SMC sweeps final two opponents to go 3-1 at Owens tourney

Published 2:05 pm Sunday, September 3, 2023

PERRYSBURG, Ohio — The Southwestern Michigan College volleyball team swept Terra State and Lakeland Community College to finish the Owen Invitational with a 3-1 record on Saturday.

The Roadrunners swept both teams on the second day of competition.

The opening match against Terra State was cut short when one of its players suffered a medical emergency in the third set. Terra State was trailed 15-6 at the time when it forfeited the third set. Southwestern Michigan College won the first two sets 25-10 and 25-12. Officially, the third set will be listed as a 25-6 win for the Roadrunners.

“During the third set [we were up 15-6], one of their outside hitters went down with a medical emergency and stopped breathing,” said SMC Coach Jenny Nate. “It was a scary situation, and luckily there was a trainer on staff as well as spectators with medical experience who jumped into action until the ambulance arrived. Our team, the Terra team, and two other teams nearby joined together to help protect the player involved and give privacy while they worked to get her breathing and taken to the hospital. It was total class concerning all the teams and families in the facility, and our prayers are with the injured player and their team.”

After resting for a match, Southwestern Michigan regrouped and completed tournament play with a 25-12, 25-11 and 25-13 win over Lakeland.

“We returned to the court with the same energy and offensive and defensive prowess and took down Lakeland in three sets,” Nate said. “I was really pleased with our hustle plays today and balanced scoring. We had some amazing defensive saves that we quickly turned into kills which has been one of our practice goals. The team will have a two-day break and then will hit the court and classes next week as we prepare to begin conference play. I am beyond proud of this team for their 3-1 weekend, but I am especially proud of their class and compassion in a critical situation today.”

The Roadrunners again used a combination of freshmen and sophomores to get the job done.

Buchanan freshman Josie West led Southwestern Michigan with 27 service points, while she also had 14 kills, 18 digs and a pair of blocks. Sophomore Nikki Nate (Niles) led the team with 16 kills to go along with 16 digs and seven blocks. Freshman Sophia Deeds (Centreville) finished the day with 21 points, 13 kills, a team-high 21 digs and three blocks.

Sophomore Bianca Hobson (Kalamazoo/Loy Norrix) nine kills, 10 points, four digs and three blocks. Sophomore Emma Beckman (Niles) finished with 30 assists, 14 digs, 13 points, three kills and three blocks.

The Roadrunners return to the court Sept. 12 when they open up Michigan Community College Athletic Association Western Conference play at Glen Oaks.