SMC releases first volleyball schedule in 26 years

Published 4:07 pm Thursday, July 14, 2022

DOWAGIAC — When the Southwestern Michigan College women’s volleyball team takes to the court in 1st Source Bank Fieldhouse Aug. 1. it will be the first time in 26 years the school has fielded a team.

After shutting down all collegiate sports 26 years ago, SMC decided to bring them back, starting with cross country in 2021.

The Roadrunners cross country teams found immediate success, which included being ranked nationally, and advanced to the National Junior College Athletic Association National Championship meet.

Former Niles Coach Jenny Nate is looking forward to finally getting on the court to see what she has in advance of the Roadrunners’ season-opener, which will be against arch rival Lake Michigan College in an exhibition match Aug. 11.

“Even though we can’t actually get on the new SMC volleyball court yet, and I can’t have my team together until Aug. 1, I am beyond excited and ready to get started,” she said. “It has been months of a lot of intense leg work, building the schedule, networking, recruiting, and communicating, but it’s all falling into place and coming together.” 

The Roadrunners will open their regular season Aug. 19 as they travel to Rockford. Illinois, for the McHenry County Invitational. SMC will play six matches over three days.

The Roaderunners’ home opener will be Aug. 27 against rival LMC. The match is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. SMC will also play North Central Community College at 2 p.m.

“We are on the countdown, and I know the players are as excited as I am to get to work together,” Nate said. “I do a countdown daily, and although I miss all of my high school coaching friends from across the state, I’m thrilled that I still get to see them on the recruiting trail, and I am busy getting to know more junior college and various college coaches at all levels to prepare. The coaches in our conference I have worked with so far have been awesome. 

“Fortunately, thanks to high school and club ball, I have already worked with various coaches in the conference throughout the years and I have a great respect for them. ”