COUNCIL BLUFFS, IA -- Led by double-doubles by sophomore outside hitters Hayley Ball and Sabrina Daniel, ninth-seeded Blinn College defeated eighth-seeded College of Southern Idaho 30-20, 30-28, 23-30, 30-27 in first round action at the 2007 National Junior College Athletic Association volleyball championships, which is being played at the Mid-America Center in Council Bluffs, Iowa.
"Out outside hitters led the way for us," said Blinn Head Coach David Rehr afterwards. "We also have to give credit to our setter, Caroline Witte. She did an incredible job. She set the tone for our match and that's why we're here right now."
With the win, Blinn (33-3) now advances to face Salt Lake Community College (42-1) on Thursday night in an 8:30 p.m. match-up. Salt Lake advanced to that match with a 3-0 sweep of 15th-seeded Northwest Shoals (39-6) in an earlier match. Meanwhile, Southern Idaho (37-12) will face off against Northwest Shoals at noon on Friday.
Ball led the way for the Buccaneers with 18 kills, 12 digs and six aces, while Daniel was equally impressive with 15 kills, 11 digs and five aces. Sophomore middle blocker Stefanie Robbins also added 10 kills and two aces. Witte led the offense for Blinn with a double-double of her own, dishing out 48 assists and picking up 12 digs, while sophomore libero Sydney Milburn shored up the defense with 23 digs.
Southern Idaho was led by sophomore outside hitter Gabriela Bulawczyk, who led all players with 25 kills and nine digs. Adding to the Golden Eagles attack was freshman middle blocker Alyssa Wistrick, who had 13 kills, while setters, sophomore Kaylene Finau and freshman Jelena Savic had 20 and 28 assists, respectively.
The NJCAA Division I Tournament Championships run this week from Thursday, November 15 through Saturday, November 17. Matches begin every day at 10 a.m.