball team picked up its eighth victory of the season Tuesday night, even with two top sophomores resting up for a busy weekend ahead.
Sophomore middle blocker Kariana Castanon-Hill led the Buccaneers with 13 kills and four blocks, and freshman outside hitter Jaeda Allen added 12 kills as Blinn defeated Trinity Valley 25-21, 26-24, 25-23 at the Blinn P.E. Building.
Middle blocker Bruna Evangelista, who earned All-America honors from the NJCAA and the American Volleyball Coaches Association last season, and setter Crystal Young, who earned all-conference honors, were each resting in preparation for the College of Southern Idaho Starr Corp. Tournament this weekend. That left the Buccaneers with a freshman-laden lineup that proved up to the task.
“I was really proud of the freshmen,” Blinn (8-1, 1-0) coach Erin Mellinger said. “There were moments where we had only freshmen on the floor, but they did a good job and I’m proud of them all.”
Freshman outside hitter Rebecca Reeve led the defense with nine digs while freshman defensive specialist Alyssa LaMont added eight. The Buccaneer defense held Trinity Valley to a .165 hitting percentage on the night.
Freshman middle blocker Crystal Hembree shared in the team lead with four blocks.
“She went in and did exactly what she needed to do,” Mellinger said.
Freshman setter Rylie Granger dished out 31 assists as the Bucs posted a .258 team hitting percentage.
“That girl has massively improved since even a few weeks ago,” Mellinger said. “She came in during the Summer II semester and just worked really hard. She’s very athletic, she runs our offense well and now she’s playing with a lot of confidence.”
Sara Cruz led Trinity Valley (5-6, 0-1) with 12 kills.
The Buccaneers will play four matches at this weekend’s Starr Corp. Tournament, beginning with a 1 p.m. match against sixth-ranked Salt Lake (Utah). Blinn takes on third-ranked College of Southern Idaho at 7 p.m. Friday, then concludes the tournament Saturday with an 11 a.m. match against North Idaho and a 3 p.m. match against Snow (Utah).
For more information on Blinn volleyball, visit www.buccaneersports.com.