By Lindsey Soet
The No. 7 Grand Rapids Community College volleyball team faced off against Lansing Community College in the Michigan Community College Athletic Association championship game on Oct. 28 at the Ford Fieldhouse. The Raiders defeated LCC 3-0 (25-20, 25-17, 25-15), winning their second consecutive MCCAA title and 21st consecutive win.
The Raiders won the first set in a close battle, but then sailed through sets two and three to clinch the MCCAA title. Freshman outside hitter Sophie Ritsema made the final kill in the third set, solidifying the win for the Raiders.
“I was thinking like, get the ball down on the ground,” Ritsema said. “It’s nice to be rewarded after our hard work.”
Freshman Lizzie MacIntosh led the Raiders with 12 kills, one block and nine digs. Sophomore Braelyn Berry had 10 kills and 11 digs.
Head coach Chip Will was especially impressed with his team’s performance during the game, saying, “(It was) some of the best volleyball that we played.”
Will also explained how the team’s elevated performance is helping them prepare for the upcoming national tournament in two and a half weeks.
“We understand that this is postseason mentality,” Will said. “I think that it was good…to kind of turn it up a level, so I’m very very pleased.”
Sophomore Vienna Koenigsknecht had three aces, two assists, 10 digs and won her second straight MCCAA title. This victory felt extra special to her because of her love for the team and being able to win at home.
“I love this team and to be able to (win) at home…to win the championship at home was so cool,” Koenigsknecht said.
Looking ahead to the national tournament, Coach Will, Ritsema and Koenigsknecht all feel confident that the Raiders will go far in the tournament.
“I think we have a good chance, we’ve just got to make sure we stay healthy,” Will said.
“I think that we have the ability to go really far if we play how we did today and keep our team chemistry high,” Ritsema said.
“I think we will do really well,” Koenigsknecht said, adding, “I have a lot of faith in this team.”
The Raiders will be back in action on Nov. 15 to compete for the National Junior College Athletic Association Division II title in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.