The Grand Rapids Community College women’s volleyball team continued their dominance in the conference with a win over Ancilla College in three-straight sets (25-19, 25-14, 25-15) to clinch the conference title. The Raiders are now 17-5 overall and 11-0 in the conference.
The two illustrious leaders for the Raiders, sophomores Annie Holesinger and Kylie Oberlin, were both out of the matchup with illnesses, leading to some of the younger players having to step up to get the win.
“For us, we don’t really care who it’s going to be to come in and step up,” said head coach Chip Will. “But we have expectations that everybody is going to come in and be a vocal leader, work hard physically, so that’s when we are rolling when everyone is doing their jobs.”
The Raiders were very successful in their service game which ultimately led to them getting their season high of service aces (15).
The Raiders were led by freshman Audrey Torres with the team high in kills (nine) along with five digs and two aces.
When asked what she attributes her success to, Torres said, “Definitely the other five people on the court around me. The blocking really helps me. We are pretty strong in that field.”
The Chargers started out the game on a seven-point run, leaving the Raiders confused. After the rough start, the Raiders were able to go on a five-point run to decrease the lead of the Chargers to two, 8-6. Off of back-to-back aces for freshman Shannon Russell, the Raiders were able to steal the momentum from Ancilla and go on another run – aided by a Torres kill, freshman Alena Visnovsky block, and Russell’s three aces to take the lead for the first time in the set, 15-13. The Raiders were able to take set one after an uncharacteristic start, 25-19.
“We just came out complacent,” Will said about the tough start. “I think they thought they were going to win so they just came out complacent, but you want to play (good) in front of your home crowd. It’s important to us, so they responded.”
The second set started in a back and forth battle with no team pulling ahead, until the Raiders were able to go on an eight-point run to extend their lead to 10,19-9. The Raiders were able to put on four straight points late in the set from back-to-back kills by freshman Ola Nowak and back-to-back aces from freshman Charlie Baker – extending their lead to 23-13. The Raiders were able to close out the second set three points later, winning it 25-14.
The Raiders started off the third set on fire, going up 4-0 off of redshirt-freshman Kara Hecht’s ace, followed by a kill from freshman Karissa Ferry and a block from Visnovsky. The Raiders were able to keep a consistent lead throughout the set to take the third set easily, 25-15 off of back-to-back aces by Nowak.
The win was aided by Ferry (seven kills, three digs, and two blocks), Russell (27 assists, nine digs, and three aces), freshman Eliza Thelen (six kills and one block), and Nowak (four kills, four digs, and two aces).
The Raiders will look to remain perfect in the conference when they travel to Battle Creek to face off against Kellogg Community College, a team they previously defeated 3-1, on Tuesday, Oct. 19 starting at 6:30 p.m.