By Shane Madden
After a tough start to their season (0-2) amidst top-tier competition, the Grand Rapids Community College volleyball team packed their brooms as they dominated their MCCAA Northern Conference road trip, where they won five games in as many days without dropping a set.
“Those two matches definitely showed us (whether or not) we could hang with other top 10 teams,” said redshirt sophomore libero Audrey Gower. “Those losses made us better, individually and as a team. We’ve started playing as a team and just kept grinding in practice.”
The Raiders defeated Alpena Community College, Monday, Sept. 19, in a double-header sweep. After a tightly contested first set, GRCC found their rhythm, felling the LumberJacks 25-23, 25-15, 25-10 during the first match and 25-10, 25-14, 25-16 in the second.
Sophomore Audrey Torres led the way for the Raiders, racking up 16 kills and 21 digs during the contest. Sophomore Karissa Ferry added 14 kills with eight blocks and Sophomore Shannon Russell had 35 assists with six service aces.
Redshirt Sophomore Alena Visnovsky continued to anchor the Raider defense, racking up 14 blocks against the Lumberjacks.
“Alena Visnovsky has shown a lot of improvement from when we started to now,” Gower said. “She has been grinding on and off the court…and it is paying off. She’s leading our team in blocks…I am beyond proud of her.”
Torres finished her 400th career kill as a Raider and Ferry spiked her 200th during the first match. Redshirt sophomore Audrey Gower picked up her 600th career dig during the second.
GRCC headed to Delta College the following day, where they defeated the Pioneers 25-22, 25-6, 25-17.
Torres and Gower put up big numbers for the Raiders. Torres led the team in kills with 16 and added two blocks, while Gower collected 21 digs and two service aces.
Five big conference wins brings the Raiders win streak to nine with an overall season record of 9-2. GRCC volleyball has a short break but is scheduled to take on rival Muskegon Community College, Thursday, Sept. 29, at 6:30 p.m. in Muskegon.