The Grand Rapids Community College volleyball team took care of business Saturday, the first day of the annual GRCC Raider Challenge, with convincing wins against Macomb Community College in their first match and Alpena Community College in their second match.
Coaches and players alike were satisfied with the wins and were glad each member of the team was able to play.
“All 16 kids are really good,” said Head Coach Chip Will. “It was important to get everyone playing time today because I think that’s going to keep everyone fresh for tomorrow. Plus, this is a good mentality of how regionals are gonna be when you play four or five matches. We have the depth to keep everybody fresh and that’s really important.”
“Tomorrow, when we play Owens (Community College) and St. Claire (Community College), they’re going to better than the teams we faced today,” said Sophomore Defensive Specialist Kylie Frank about Sunday’s games. “We’ll have to fight for each win.”
Against Macomb CC, the Raiders finished the match with a first set win, 25-13, a second set win, 25-10 and a third set win, 25-15.
The team had a “slow” practice yesterday, and they believed this was the key to themselves feeling rested and ready for the Macomb and Alpena matches.
“It was a pretty slow practice yesterday,” said sophomore outside hitter, Lauren Weiber. “There wasn’t a ton of jumping involved, I wasn’t using my shoulder a lot and I thought that really helped, especially after playing two games this past week. I think that rest with still having practice is what we needed.”
Macomb “looked pretty good in warm ups” according to a few members of the team, but didn’t deliver when it came game time.
“I thought they were going to be a lot better,” said Sophomore Outside Hitter Rylee Storms. “I’m guessing that they didn’t have a true setter, so that could’ve been the reason why they just weren’t as good.”
The Raiders rested for couple of hours after the Macomb CC match and then it was back for match two against Alpena CC.
The team kept the pace going and defeated Alpena CC 25-19 in the first set and 25-15 in the second and third set.
“We hit all of our assignments, so getting a good dig, being where the ball is,” Frank said.
The team was able to “stay disciplined” with where they were supposed to be on the court and this amplified the team’s performance and allowed them to thrive offensively and defensively.
“I think we did a good job of not letting both teams never really get on a big run,” said Sophomore Outside Hitter Emily Farwell. “We’d only let them get one or two (points) at a time and then we’d get right back and caught up.”
There was a unanimous agreement among the team that each player was able to contribute to the two wins in one form or another, and the goal is to keep that versatility going.
The next two matches will be at 11 a.m. against St. Claire CC and 3 p.m. against Owens CC tomorrow, Sunday, Oct. 2, at the Ford Fieldhouse for the second and final day of the tournament.