Council Bluffs, IA (Nov. 15, 2007) - Behind the 27 kills of sophomore outside hitter Cinthia Silva, top-seeded Salt Lake Community College defeated ninth-seeded Blinn College 30-20, 30-22, 29-31, 30-21 to advance to the semifinals of the 2007 National Junior College Athletic Association Championships, which are being held at the Mid-America Center in Council Bluffs, Iowa.
The Bruins (43-1) will face fifth-seeded Western Nebraska (50-2) at 7 p.m. on Friday. Western Nebraska defeated fourth-seeded University of Arkansas Fort Smith (39-5) in an earlier match. Arkansas-Fort Smith will now face Blinn College (33-4) in a 3 p.m. showdown on Friday.
Even though Salt Late lost game three, Head Coach Shay Goulding was pleased with how her team came through to win.
"I was thrilled with how we played," she said after the match. "Blinn was fantastic. But, we showed maturity. There were times when we fell behind, but maturity played a part in it for us."
Along with Silva's top play, Salt Lake's sophomore middle blocker Talita Santos added 15 kills, while sophomore outside hitter Samantha Richard scored a double-double, putting away 11 kills and also getting 15 digs. Sophomore middle blocker Tela Burnett also chipped in 11 kills as well. Sophomore setter Michaela Hanakova paced the Salt Lake offense, dishing out 61 assists, and added 11 digs to complete her own double-double.
Sophomore middle blockers Lina Vanegas and Stefanie Robbins led the charge for Blinn, as both players scored 17 kills each. Sophomore outside hitter Sabrina Daniel had a double-double, getting 10 kills and digs, while sophomore libero Sydney Milburn added 13 digs as well. Sophomore setter Caroline Witte led the offense for the Buccaneers, handing out 46 assists.
The NJCAA Division I Tournament Championships continue on Friday, November 16 and end on Saturday, November 17 with the championship match scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. The matches begin both days at 10 a.m.