The Raiders have dominated the competition this season; they are currently ranked No. 3 in the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division II rankings and have lost only one match.
The Raiders secured their third consecutive Michigan Community College Athlete Association (MCCAA) conference championship, the fourth in five years under Head Coach Chip Will. The Raiders defeated Jackson CC in three straight sets on Oct. 16. GRCC is 13-1 all-time versus Jackson CC under Will’s leadership.
Sophomore setter Kaitlyn Wolters said, “It’s an indescribable feeling to win two years in a row.”
Will is entering his sixth season as the Raiders head coach, and this has been his most successful year at Grand Rapids Community College.
“This year has been remarkable,” Will said. “These women have put in the hard work and they are just amazing people on and off the court.”
After losing in the quarterfinals of the national tournament last season to Oakland Community College, Will and the Raiders have been working hard all season to get to this point. Will has yet to reach a national championship while at GRCC but is very confident in this year’s team.
“Our goal is to win a national championship,. It is every year, and I think we are heading in the right direction to accomplish it,” Will said.
This season has been one for the record books for the Raiders. They are 12-0 in conference play, 23-0 overall dating back to Sept. 22, 2011 of last season. They also hold a perfect 21-0 in sets for conference play at home. The Raiders have won 20 consecutive matches
The only loss of the season came to No. 2 ranked Glendale (AZ). The Raiders are 7-1 against ranked teams this season.
During the winning streak, the Raiders have put up unbelievable statistics and have not dropped a set in conference play this season, a perfect 7-0 match record. They have won 19 consecutive sets since dropping one against Owens Community College on Sept. 30.
Much of the success of this year has been with the returning sophomores, with Kaitlyn Wolters leading the group.
“In my opinion, she’s the best setter in the country,” Will said. “To be able to just give the offense to her, which is a huge relief as a coach, and allow her to take over the offense.”
“ She has worked her whole life. She has put in the time to be where she’s at,” said twin sister and teammate Kourtney Wolters.
As of Oct. 19 Kaitlyn had 866 assists, consistently setting up her teammates, along with 128 kills and 220 digs.
Nicole Czehowski has 246 kills this season to lead the team, with Molly Maynard right behind her at 198 kills and Kourtney Wolters at 161. Karleigh Strazisar leads the team with 263 digs.
The Raiders will be hosting NJCAA Region XII District F Tournament at noon on Friday, Nov. 2 and 9 a.m. on Saturday Nov. 3 at the Ford Fieldhouse.
GRCC drew a first round bye and will play on Saturday.