The Grand Rapids Community College women’s volleyball team won both their matches 3-1 Friday, Nov. 18, in the National Junior College Athletic Association National tournament in Charleston, West Virginia. The games were against Northeast Community College at noon and Central Community College at 4:30 p.m.
The team won by “utilizing offense and defense differently in each match,” said Freshman Setter Lauren Helsen.
“Our defense was better in the first game and our offense was better in the second game,” Helsen said. “Our serve receive was definitely better in our second game against Central.”
The team played Northeast first and won the first set 25-21, the second 25-13, lost the third set 25-19 and won the fourth set 27-25.
Statistically against Northeast, Sophomore Outside Hitter Rylee Storms led the team in kills with 16, followed by Sophomore Outside Hitter Lauren Wieber with 13. In assists, Freshman Setter Lauren Helsen led the team with 26, followed by Sophomore Defensive Specialist Kylie Frank with 13 and in digs Kennedy Potts, freshman defensive specialist, led with 19, followed by Freshman Libero Janie Bunge with 17.
The match against Central was more defensive focused with the Raiders “sticking to assignments” according to Helsen.
“We were able to defend against their kills and stayed on our toes.” Helsen said.
Energy was more of an issue, however, as the team was “up and down throughout both matches,” Helsen said.
“When we were down, we were like a completely different team,” Helsen said. “It was kind of bad, but when we were up, we played really good.”
Against Central, the Raiders put up solid numbers. Leading the team in kills was Storms with 19, followed by Wieber with 10. Leading the team in assists was Helsen with 34, followed by Bunge with four. In digs, Bunge led the team with 26, followed by Helsen with 15.
Going forward, the team will play Johnson County College at 9 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 19 to see if they will place ninth or 10th in the nation.
“We’re not scared for tomorrow,” Helsen said. “That’s not what we’re thinking about. We just want to play well and finish ninth.”