The Grand Rapids Community College women’s volleyball team defeated the Glen Oaks Vikings in three straight sets (25-22, 26-24, 25-16) to win their first conference game of the season.
The Raiders were beaten by Glen Oaks in three-straight sets last year to open up the 2020-21 season. Remembering how the previous season began gave them motivation to make sure this season started on the right note.
“We lost to them last year to start the season, so we wanted a little bit of revenge,” GRCC head coach Chip Will said. “I was pleased that it was a complete team performance. I thought everyone contributed.”
Sophomore Kylie Oberlin led the team in kills with 11 total along with two blocks. Sophomore Annie Holesinger was another big standout with nine kills and two blocks. The two versed blockers showed their leadership and talent on the court, leading to a win for the Raiders.
“They both played really well,” Will said. “Passing helped them be dominant. Our setters were able to run whatever offense they wanted to. It was really nice to have Kylie and Annie both play well at the same time. It seems like one of them will play well and the other one will not in some of our matches, so to have them both clicking makes us pretty tough.”
Holesinger has started this season dominating the court, averaging 11.6 kills a game in the first nine matches of the season. Her performance has already been recognized when she won MCCAA Western Conference Player of the Week.
“I put in a lot of work this summer to be a better player than I have been and I think it really showed,” Holesinger said. “My drive for volleyball is in full swing and I’m very grateful for the opportunity to play one more year at GRCC.”
The Raiders started off the match strong with a seven-point run to go up 12-5. Holesinger aided the run with two kills and a block in three straight possessions. The Vikings were able to consistently put up points, slowly shrinking the Raiders’ lead. After two-straight points Glen Oaks was able to cut down the Raiders lead to two points (24-22), but they were shut down when Oberlin came up big with a kill, giving the first set to GRCC, 25-22.
The Vikings took an early lead against the Raiders to start out the second set. Glen Oaks maintained a small lead throughout, but a five-point run late in the match gave GRCC their first lead since the start of the set. Following a timeout, the Vikings quickly took their lead back securing four straight points to go up, 21-18. It was back and forth through the rest of the set coming down to the last few points. Freshman Audrey Torres came up big for the Raiders with a kill to tie the game at 24. On the next point, Oberlin had a monstrous block, giving the Raiders all the momentum and the lead. The Raiders were able to secure the second set on the next point with a kill from Torres, 26-24.
The Raiders took the momentum from the exciting finish in the second set into the third, going up 6-1 early. GRCC held the momentum the whole rest of the set leading to a comfortable win to end the match, 25-16.
As well as Holesinger and Oberlin, the Raiders also received contributions from Torres (12 digs, nine kills, and one block), freshman Morgan Fugate (seven kills and one block), and freshman Ola Nowak (32 assists and three kills).
The Raiders will look to continue the success when they travel to Muskegon to face off against Muskegon Community College on Tues., Sept. 7 starting at 6:30 p.m.
“They got us a couple times last year during the shortened covid season, so we definitely want revenge on them, too,” Will said.