Roadrunners go 2-0 on opening day of OWT

Published 5:23 pm Saturday, August 19, 2023

ROCKFORD, Ill. — It is like déjà vu all over again for the Southwestern Michigan College volleyball team.

The Roadrunners traveled to Rockford to take part in the Opening Weekend Tournament for the second straight year. In 2022, SMC went 2-0 on the first day after returning to the volleyball court for the first time in 26 years with a roster made up completely of freshmen.

On Friday, the Roadrunners defeated College of Lake County (Illinois) and Joliet Junior College.

“This was an awesome start to our season,” said SMC Coach Jenny Nate. “We are using a lot of depth in our lineup, and I love the energy, grit, determination, trust and composure that I’m seeing. We are figuring out how to control runs, have balanced scoring, and finish each set — especially when we have a lead. Even though we went four sets today in both matches, it helped us really work as a team to overcome the one set we dropped, come back smarter, make adjustments, and win both matches.”

Southwestern Michigan topped Lake County 25-18, 25-20, 19-25 and 25-19, while it knocked off Joliet 25-20, 14-25, 25-21 and 25-17.

The Roadrunners are scheduled to take on Southwestern Illinois and No. 17-ranked Rock Valley College on Saturday.

Nate has been impressed with how quickly the team is jelling and learning to play together.

I’ve already seen incredible growth,” she said. “We face very tough teams tomorrow — No. 17-ranked in the country, Rock Valley, and a strong Southwestern Illinois. We are looking forward to the challenge and to continuing to raise the level of our game.”

For complete statistics from the opening day, click here.