In a state known for their silver mines, the Tyler Junior College Apache Ladies grabbed the silver medals on Saturday as national runners-up in the NJCAA Division I Volleyball Tournament in Casper, Wyo.

The No. 2-ranked Apache Ladies had a gutsy performance, but fell to rival and No. 1-ranked Blinn College, 3-1, in the championship match at Casper Events Center.

The Lady Buccaneers (40-3) won the match 26-24, 25-27, 25-12, 26-24.

The Apache Ladies, in their first national title game appearance in volleyball, ended their season at 34-5 with all five losses to Blinn.

It appeared the match would go to a fifth set, but Blinn rallied for the fourth set win.

Abby Mackey, a freshman from Overton, led TJC with 15 kills, while Jordan McArdle added 14. Other contributors were Malicia Fluellen (10) and Morgan Lewis (8). Savannah Cantrell, a freshman from Lindale, had four kills.

Kaitlyn Brooks again ran the TJC attack and had 47 assists.

Mackey led in digs with 20, while Longview’s Hannah Robey added 17. Others providing digs for TJC were Brooks (13), Jacqueline Perez (7), Tyler freshman Rilee Miller (6) and Lewis (5).

For Blinn, Bruna Evangelista led with 23 kills, followed by Rebecca Reeve (12) and Kariana Castanon-Hil (10). Crystal Young had 47 assists.

Hillsborough (Fla.) claimed third with a 3-2 win over Salt Lake (Utah).

Sports Editor

I am a native Tylerite and I grew up reading the Tyler Morning Telegraph and The Tyler Courier-Times. My parents took both the morning and afternoon papers. I came to work here 35 years ago at the age of 23, right after college.

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