Home Sports GRCC volleyball finishes fifth after winning two straight at Nationals

GRCC volleyball finishes fifth after winning two straight at Nationals

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Photo Courtesy of Morgan Jean Photography

With two possible matches remaining, the Grand Rapids Community College volleyball team was on a mission, beating No.5 Iowa Central Community College and No.3 Cowley County Community College. 

The first match for the Raiders took place at AEP Arena, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa against Iowa Central Community College on Friday, Nov.18. In one of the team’s  longest matches of the season, GRCC prevailed 18-25, 25-21, 17-25, 25-21, 17-15. Although the team’s championship hopes were finished, GRCC had one final game with the chance for a top five finish.

All-conference first team sophomore Audrey Torres led the team with 21 kills. Sophomore Shannon Russel had a terrific day with 38 assists and nine digs. Sophomore’s Eliza Thelen and Kara Hecht gave the Raiders a boost, Thelen had 10 kills and Hecht had seven kills and six digs. Freshman Braelyn Berry had a breakout game with 15 kills, 11 digs, and two block assists. 

Following the victory, GRCC played in its final game of the season against Cowley Community College for fifth place on Saturday, Nov.19. The final match brought nothing but excitement as the Raiders narrowly defeated the Tigers 13-25, 25-20, 25-22, 15-25, 15-12.

Once again, Torres led the team in kills with 28. Hecht provided much needed energy with 14 kills and eight digs. Russel led the team with 36 assists with freshman Autumn Cole adding 18 . 

The Raiders improved to 27-4 in their final two games to end the season. A 27-4 record is a three game improvement compared to the 2021 season results when the Raiders went 24-7.

Placing fifth at this year’s Nationals is the second best finish in school history behind the 2012 national team.