If there were any hard feelings coming off of Saturday’s five-set loss to Laredo, the Blinn College volleyball team didn’t show them Monday night.

The Buccaneers returned to form and looked every bit like the No. 1 team in the nation after sweeping Navarro College in straight sets, 25-9, 25-12, 25-18, in the Blinn P.E. Building.

All-American Bruna Evangelista

“We got back into a rhythm,” coach Erin Mellinger said. “We mad too many mistakes on Saturday. We went back to the drawing board and focused on low errors tonight.”

The rhythm was strong and the errors were few from the opening set as the Bucs stormed to their 24th win of the season.

Navarro held Blinn to a 3-3 tie in the first set before the Bucs (24-2, 7-1) went on 8-1 run to pull away. Blinn used multiple runs in the second set, too, to pull away from the Lady Bulldogs and led 20-6 at one point before closing out the set 25-12.

While sophomore Bruna Evangelista led the way with 19 kills, Blinn got production from other players in its offense –– an area it didn’t benefit from in Saturday’s loss –– as six players recorded kills.

The front line did its part, as well, recording five blocks and holding Navarro’s hitters to a .011 hitting percentage. Kariana Castanon-Hill and Rachel Sharp combined for three block assists in the match.

2013 BUC VB Castanon-Hill_Sharp
Kariana Castignon-Hill and Rachel Sharp team up for a Buccaneer block.

“It’s very important to have that depth,” Mellinger said. “We have to have players step up and contribute. Rachel Sharp has done a good job of that lately, as has Katey Kyle. It’s important to have some other people contributing to get us where we want to be.”

That spot is the No. 1 seed in the Region XIV Conference tournament, which begins Nov. 8. In order to do that, the Bucs must win their final three conference games, which includes two matches this week against Wharton on the road Wednesday and at home against Lee College at 6 p.m. Friday.

The Bucs close out their regular season at home Oct. 30 against San Jacinto, a team in a close second behind the Bucs in the conference standings with one loss. If the Bucs beat San Jacinto, they’ll claim that top seed.

“We want to be No. 1 in the region, that’s really where our focus is right now,” Mellinger said. “That’s all that matters.”

 For more information on Blinn volleyball, visit http://www.buccaneersports.com.

(Story courtesy: Matt Keyser, Blinn Information)

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