The Grand Rapids Community College women’s volleyball team defeated Kellogg Community College on the road in a tight battle after being down 2-1 for the first time in conference play. The Raiders remain undefeated in the conference (12-0) and are now 18-5 overall.
It was a nerve-racking sight as the Raiders’ 14-game win streak was a set away from being snapped. However, after dropping the third set and allowing Kellogg CC to take a 2-1 lead, the team was able to win two-straight sets to complete the comeback.
“After being down 2-1 it was pretty scary knowing that our winning streak and undefeated record might be broken,” said freshman Audrey Torres. “We weren’t performing even close to our best abilities so we knew we had to pick it up if we wanted to pull out the win. We came together before the fourth set and talked about what we needed to improve on before stepping foot on the court again and luckily were able to come out on top in the end.”
The Raiders blocking came alive and helped the Raiders come out on top. Redshirt-freshman Alena Visnovsky and freshman Karissa Ferry had five blocks each, along with three blocks coming from sophomore Kylie Oberlin.
It was a full team effort as five Raiders had double digits in kills.
The Raiders were led on the offensive attack by redshirt-freshman Kara Hecht who had a career-high 15 kills. The Raiders were also led by Ferry (10 kills and five blocks), Torres who was effective on both offense and defense (16 digs, 12 kills, three aces), and Oberlin (13 kills and three blocks).
The Raiders started out strong, going up 4-1 early in the first set. The Bruins were able to mount a small comeback, tying the game at nine each. The game remained close throughout the set until the Raiders went on an eight-point run to take the first set, 25-16.
During the second set, the Raiders had trouble keeping the momentum from the previous set and went down 14-8. The Bruins kept a consistent lead throughout the set until the Raiders went on a six-point run following a timeout. It was a back and forth battle to the finish of the set, with the Bruins securing two-straight points to win their first set of the match, 26-24 and tying the match, 1-1.
After the disappointing set, the Raiders responded right away going up 4-0. The Bruins didn’t let up and were able to comeback and to tie it at 15 each. After they tied the set, they were able to go on a small run to take the lead, 21-16. The Bruins would close out the third set, winning 25-21 and going up 2-1 in the match.
With the perfect conference record and 15-game win streak on the line, the Raiders came out strong in the fourth set. Going on a 5-1 run, the Raiders were aided by two kills from Ferry, a kill and block from Torres and an ace from redshirt-freshman Audrey Gower. The Raiders were able to keep a consistent lead throughout the set, taking the fourth set 25-15 off of a Visnovsky block to tie the match at 2-2 and force a fifth set.
The Raiders came out firing in the fifth set, going up 3-0 off of a Torres block and kill. The Raiders were able to keep their lead throughout the set. On the match point, intensity and determination coursed through the veins of both teams as neither side would give in. However, the Raiders eventually were able to get the point to win the set and the match, 15-9.
The Raiders will travel to Texas Township to face off against Kalamazoo Valley Community College on Tuesday, Oct. 26 at 6:30 p.m. This will be the final away game for the Raiders for the 2021-22 regular season.