By Jakhari Carroll – Collegiate Staff
The Grand Rapids Community College Volleyball team defeated the Ancilla College Chargers in a 3-1 set tonight. It was not just a normal night of volleyball, as the Raiders honored the sophomores playing in their last home game, along with supporting individuals battling cancer.
The focus heading into the match for GRCC was to implement a lineup that the coach felt was going to help their play for regionals.
“This was our first time playing with a lineup that I felt was going to help propel us, to a regional championship,” said Head Coach Chip Will. “So we wanted to make sure we demonstrated that, it was fun to do that against a good team.”
With this victory tonight, GRCC is one win away from finishing the season undefeated in the conference for the fourth time.
“It’s a goal, but it’s not the end all, be all,” Will said. “But we want to win every point, we want to win every game. So, we want to make sure we execute every day, every point. That’s our mentality.”
For sophomores Janie Bunge, Emily Farwell, Rylee Storms and Lauren Wieber, tonight was their last home game.
“They’re really great kids,” Will said. “They are kids that you really enjoy being around. I had the pleasure of being able to be around those kids a lot and it’s a really special group of kids. I’m going to miss their leadership, they really helped keep our program going in the right direction. They’ve done a nice job.”
As for being ready for regional play, Will believes the players are ready for a fun ride.
“I believe they’re ready,” he said. “They’re playing at a high level, we’re still trying to get better, we don’t want to be complacent.”
The sophomores on the team enjoyed playing in front of their families for their last home game. The emotions between the players and their coach are mutual.
“I’m going to miss my coach, Chip Will,” Storms said. “He’s a great coach and he coached me in high school as well. I had him for a few years, so it’s going to be weird not having him as my coach.”
“I’m going to miss the atmosphere, but I’ll definitely miss my coaches more than anything,” Wieber said. “Along with the girls I spent the last two years playing with.”
GRCC now has the outright conference championship for the fifth time. Both teams will have one match left before regional play, which begins Friday, Nov. 4. With the No.1 seed, the Raiders will have their first regional match at 6 p.m. at Reeths-Puffer High School.