No. 20 GRCC Raiders volleyball team starts off slow but defeats Kellogg...

No. 20 GRCC Raiders volleyball team starts off slow but defeats Kellogg CC 3-1

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Sophomores Rylee Storms (left) and Janie Bunge (middle) with freshman Olivia Reams (right) prepare for a serve from Kellogg CC.

The Grand Rapids Community College volleyball team overcame a slow start in the first set to defeat Kellogg Community College 3-1 Tuesday night.

Head Coach Chip Will was disappointed about the effort and focus in the first set, but was pleased to see the team rally and step up to sweep the Bruins the next three sets.

‘We have to work hard (to win games),” Will said. “If we just go through the motions, we are not good enough to beat the majority of the teams in our conference … (We didn’t) have that mental focus to come in ready and dominate in the first set … but I like how we responded.”

The team seems to “play against adversity a lot,”  Will said, and that will be something to work towards in the future.

The team has tendency to put themselves in a position where they have to battle back and fight for the win.

“I think we go to that too much,” said Will. “We are gonna have more talent than most of the teams we play, so we just need to keep it clean, keep it focused on our side and we’ll be set.”

The gameplan was to “keep up the pace,” and that’s exactly what the team did to overcome their first set loss.

Freshman outside hitter/setter, #9, Lena Thompson.Avery Jennings | The Collegiate Live
Freshman outside hitter/setter, #9, Lena Thompson.

“We needed to play fast,” said freshman outside hitter Lena Thompson. “Our offense had to be faster, even with the small things like running back to serve. (We needed to) just keep it going and not stop.”

The increased energy and pace proved to be effective as the team won the second set 25-20, the third set 25-11 and the fourth set 25-19.

Going forward, the team needs to “focus up” and “play their

Freshman defensive specialist, #6, Peyton Helson.Avery Jennings
Freshman defensive specialist, #6, Peyton Helsen.

game” in order to succeed and keep winning matches said freshman defensive specialist Peyton Helsen.

“I think we need to keep staying focused as far as our game and how we play,” Helsen said. “We drop sets because we play at the other team’s pace.”

Volleyball-Sept-2016-2Avery Jennings
The GRCC women’s volleyball team huddle up for a pregame pep talk before playing Kellogg CC.
Freshman outside hitter, #12, Olivia Reams.Avery Jennings
Freshman outside hitter, #12, Olivia Reams.

“(We need to) keep playing at our level, our pace, even when the team’s aren’t that great,” said freshman outside hitter Olivia Reams. “They (Kellogg) weren’t that fast and we were playing as slow as they were.”

Top scorers included sophomores Janie Bunge, libero, with 23 digs, Rylee Storms, outside hitter, with 17 kills and Kylie Frank, defensive specialist, with 29 assists.

The next game on the team’s schedule will be at 5:30 p.m. Sept. 22 against Ancilla College in Indiana.

The team’s next home match will be at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 27 against Lake Michigan College.

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