By Kellie Book
Thursday night ended in victory for the Grand Rapids Community College Raiders volleyball team after a nail-biter of a game. The game lasted for four intense matches and about an hour and a half.
The Muskegon Community College Jayhawks scored an early two points in the first match, but the Raiders quickly retaliated. Points were given to both teams for double contact penalties, which was met with displeasure from the MCC coach.
“I don’t want to hear it,” the referee told the coach after repeated comments about unfair double contact calls.
“Don’t give me that, don’t give me that attitude,” said the MCC coach.
However, everyone seemed to channel any frustrations into the game itself as the matches continued.
The two teams traded the lead for the rest of the match with the Raiders ultimately winning 24-21.
The Raiders maintained the intensity into the second match with blisteringly fast strikes from all hitters. Among the major point earners in the second match were No.12 Annie Holesinger, No.16 Kylie Oberlin, and No.7 Jamie Rozell. Holesinger was playing with an injured ankle, and was seen unwrapping it after the game.
The GRCC Raiders ultimately won the match 26-24.
The third match started with the Raiders and Jayhawks trading the lead with almost every other point. Once the score got to 10-7 in favor of the Raiders, the Jayhawks earned several consecutive points, bumping the score up to 13-21. At this point the match wasn’t looking very good for the Raiders, but they caught up quickly with unreturned serves and powerful strikes from the likes of Holesinger and No.17 Emma Pachulski. The repeated near misses and risky saves by both teams made the gameplay exciting to watch. The Raiders did not manage to pull ahead though, and lost the match 20-25.
The fourth and final match once again began with a figurative tug-of-war for the lead, neither team able to get ahead by very much. The Jayhawks pulled ahead for a bit in the middle of the game, but #11 Jasmine Wellet’s close save tied the score at 13-13 and touched off a series of consecutive points for the Raiders, with several of those points coming off the hands of No. 15 Danielle Johnston.
The Raiders were apparently feeling pretty good during their timeout after Johnston earned their 18th point of the match. The team was jamming to Michael Jackson’s “P.Y.T” before buckling down and discussing strategy.
Some confusion and double contact from the Raiders after the timeout allowed the Jayhawks to bring their score up to 19, compared to the Raider’s 21 points at that time. The Raiders recovered quickly from the minor mistakes after a brief timeout and earned the last few points needed for their victory. Those necessary point-earning strikes came from Pachulski, Oberlin, and finally No.1 Kailey Carmean. The match ended 25-21 in favor of the Raiders, granting them a 3-1 victory. This was the team’s 11th win so far this season.
“The girls played really, really well,” said Head Coach Chip Will. “It was a fantastic win after dealing with adversity Tuesday night to get a victory over a respectable opponent.”
“It was a great team win that’s for sure,” she said after the game.
The Raider volleyball team will play at the Ford Fieldhouse again at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 8 against Kalamazoo Community College.