Council Bluffs, IA (Nov. 17, 2007) - Ninth-seeded Blinn College outlasted 10th-seeded San Jacinto College 32-30, 30-25, 30-27 to take fifth place at the National Junior College Athletic Association Women's Volleyball Championships, being held at the Mid-America Center in Council Bluffs, Iowa.
It was the fourth meeting of the 2007 season between the two Texas rivals, with Blinn coming out on top all four times. With the win today, the Buccaneers finish the season with a 35-4 record, while San Jacinto falls to 30-13.
"This matches the program's best finish ever, as we finished fifth last season as well," Blinn Head Coach David Rehr said afterwards. "It leaves you with a good taste in your mouth to win your final match of the season. When you go to the national tournament and finish 3-1, then you're happy."
All of Blinn's players contributed to the win, a point noted by Rehr about his team's entire season. "It was a good team effort," he said. "I think that's what made us successful all year long, we played well as a team."
Leading the way for the Buccaneers was sophomore middle blocker Lina Vanegas, who had 16 kills and two total blocks. Sophomore outside hitters Sabrina Daniel and Hayley Ball contributed nine and eight kills, respectively, while sophomore middle blocker Stefanie Robbins added seven more. Sophomore setter Caroline Witte scored a double double in the match, leading her team's offense with 36 assists, while also nabbing 13 digs. Sophomore libero Sydney Milburn led the defensive effort with 19 digs.
On the other side of the net, the Ravens were led by freshman outside hitter Bruna Rocha's 17 kills and 14 digs, with sophomore outside hitter Lauren Priestly contributing 13 more. Two San Jacinto setters led the offense, with freshman Amanda Christoffersen getting 27 assists and sophomore Jackie Melinder dishing out 19 assists. Sophomore libero Amber Murphy led on defense with 13 digs.
The NJCAA Tournament ends Saturday, Nov. 17, with a number of consolation matches being played all day. The championship match is scheduled for 7 p.m. and will have No. 2-seed Miami Dade College facing off against No. 5-seed Western Nebraska.