Nov. 3, 2019 GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Grand Rapids Community College volleyball team earned its fourth consecutive MCCAA championship on Saturday, topping Eastern Conference champs Mott Community College in four sets.
The Raiders have won seven MCCAA championships since 2010 under the direction of Coach Chip Will. The team now prepares for NJCAA Great Lakes B Regional Tournament this week.
GRCC, ranked 15th in the nation, led by as many as four points in the opening set, but a 5-0 run late in the set would put Mott up 20-17 in action at the Gerald R. Ford Fieldhouse. The Raiders would respond and have a set point, but the Bears answered back scoring the final three points to win 27-25. Sophomore Danielle Johnston finished the match with a career-high 23 kills, with six of the Raiders’ 16 kills in the set.
GRCC trailed 3-0 in the second set, but responded with 10 straight points and never looked back, cruising to a 25-9 victory. The Raiders hit .371 with 15 kills and just two errors, with Johnston adding six more kills while hitting .429 and adding two aces. Eight Raiders scored at least one point in the game.
The Raiders continued to roll in the third, getting off to a 5-0 start and finishing the set, 25-16 winners. Again, it was Johnston, an All-Region outside, who led the way with six kills. Freshman Annie Holesinger added two kills and two blocks while sophomore Jamie Wellet had two aces. Sophomore libero Mykayla Vallad led the defense with seven of her career high-24 digs.
Mott trailed 8-5 in the fourth, but would score eight straight points to take a 13-8 lead. GRCC regained the lead after an 8-3 run made it 21-20. Five straight side-outs tied the match at 23 points. Johnston would rip her 23rd kill down the line giving her team a match point. Freshman middle blocker Kylie Oberlin then finished off the game with her fourth kill of the day.
The Raiders will be back in action at the NJCAA Great Lakes Regional B tournament with a trip to the nationals tournament on the line in the double-elimination event. The state championship awards GRCC a first-round bye and will play at 8 p.m. on Nov. 7.