The Grand Rapids Community College Raiders volleyball team defeated the Lake Michigan College Redhawks at Ford Fieldhouse on Thursday for their Michigan Community College Athletic Association home conference finale, Homecoming match and Sophomore night.
Sophomores Lauren Helsen, Peyton Helsen, Hailey DeKorte, Lena Thompson and Hannah Stearns were honored with a portrait and flowers in a ceremony before the match began. As well as the Calvary unveiling their new signage dedicating their official new home in Gordon Hunsberger Arena.
“It’s exciting, it’s a little sad too,” said Defensive Specialist/Libero Peyton Helsen. “Us Sophomores were talking and it kinda sucks that it’s only two years, that we only have two years together. It’s been fun.”
The Raiders took command in the first set, stretching the lead out to as much as 17 and won the set in typical Raiders fashion, 25-9.
The 2012 Raiders were honored in a ceremony after the first set featuring former players and coaches in recognition of the team’s accomplishments. The 2012 Raiders also met with the current squad to share a conversation about the postseason. Both of those of those teams were led by head coach Chip Will.
“Each of those teams are pretty special,” Will said. “It was neat they were able to partake in that.”
The message that the 2012 team shared with the current team was a belief in oneself, that they can talk about it all they want but they have to feel that belief in their hearts and souls to achieve their goals.
Nationally ranked No. 3 GRCC took care of business again in the second set as they dominated the Redhawks and won the set 25-11.
“We wanted to make sure we put on a good show” Will said. “It was an amazing crowd to cap off an amazing week. A lot of people have put in time and energy so we wanted make sure to pay that same respect.”
Unforced errors spelt doom for the Redhawks (3-23 overall, 1-14 MCCAA) as they kept piling on and on throughout the match and cost them a number of points. The Redhawk errors along with the Raiders’ (22-1 overall, 15-0 MCCAA) dominance allowed the Raiders’ lead to climb again to as much as 17 before closing out the third set 25-9 and sweeping the Jayhawks out of Ford Fieldhouse 3-0.
“We wanted to come out and be extra aggressive offensively, trying to get some bigger swings, get some bigger blocks,” Will said.
The Raiders host the MCCAA Tournament Saturday, Oct. 28 at 12 p.m. at Ford Fieldhouse where they will face either Mott Community College or Oakland Community College.