BRENHAM, Texas -- The crowd was loud in the Blinn P.E. Building Thursday night, and for good reason, the Blinn College volleyball team reeled off its 10th-straight victory.
The Buccaneers, who haven’t lost a match three weeks, beat the Wharton Lady Pioneers in straight sets Thursday, 25-23, 25-15, 25-16, behind a strong serve receive and back-line performance.
Blinn righted its play from the first set and played more dominant volleyball in the second and third sets with an improved defense that had 42 digs and a front line that combined for 16 blocks.
“I thought we played a little flat in the first set, but we turned it around in the second and third sets and got better,” Blinn coach Erin Mellinger said.
Leading the charge on the front line was sophomores Bruna Evangelista and Kariana Castanon-Hill, who each combined for four assisted blocks. Jaeda Allen contributed three more. The defense had 42 digs, 10 more than Wharton, led by freshman libero Alyssa LaMont’s match-best 18.
Sophomore setter Crystal Young led the offensive charge with 32 assists, and mixed her sets to the multiple Blinn hitters.
“She’s very good at what she does,” Mellinger said of Young.
Evangelista, a middle blocker, had a match-high 15 kills with a .600 hitting percentage. Allen had nine kills and Castanon-Hill and Trinity Alualu each had seven.
Mellinger couldn’t have been more pleased with the crowd’s spirit and energy that filled the gym.
“I am so appreciative of the school spirit,” Mellinger said. “It’s incredible.”
The Bucs hosted Adam’s Angels Night in support of Adam’s Angels Ministries, a non-profit organization founded by Donna and Tim Culliver of Brenham as a way to reach out to families that have been affected by childhood cancer. The Cullivers lost their 4-year-old son, Adam Christian Culliver, to acute myelogenous leukemia.
Members of Adam’s Angels joined the Bucs during the pregame ceremony and were recognized during an intermission before the third set.
It’s a match that held a lot of meaning to Mellinger and the Bucs.
“I’m so happy we get to support an organization like Adam’s Angels,” Mellinger said. “Anything we can ever do to help them, we’ll always be there.”