Blinn College sophomore outside hitter Paola Marie Salas Adorno earned NJCAA second-team All-America honors after an exhilarating 2017 volleyball season.
“It feels really nice receiving this award and accomplishing so much my last year here,” Adorno said. “My team was very supportive. We worked together and helped each other all season.”
After earning first-team all-conference honors as a freshman, Adorno’s playing career reached new heights this season as she led the Buccaneers with 452 kills, seventh best in the nation, and averaged 4.11 kills per set, second best in the nation.
“We looked at her a lot to score the ball and push us to win games,” Coach Kalie Mader said. “It is special to see a kid work really hard and get a reward at the end because that means so much to her and the team is so proud of her.”
As a freshman, Adorno tied Blinn College’s record for most kills in a match with 26. This season, she broke the record with 40 kills in five sets against New Mexico Military Institute. She ranks fifth all-time with 817 kills in her career at Blinn.
Adorno was named first team all-Region XIV Conference this year after leading the Buccaneers with 51 aces and ranking second on the team with 408 digs. Kylee Kaaihue was the named the Region XIV Setter of the Year to join Adorno and Kayla Valigura as first-team all-conference selections. Julia Fritz and Amina Olajuwon were named second-team all-conference while Claire Chapman and Roxanne Morris earned honorable mention.
“Something we talk about in our program is that it takes a whole team to get somebody individually honored,” Mader said. “It was her teammates who were giving her the opportunity and then she was executing the ball, so I think a large part of her game is attributed to what her teammates were helping her do every match.”
Blinn finished the season with a 24-9 record and won the Region XIV South championship with a 9-1 record.