By Emma Marriott
Sophomore Annie Holesinger, a third-year outside hitter for the Grand Rapids Community College women’s volleyball team, began her collegiate volleyball career in the fall of 2019. She joined the Raiders straight out of the NorthPointe Christian Schools. Starting in most games and setting standards as a freshman is something that made Holesinger stand out, as she played 129 of the 134 total sets the Raiders played throughout the 2019-20 season. In the 2020-21 season, Holesinger was a sophomore and continued her dominance. However, this season Holesinger found herself playing in a new position as a middle blocker.
“(I) started playing volleyball in third grade when my parents were coaching my siblings at Rockford Christian School. I have been playing ever since,” Holesinger said. Watching her parents coach her siblings from a young age shaped her into the player she is today.
After graduating high school, the search for the best-fit volleyball program began. “I chose GRCC because I felt the love from the coaches and teammates as soon as I met them,” Holesinger said. “It was close to home so I could always have a support system, and coming into a winning program is always the best. I thought GRCC would be the best fit for me personally and I’m so glad I made that decision.”
Judging from her list of accomplishments, Holesinger’s college choice has really paid off. Here are just a few of the extensive list of honors and awards:
Freshman Year (2019-20)
- MCCAA Western Conference Player of the Year
- First Team All-Conference
- MCCAA Western Conference Championship
- MCCAA State Championship
Sophomore Year (2020-21)
- Academic All-Conference
- Second Team All-Conference
- MCCAA All-Region
Holesinger’s performance has been very impactful for GRCC, but last season she didn’t play as well as she would’ve liked, which pushed her to work hard in the offseason. The offseason determination paid off, as she leads the Raiders with 228 kills this season.
“She is a kid who has the ability to be one of the nation’s best at the net,” GRCC volleyball head coach, Chip Will told the Collegiate in a previous interview. “She can be a dominant force blocking. She can be a dominant force offensively. I think she didn’t play as well as she would’ve liked last year during the spring modified season, and I think she put in a lot of work in the offseason to get back to the ability she knows she can be at… I’ve been thoroughly impressed with how dominant she is.”
“Annie has a huge impact on the team,” said freshman outside hitter Audrey Torres in a text to the Collegiate. “She’s an incredibly strong and consistent hitter…She has a great attitude and is a great hype man to the team. Without her, we definitely wouldn’t have the success we’ve been having this season.”
On Monday, Sept. 20 Holesinger rocked out 24 kills against Muskegon Community College, topping her previous career high (19) that was achieved in the match prior to Sept. 20.
“It was great to beat my career-high in kills two games in a row,” she said. “The team really stepped up our defense and Shannon Russell gave me the best sets possible so I could achieve those. We also really wanted to beat MCC so having that thought behind me was pushing (me).”
The remaining goals for Holesinger this season don’t stop there, as short-term and long-term goals are very present as well.
“My goals (and) team goals are to take a swing at a national championship. We want to leave our mark at CC and what is a better way than bringing home a national title,” Holesinger said, adding that she plans on continuing her athletic career while studying for her master’s in occupational therapy.
With their current momentum and drive, a championship run remains within the realm of possibility for Holesinger and her teammates who will look to keep the ball rolling against Muskegon Community College on Oct. 7 at 6:30 p.m.