The 8th-ranked Raiders became the first team in the region to clinch a spot in this year's NJCAA District E Tournament after sweeping the Lake Michigan College Red Hawks last week.
GRCC easily took care of business Thursday against the visiting Red Hawks: 25-18, 25-16 and 25-13.
LMC (8-18 overall and 3-9 in the conference) got off to an early 6-3 lead in the match, but the Raiders pulled ahead and won the opening set. GRCC started a brand new lineup for the match, led by freshman outside Emma Pachulski‘s four kills. Sophomore All-American Kendra DeJonge added three kills for the Raiders, who had 15 total in the set.
GRCC started the second set with another new lineup and finished on a 13-4 run to win 25-16. Pachulski and sophomore outside/right side Cassidy Schumacher each had three kills for the Raiders, who hit .308 with just two attack errors. Freshman outside/DS Jasmine Wellet led the squad with eight of the team’s 23 total digs.
Two everyday starters did not play the entire match: Ally Germanwas resting, and Kayla Salyer was recovering from an injury. DeJonge and fellow starter Dani Johnston got some rest in the third set as the Raiders again used a new lineup, including sophomore Lindsey Glaz, who got to start at the L1 spot. She ended up getting the kill to the end the match as well as her first block of the season a few points earlier!
Freshman DS Katelynn Kietzman got the nod to play the libero position in the third set and put up great numbers, digging up 9 balls and adding four more aces to her resume. Those aces all came in an 11-point run early in the set. GRCC won the set easily 25-13, securing yet another sweep of the Red Hawks. Freshmen Bre Wickerink and Lauren Jonker led the offensive attack with three kills apiece.
For the match, eight different players tallied up at least one kill; seven players had at least one assist, five players at least one ace; six players had at least one block, and 12 players dug at least one ball. Leading the offensive attack was Wickerink and Pachulski, who each had 8 kills. Jonker chipped in with 7 and hit .500 for the match. Setters Autumn Severn and Jamie Wellet combined for 26 assists and added 18 digs. Severn and sophomore Kelsie Schultz led the defense with 11 digs each. DeJonge, Wickerink, Pachulski and Jonker each had three blocks.
The NJCAA District E Tournament will be held Nov. 1 to 3 in Port Huron. GRCC will be on the road on Tuesday at Ancilla College. The team returns home to face Kellogg Community College at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 11 at Northview High School, 451 Hunsberger Ave. NE. GRCC’s home games are being played at Northview while Ford Fieldhouse is being renovated.