Roadrunners defeat Glen Oaks 3-1 in home opener

Published 10:23 am Sunday, August 27, 2023

DOWAGIAC — The Southwestern Michigan College volleyball team opened the home portion of its 2023 schedule with a 3-1 win over Glen Oaks Community College in the 1st Source Bank Fieldhouse Saturday morning.

The Roadrunners rebounded from a loss to No. 9-ranked Muskegon Community College by defeating the Vikings 16-25, 25-19, 25-18 and 25-22. But it was anything but easy.

“Today was a great test after falling in the first set,” said SMC Coach Jenny Nate. “We came out fast, but they had a great block and were very scrappy defensively. Heading into the second set, we used the depth on our team, made some lineup changes in order to change our strategy, shots, and to make sure it was harder to read our offensive attacks and attackers.  We work hard at practice to make sure all of our players can do everything — pass, attack (from multiple spots), and serve, and the ability to use multiple attackers to mix up our scoring really paid off.  We also know that our energy is key to controlling runs and winning matches, and I was really happy with our energy from start to finish.”

The Roadrunners (6-2) got a big lift from one of its sophomores and one of its freshmen.

Bianca Hobson (Kalamazoo/Loy Norrix) led SMC with 11 kills and three blocks and Sophia Deeds (Centreville), who had 14 points, seven kills and 11 digs.

“She gave us that big energy,” Nate said of Hobson. “When that block shifted, we were really able to get her going in the middle when that other middle was out and take advantage of our height and a change in the block.”

Nate like the way her freshman Deeds played on Saturday.

“She can really do it all,” she said. “She is always up and always positive. Her energy alone just lifts people. Once we got her in there, she was making some roll shots, she was playing hard. She had some awesome off-hitter defensive saves. Once we found that energy we just rolled with it.”

A pair of former teammates squared off against each other on Saturday as Buchanan’s Josie West, who had seven kills, 14 digs, six points and a pair of aces for the Roadrunners, looked across the net to find Glen Oaks sophomore Alea Fisher, who finished with 23 digs and four aces.

Southwestern Michigan will scrimmage visiting Kalamazoo Valley Community College at 5 p.m. Wednesday.

The Roadrunners then hit the road this weekend as it heads to Perrysburg, Ohio to compete in the Owens Invitational. The Roadrunners are scheduled to face Cuyahoga Community College and Edison Community College on Friday and Terra State and Lakeland Community College on Saturday.