GRCC volleyball team wins 15th straight, cheered on by 2012 national champs

The Grand Rapids Community College volleyball team extended its win streak to 15 matches after defeating North Central Michigan College in Friday night’s homecoming match, which included a salute to the 2012 national championship team.

GRCC, ranked No. 17 in the latest National Junior College Athletic Association poll, powered past the Timberwolves in straight sets, 25-14, 25-15, 25-12.

GRCC improved to 15-2 overall and 7-0 in conference play with the win.

“What an incredible night for the GRCC volleyball community,” head coach Chip Will said.  “The support from the alumni and fans was inspiring.  We had a great night, and us coaches are so proud of the strength our kids showed as they came in off the bench.”

Every player saw action on the court, and sophomore Audrey Torres led the well-balanced offensive attack with 10 kills while hitting over .300.

Karissa Ferry finished with eight kills while hitting a season best .400, and Eliza Thelen contributed with nine kills.

Thelen and Charlie Baker led the team with three service aces and Alena Visnovksy led the team with four blocks.

Members of the 2012 champions – the first GRCC women’s team to earn a title — were saluted between the second and third sets.

The 2012 team was led by Kaitlyn Wolters, who was named a First Team All-American and the NJCAA Division II Player of the Year.

The team survived a five-set match in the semifinal round of the national tournament, battling Parkland College of Champaign, Ill., which was ranked No. 3 in the nation. GRCC lost the first two sets, and fell behind 8-3 in the third set, before winning two straight to force a fifth set, which it won 16-14 to reach the finals.

In the championship match, GRCC faced the top-ranked team in the country, Cowley College of Arkansas City, Kan. The Raiders swept Cowley, which had been unbeaten, to claim GRCC’s first national title in volleyball.

The current GRCC team will be back on the court Saturday with another conference matchup, at home against Bay College. Match will begin at 1 p.m. 

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