#15 BLINN UPSETS #13 NAVARRO IN A THRILLER AT THE KRUSE CENTER

Kierslynn Wright goes for a kill against Navarro (Photo by Joe Alberico)

The 15th-ranked Blinn College volleyball team put forth an impressive rally to upset No. 13 Navarro College in a Region VIX showdown last (Tuesday) night at the Kruse Center in Brenham, Texas.

The Buccaneers recovered from a 2-1 set deficit to win three straight and claim a 25-22, 19-25, 19-25, 25-23, 15-9 victory on its home court.

Blinn is now 23-4 overall and 4-2 in region play.

"We defeated a really good team tonight," said Bucs head coach Terry Gamble, who was honored prior to Tuesday's match for earning his 1,000th coaching victory on Aug. 20. "I'm really proud of the girls. We never quit and that is the attitude the girls have played with all year."

That was the case in the fourth set as neither team seemed able to pull away from the other. However, with Navarro on the brink of a four-set win and the teams deadlocked at 23-all, Blinn found life in the form of freshman hitter LaNeah Lara. The outside threat drilled a kill to the hardwood before a Navarro error pushed the match to a decisive fifth game.

In the final set, the teams again went blow-for-blow until freshman middle blocker Taylor Glendening spiked a kill to the middle of the Navarro court to ignite a game-ending 9-3 run for the Bucs.

Freshman hitter Zuzia Rut sent a tip over the net on the final volley of the night, and the Bulldogs misplayed it to seal the match.

Lara led Blinn with a 21-kill performance, followed by 16 from Wright. Two of the best hitters in the country, Wright (366) and Lara (301) are currently ranked first and third, respectively, in NJCAA Division I in kills.

Glendening chipped in six kills.

Darby Nash sets the Blinn offense (Photo by Joe Alberico)

Freshman setter Darby Nash was a pivotal part of the offense with 30 set assists, while fellow freshman Kelsi Wingo had seven. Wright had three aces from the service line and sophomore libero Ellie Turner delivered two.

Turner had a strong defensive showing with 27 digs, with Wright tallying 13 and Nash and freshman libero Emily Hardee picking up nine apiece. Freshman Kaylen Kruse posted six.

Blinn returns to the court for a region road matchup against Panola College on Thursday in Carthage, Texas.

Story by Joe Alberico, Blinn College Sports Information

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