By Anthony Clark Jr.
After falling 0-3 to Glen Oaks Community College in the season opener, the Grand Rapids Community College Women’s Volleyball team sought after a spirited 3-0 sweep against the Vikings that brought the Raiders’ season record to 2-2. The sets finished at 25-19, 25-21, and 25-19.
Raiders Head Coach Chip Will admired the team chemistry as he said it was a huge boost for the away win, while noting the alterations in how the team performed in the first game of the season would likely continue to see success.
“It hurt losing all three sets at home in the first matchup,” mentioned Will. “We had some kinks we needed to work on and continued to focus on it in practice: the girls proved that.”
An array of Raiders inserted themselves into the team’s offensive edge, with freshman outside hitter Kara Hecht taking charge with a marvelous 14 points, 12 kills, and 13 digs. Hecht reiterated the same message as her coach as she reflected on the team’s focal points in practice and the improvement of team chemistry after the extensive hiatus.
“The girls and I have been finding ways to work together as one,” Hecht recognized. “After the results in the first game, we dialed in on focusing on our individual and collective games… when we walked in that gym, there was no mercy. In the end, it earned a team win.”
Sophomore outside hitters Gabi Kitley (11 kills), Annie Holesinger (seven kills), and sophomore middle blocker Kylie Oberlin (nine kills) positioned themselves into the team’s exuberant win; with the backbone of the offensive tear coming from sophomore setter Kailey Carmean nonetheless, as she contributed an astounding 33 assists.
Kitley weighed in on the team’s sound performance that evened the overall season record, noting the improvement of the team’s chemistry on the floor aids in shaking off the early season rust.
“I think our first loss projected the team into realizing how hard we need to work in practice and off the court to get where we need to be,” Kitley said. “Our chemistry is continuing to improve… in that match, we were all in a good headspace and came out strong while maintaining our excitement and energy.”
The Raiders’ next game will be at Ancilla College to play the Chargers March 5 at 6:30 p.m. This will be the first time the teams compete against one another in the 2020-21 season, as the first matchup of the series was originally scheduled for Feb. 16 and was postponed to March 19. The match will be livestreamed on the Ancilla College Youtube channel.