Nationally ranked No. 3, moving up from the No. 4 spot last week, the Grand Rapids Community College Raiders Volleyball faced the Glen Oaks Community College Vikings at the Ford Fieldhouse Tuesday.
The Raiders and the Vikings started the game in a dogfight, with the Raiders’ lead reaching no more than 5 points. The Vikings called a timeout trailing 20-18, and then the Raiders stormed to win the first set, 25-20.
“The thing for us is just to understand where we need to be at the end of the year,” said Raiders Head Coach, Chip Will. “We want to think long term, when we win we need to be particular about the things we’re not doing well so we can clean that up.”
The Raiders jumped out to a fast 9-3 lead in the second set before a Vikings timeout. The Raiders continued to pour on the dominance and force the Vikings to commit ball handling errors, which the Vikings lead the country in that category. The Raiders controlled the ball and took care of business by ending the second set with 25-12.
The Raiders continued to dominate the third set, jumping out to a 9-3 lead. Glen Oaks turned on their own intensity and fought back to a 20-20 tie before a flurry of errors led to a pair of timeouts called with the Raiders leading 23-20. The Raiders won 2 of the last 3 points and won the third set 25-21, sweeping the Vikings out of Gordon Hunsberger Arena, 3-0.
A common struggle the Raiders have had so far this season is the third set.
“It’s a tough mentality,” Will said. “From us, we want to treat matches and treat sets in more a smaller fashion, more 5 point intervals. We want to shorten up those games up and be more efficient and focus on being first to 5, first to 10, first to 15 and hopefully that cleans that side of it up.”
The Raiders move up another spot in the national poll, but the players refuse to become complacent moving forward in the season.
“We played well, but there are certain things that we need to continue to work on,” said Outside Hitter/Defensive Specialist Hailey DeKorte. “Things like our timing and our aggression on serves, and stay engaged on defense.”
“I think we can do better at our assignments,” Middle Blocker Hannah Stearns. “Despite that, I think we played well, but we can still improve in a lot of areas.”
The Raiders next match is slated for Tues., Oct. 10, against Muskegon Community College at the Ford Fieldhouse.