Roadrunners fall to top-seeded Grand Rapids

Published 12:42 pm Friday, November 4, 2022

PORT HURON — Top-seeded Grand Rapids Community College used its experience and size advantage to defeat Southwestern Michigan College 3-0 in the National Junior College Athletic Association Great Lakes District A Tournament at St. Claire County Community College Thursday night.

The Roadrunners, who defeated Schoolcraft Community College Wednesday to enter the tournament as the No. 7 seed, was down a starter against the Raiders as Faith Rankin suffered a back injury against Schoolcraft.

Grand Rapids defeated Southwestern Michigan 25-14, 25-18 and 25-15.

“I am really proud of how we faced off with GRCC tonight,” said SMC Coach Jenny Nate. “We lost one of our six rotation starters to an injury last night and knew we would have to really come out aggressive on our blocks, trust each other and our lineup, mix up our shots and offense, and play to win with total confidence — no matter who the opponent is. These are the matches against the toughest teams in the state where we learn the most about where we are and what we need to do better. I thought we executed well offensively and got some great blocks and block touches. We got stuck in a few serve-receive rotations, but I loved our ability to adjust and move on to the next point. Our mental game stayed consistent, and we played like a team.”

Nikki Nate (Niles) had nine kills to lead the Roadrunners, who also got four kills from Shayla Shears (Edwardsburg) and three kills each from Amara Palmer (Niles) and Juliette Schroeder (Sturgis). Nate and Shears also had three and two blocks, respectively.

Nate and Cadence Knight (Niles) led SMC with 13 and 11 digs, while Emma Beckman (Niles) had 21 assists.

The Roadrunners are 13-19 heading into Friday’s consolation play.