By James Herold
On Saturday, Sept. 30, the Grand Rapids Community College volleyball team hosted The Raider Challenge at the Ford Fieldhouse and dominated the competition on the first day of the tournament.
GRCC faced Kellogg Community College in the first game of a doubleheader and Macomb Community College in the second game. These were the first matchups of the Raider Challenge and the Raiders swept both their opponents.
In the game against Kellogg, No. 11 GRCC won 3-0 (25-18, 25-19, 25-12) . GRCC dominated each set, from start to finish.
GRCC’s head coach, Chip Will, said he was pleased by his team’s performance.
“I thought we came out focused,” he said. “It’s nice that we get to play some opponents that we used to play in our conference which is fun for us…so I was very pleased of how we came out and executed really well. We passed the ball very well, so it was overall a really really good start to the tournament.”
GRCC sophomore Braelyn Berry said her team had “some things to work on for the next set…” but she said she thought her team would start off strong.
In the game against Macomb, GRCC, riding a then 11-match win streak, once again won every set, taking the matches by a score of 25-10, 25-20, 25-20.
“I think both games today…we executed very well,” said freshman Lizzie MacIntosh. “We were tired… but… I think we took care of business and… focused on every single touch we had in the game.”
Overall, in both games, the team averaged 84 kills, Berry had 23 of those, MacIntosh had 22, freshmen Ava Schultz had 16, and freshman Lilly Peterson had 15. The team averaged 19 aces, sophomore Autumn Cole had seven. Schultz had four. MacIntosh and Peterson combined for three, and sophomore Vienna Koenigsknecht had two. The team averaged 80 assists, Cole had 45 and freshman Carle Bruggema had 26. The team averaged 97 digs, Koenigsknecht had 28 of those, MacIntosh had 23, Berry had 18, and Cole had 14.
GRCC also averaged 10 blocks, Peterson and Schultz combined for four of those blocks, Berry and Freshman Maureen Winstanley combined for three of those, MacIntosh had two, and Freshman Joslynne Bogner had one.
GRCC will face Kalamazoo Valley Community College at 10 a.m., and Oakland Community College at noon, on Oct. 1, once again in the Raider Challenge at Ford Fieldhouse. GRCC will then be taking on Delta College in a matchup at home on Oct. 3 at 6:30 p.m.