GRCC volleyball team’s 18-win streak snapped in grueling five-set match against rival Muskegon

The Grand Rapids Community College volleyball team’s win streak was snapped at 18, as the team lost a grueling five-set match to Muskegon Community College despite a dominating career performance by Eliza Thelen.

Thelen had 22 kills and just four errors, hitting .340 for the match in the annual Pink Game that helped raise money for Gilda’s Club of Grand Rapids for cancer awareness.

“It was a tough night, but give Muskegon a ton of credit,” head coach Chip Will said. “They played fantastic, but we’re not going to hang our heads after the loss. Despite the conference season ending, we still have a lot more volleyball to play.”

GRCC, ranked No. 12 in the nation in the latest National Junior College Athletics Association poll, dominated set one, 25-17 and nearly went up 2-0, but Muskegon went on a 5-1 run to end the second set, winning 25-23.

GRCC responded in the third set, leading by as many as six points, but the Jayhawks went on a 7-0 run to take the lead and they wouldn’t trail the rest of the way, winning 25-19.

The team forced a fifth set by taking set four 25-21, and was two points away from taking the match, up 13-12. But Muskegon scored the final three points to steal the match.

Should Muskegon win on Thursday against Delta College, it will tie GRCC for the Michigan Community College North Conference title.

But the Raiders will win the tiebreaker because they defeated Muskegon earlier in the season in four and Muskegon won in five. That means GRCC will be the North Conference representative in the MCCAA tournament on Oct. 29.  It also means that they will be the North top seed in the regional tournament.

GRCC dropped the first two matches of the season in a tournament, then won every game since, with the team record now 18-3.

GRCC has one more match left in the regular season before MCCAA tournament play. It hosts Oakland Community College at 6:30 p.m. on Oct. 27.   

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