BRENHAM, Texas -- After two difficult sets to open the match, Blinn College volleyball came back to force a fifth set against No. 4 Panola College but the Buccaneers could not maintain the momentum and fell 3-2 to Panola Thursday night inside the P.E. Building to open the Applebee’s Classic.
Panola won by the score 25-23, 25-11, 23-25, 16-25 and 15-6 as the Blinn overall record falls to 13-14 overall and its Region XIV record stays at 4-2.
Paola Marie Salas Adorno led the Buccaneers with 26 kills and added eight digs. Alexis Kingston added 14 kills in the loss. Danusia Sipa Borgeaud led Blinn with 19 digs while Ally Lanik dished out 45 assists.
Blinn did not start off the match on the right foot as Panola scored the first six points of the set. The Buccaneers were able to recover and eventually take a 21-20 lead after seven straight points was capped by a kill from Adorno. Panola would counter with four straight points and ended up claiming the first set 25-23.
Panola carried over it momentum in the second set with a 25-11 victory to take a 2-0 lead in sets.
Wanting to avoid a sweep, Blinn came out much stronger in the third set and took a 9-5 lead after a kill from Adorno. The Buccaneers lead ballooned out to a 21-14 after an error from Panola. Blinn did let Panola get a little closer and tie the set at 23-23 but the Buccaneers claimed the final two points with a kill from Adorno and a Panola mistake for a 25-23 Blinn victory in the third.
The fourth set was by far the best set for Blinn as the Buccaneers started out with a 14-10 lead after an ace from Borgeaud. Holding on to a 20-16 lead, Blinn forced a fifth set by scoring the next five points with the help of a block from Eboni Mitchell to claim the fourth 25-16.
Momentum switched back to Panola as the visiting team shot out to a 6-1 lead. Blinn struggled to find the same momentum in the fifth set as Panola sealed the match with a 15-6 win in the fifth.
Blinn will continue in the Applebee’s Classic with two more matches on Friday, Oct. 7. The Buccaneers open with a match against Temple College at 1 p.m. and the close out the day with a match against Tyler Junior College at 7 p.m.
Blinn has competed in intercollegiate athletics since 1903 and captured 34 NJCAA national championships since 1987. For more information, visit www.buccaneersports.com.