The Grand Rapids Community College volleyball team won its sixth-straight Michigan Community College Athletic Association Tournament championship with back-to-back wins on Saturday, including a five-set thriller in the championship match.
“Our staff was extremely proud of how our kids represented our school and the new MCCAA North Division of our conference” Coach Chip Will said. “To defeat the West and East champions was a great way to prepare for the regionals next weekend. Both our opponents pushed us to get better each set and grow under some pressure situations. Another goal was met for our season with two more big goals to still achieve.”
After winning the 12th conference title in program history, GRCC qualified for the MCCAA Tournament to first battle Lake Michigan College, the champions from the Western Conference. GRCC dominated, winning 25-6, 25-15, 25-13.
GRCC played nearly flawlessly, committing only one reception error and one service error while hitting a superb .369, the team’s second best this season.
Audrey Torres had 12 kills, while hitting a career-high .524 while teammate Eliza Thelen had 11 kills and hit .500.
In the championship against the host school, Mott Community College, the GRCC grinded out a 15-12 fifth set win to beat the Eastern Conference champions for the second straight year.
After dropping set one 26-24, the GRCC regained control of the match, taking the next two sets 25-21 and 25-16. But the Bears responded with a 25-21 win to force a final set. GRCC led by as many as seven points, and Thelen finished off with her 21st kill of the match.
Torres led the team again with 22 kills while hitting .300, while Karissa Ferry bested her career high by five with 16 kills and Audrey Gower picked up her 800th career dig.
On the day, Shannon Russell totaled 92 assists, 21 digs and five kills, including a killer B in the fifth set.
GRCC now awaits their opening match opponent in next week’s Region XII-Great Lakes B Tournament. They will play against the winner of Schoolcraft College and Southwestern Michigan College on Thursday Nov. 3 at 6 p.m.