Volleyball rides nine game winning streak with win over St. Clair
By James Paxson, Sports Editor
The Women’s volleyball team beat the St. Clair County Community College Skippers three sets to one on Oct. 11 at home in front of a cheering crowd. The lady Ocelots are currently ranked 14th in the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division II Volleyball Poll Rankings as of Oct. 11 and have won nine matches in a row. Schoolcraft’s current record stands at 18-3 with a Michigan Community College Athletic Association (MCCAA) Eastern Conference record of 8-1; only losing to conference rival Owens Community College on September 3.
“This is the best team I have ever had. We have the most depth that Schoolcraft has had in a really long time. We’ve got six players that play with chemistry and that has helped make this season a good season so far,” said Schoolcraft Volleyball head coach, Shannon Pummill.
So far this season Schoolcraft has two members who have scored more than 200 points: sophomore outside hitter Gabrielle Maciag has scored 206 points and sophomore outside hitter/right side hitter Erin Parrinello has scored the most points on the team with 240. The Ocelots have also made a lot of digs, which are balls close to hitting the floor, with a team total of 1109.
The Skippers had a record of 9–9 coming into to match hoping to upset the near perfect Ocelots on their home court. Schoolcraft beat St. Clair earlier in the season on Sept. 20 by a sweep, winning all three sets.
The match started with Schoolcraft diving for balls and making difficult plays to keep it close with the Skippers. Once a team had a lead it was gone and the set was mostly a tie game until the end. At the end of the first set, St. Clair got some momentum and pulled off an upset winning the set, 25-22.
The second set started with the Ocelots going on a 6-1 point streak. The Skippers would have had more points in the second set, but sophomore libero Marissa Sims stopped every close point possible. She ended the match with 19 digs helping Schoolcraft keep their lead throughout the second and third set. The second set ended with Schoolcraft on top 25-20.
The third set had a lot of hard-hitting spikes from Schoolcraft. Parrinello and sophomore right side hitter and middle blocker Shannon Malone scored a lot of key points to help maintain a comfortable lead. The third set ended with Schoolcraft’s scoring attack being successful winning the set 25-17.
Throughout the final three sets sophomore Amanda Rybak took control of the offense and assisted the big hitters to continue taking big leads. The Skippers had no idea how to combat the Ocelots offensive attack. Malone and Parrinello ended the game with a combined 40.5 points; almost half of all of the Ocelots points.
“Team chemistry is a major reason why this am is winning so much,” said Coach Pummill.
The fourth set was a team effort as Schoolcraft gained momentum and defended their side of the net tightly. The set and match ended with the final set score of 25-8; the Ocelots won their ninth game in a row by winning sets, 3-1.
Up next on the schedule for the Ocelots is against Henry Ford Community College in Dearborn on Oct. 18. The team will finish out the regular season with two home matches against Oakland Community College on Oct. 20 and Macomb Community College on Oct. 25. These next three games will be good preparation for post season.
“I think we can be number one in this year’s National Tournament. This is what we are aiming for,” said sophomore outside hitter, Gabrielle Maciag.
The playoffs start with the Region 12 Tournament starting in the beginning of November. To find a team schedules, rosters, and recent stats go to the MCCAA website at http://www.mccaa.org.