BRENHAM, Texas – The Blinn Buccaneer volleyball team earned a spot in the NJCAA Division I Volleyball National Championship tournament with a three game sweep of No. 15 Panola College (25-14, 25-15, 25-20). It marks the eighth time in the past nine years that the Buccaneers have claimed the Region XIV District title and advanced to the national tournament.
The Bucs defeated No. 16 Paris Junior College on Friday in four games (25-17, 21-25, 25-15, 25-18) to advance to the championship match, while No. 15 Panola upset No. 6 Tyler Junior College in four games to advance.
“Just as we’ve strived for all year, it was a total team effort tonight,” said head coach David Rehr. “The girls all knew what was on the line today, and came out and played one of their best team games of the year.”
The Bucs were led by sophomore setter Jacki Gerig (Normal, IL), who dished out 34 assists. Sophomore defensive specialist Kalli Mikulik (Flatonia) added nine digs, while sophomore outside hitter Shelby Dickson (A&M Consolidated) led the Bucs with three service aces. Freshman outside hitter Ksenia Sukhareva (Moscow, Russia) added a team high 12 kills for the Bucs.
Following the game, Gerig, Dickson and sophomore outside hitter Preslie Alexander (Ronald Reagan) were named to the all-tournament team.
Heading into the national tournament, the Bucs are the lone undefeated team in the NJCAA at 34-0, and have compiled a remarkable 19 wins on the season versus ranked or previously unranked opponents.
The Buccaneers will travel to West Plains, MO on Nov. 15 and open up play on Nov. 17. On Nov. 16, Rehr will be inducted into the NJCAA Hall of Fame during a special ceremony.
For tournament information, including brackets, game broadcasts and results, visit www.buccaneersports.com.