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The Lookout | April 20, 2018

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Volleyball team knocks two ranked opponents

Volleyball team knocks two ranked opponents

Rich Schenck
Sports Editor

Opening the 2015 season with two straight conferences wins, the LCC volleyball team (2-0 MCCAA West, 5-6 overall) made it three straight by sweeping Kalamazoo Valley CC, 25-23, 25-15, 26-24, in the Gannon Gym Sept. 10.

Both of LCC’s victories came at the expense of nationally ranked Oakland CC and Grand Rapids CC, which were both knocked out of the top 25 as a result.

“That was a great victory for us,” LCC Head Coach Emily Quintero said. “They (KVCC) beat Muskegon on Tuesday, we beat Grand Rapids, so we are clear to first place.”

The first game of the night featured both teams trading blows, with neither team managing a lead greater than two points.

Highlighted by two thunderous kills from LCC sophomore Hannah Smith, LCC forced KVCC, down 19-15, to call a timeout to regroup. The visitors managed to claw back within one but it was not enough.

After the first game, Quintero said she made sure her team knew that taking the foot off the gas pedal was not an option.

“Don’t let up; that was the biggest thing,” said. “We’re not done until its 25 (points).”

The message was well received as LCC jumped out to an 11-4 lead in the second game and never looked back. The spikers pace of play continuously caught KVCC scrambling out of position.

“This is how I anticipated our season to be,” Quintero said. “This is how we should have started and I’m glad we did.”

With an opportunity to sweep the Cougars in game three, the Lady Stars stumbled early. A couple of unlucky bounces had them down 8-6, forcing Quintero to call a timeout to rally her team.

Both teams’ consistently relinquished points to one another until the score was tied 24-24. Needing two points to send KVCC home, LCC notched both with relative ease.

LCC Sophomore Dayjah Stewart explained that even though the victory was sweet, certain things will need attention if LCC is going to make some noise in the standings.

“Be more aggressive,” Stewart said. “We can win games, but we want to leave that lasting impression on opposing teams.”

While her team may have quality freshmen, two wins against nationally ranked opponents and a first-place status in the MCCAA Western Conference, Quintero said she isn’t going to let the good results go to her players’ heads.

“This will continue to help us grow,” she said. “But we know that on any day, anybody can beat anybody.”

The LCC volleyball team was scheduled to travel to the Jackson College Tournament Sept. 12, and will return to the Gannon Gym Thursday, Sept. 17 to host the Lady Lumberjacks of Alpena CC.

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