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GRCC women’s volleyball lose first round of national tournament, more volleyball to be played

The GRCC women's volleyball team in a mid-game huddle earlier in the season.

The 12th ranked Grand Rapids Community College women’s volleyball team lost their first match to sixth ranked Coffeyville Community College, 3-0 in the National Junior College Athletic Association National Championship tournament Thursday, Nov. 17 in Charleston, West Virginia.

“They had three girls that could put the ball away,” said Sophomore Outside Hitter Rylee Storms. “Normally we play teams that have one good hitter and us blockers just follow that person around. They had three.”

Coffeyville forced the Raiders to “stay on their toes” throughout the match, according to Storms. Coffeyville was able to “keep them guessing on defense,” Storms said, as they didn’t know where a lot of the offensive attacks would come from.

The team put up good efforts though, keeping each set somewhat close with scores of 23-25 in the first, 18-25 in the second and 22-25 in the third.

Storms led the team with 13 kills, followed by Sophomore Outside Hitter Lauren Wieber with 11. The team leader in assists was Freshman Setter Lauren Helsen with 26, followed by Sophomore Defensive Specialist Kylie Frank with five. And the team leader in digs was Sophomore Libero Janie Bunge with 16, followed by Freshman Defensive Specialist Kennedy Potts with 11.

Now that the team has lost their first match, the best they can do now is finish ninth in the tournament by winning their next three matches.

“We’re still playing for improvement,” Storms said. “We have nothing to lose at this point because we can finish better than what we started at.”

The team will need to win each game going forward, or they go home and wait to hear of the results of their season finish.

The next match for the team will be at noon Friday, Nov. 18, against Northeast Community College.

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