Roadrunners fall to Kalamazoo Valley 3-1

Published 2:44 pm Friday, September 23, 2022

OSHTEMO — The Southwestern Michigan College volleyball team continues to learn the ins and outs of play at the collegiate level.

The lesson the Roadrunners learned in their 25-16, 25-20 and 25-13 lost to host Kalamazoo Valley Community College Thursday night was that they adjustments will need to be made on the fly.

Unfortunately, for Southwestern Michigan, that lesson was not learned fast enough against the Cougars in their Michigan Community College Athletic Association Western Conference match.

“Tonight, really challenged us,” said SMC Coach Jenny Nate. “We knew KVCC would have some strong attackers, and it took us a couple sets to adjust our block and start to really push back. We also struggled offensively at times to put the ball away, but we made some great adjustments and finally started to really gel in the third set. We took that win but weren’t able to maintain that momentum. These are the nights we learn the most. It’s after a tough loss that we will regroup, study film, and make the improvements we need to continue building a winning team.”

The Roadrunner’s front line of Faith Rankin (Battle Creek/Lakeview), Nikki Nate (Niles), Shayla Shears (Edwardsburg) and Bianca Hobson (Kalamazoo/Loy Norrix) had their moments against Kalamazoo Valley. Rankin led SMC with nine kills, while Shears and Nate both had eight kills. Hobson finished with four kills. That group combined for seven kills.

Cadence Knight (Niles) had a team-high 21 digs, while Emma Beckman (Niles) finished with 29 assists, five points and nine digs.

The Roadrunners (8-4, 2-1 Western Conference) jump right back into action tonight as they host Muskegon Community College, a team that swept the Roadrunners in August. The non-conference match at 1st Source Bank Fieldhouse is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m.