By Dana Finkler
Collegiate Staff Writer
The GRCC volleyball team currently has a 20-5 record and is ranked #14 in the NJCAA Division 2 rankings. Part of the Raiders success has been the exceptional play of freshman middle backer Molly Maynard.
Maynard knew she wanted to play volleyball since seventh grade. She was a three-sport athlete at Williamston high school before signing her letter of intent earlier this year to play for the Raiders. She played volleyball, basketball, and ran track.
“She represents everything that is good about our program as a athlete and as a person,” said head coach Chip Will.
While at Williamston, Maynard earned many accolades in volleyball and track. She competed as a high jumper hurdler in track where she earned All-State honors her senior year.
“Volleyball is my favorite sport, but I played basketball and ran track to better my skills and stay in shape,” Maynard said.
Also during her senior year she was the captain of the volleyball team and earned all-area and all-conference honors for her stellar play. She also received all-state honorable mention in the same year. Outside of school she competed in a travel volleyball league L.A.V.A (Lansing Area Volleyball Association) and that’s where coach Chip Will noticed Maynard.
“I learned about her through our volleyball club L.A.V.A,” Will said. “We had two All-Americans graduate last season, and we have a void at middle backer. She fit the mold of the type of player we wanted as an athlete and person. We went after her hard during recruiting and we’re happy to have her on our team.”
Many colleges recognized Maynard’s talent and she received several scholarship offers to play volleyball elsewhere including Alma, Aquinas, Michigan Tech, Saginaw Valley, and others. Maynard ultimately wanted to walk on at Michigan State, but decided to take the offer from GRCC.
“I really liked Chip’s coaching style and I knew GRCC had a great program,” Maynard said.
“Since day one she has came in here with great work ethic,” Will said. “She treats every practice as chance to get better. She is focused and driven to make herself and her teammates better constantly, pushing everyone–even herself.”
“She’s always smiling, laughing, and cracking jokes,” Will said. “Its great to have someone like her to pick up the team when things aren’t going well. She’s always keeping everyone motivated and focused.”
Maynard ranks second among her teammates in the category of blocks with 80 and with 181 kills.
Off the volleyball court, Maynard is an exceptional student holding a 3.5 GPA. She is currently undecided on a major, but is very interested in the field of physical therapy. She plans to return to GRCC next season to continue playing volleyball and finish her studies before transferring to a bigger school whether in state or out of state.
The Raiders have five matches left before they begin post-season play, two of them are home matches at Gordon Hunsburger Arena. The Raiders take on Lansing CC on Thursday, October 13 and Muskegon CC Tuesday, October 18. Both matches begin at 6:30 p.m.