Volleyball wins first MCCAA Eastern Conference Championship since 2008
By Elizabeth Casella, Managing Editor
Securing their 12th straight win, the women’s volleyball team beat the visiting Macomb Community College Monarchs three sets to zero Oct. 25. With this win, the Ocelots clinched the Michigan Community College Athletic Association (MCCAA) Eastern Conference Championship for the first time since 2008 and a obtained a berth in the District E tournament, which begins Nov. 4.
The team currently stands in first place in the MCCAA Eastern Conference with a record of 11-1 in the MCCAA and overall season record of 21-3. The Ocelots are currently ranked 14th in the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division II Volleyball Poll Rankings as of Oct. 25.
“This win really feels like probably one of the best we have had all year. It’s coming all together. We have good team chemistry and I have really great girls. So it just feels fantastic for all of the hard work we put together in the offseason to come together now,” said Schoolcraft Volleyball head coach, Shannon Pummill.
The match started with Schoolcraft taking an early lead. The team was fired up and ready for a battle. The match involved some difficult plays with a lot of digs to keep the Monarchs from gaining the lead. Once the Ocelots gained the lead they were not backing down. Right from the start the energy in the gym was intense and the team was out to win and to do as quick as possible.
At the end of the first set, Macomb had made some good points to try and fight for a first set win, but were not able to come out on top. Schoolcraft took the set 25-13.
The second set started with a 2-3 lead over the Monarchs and then the Ocelots held the lead until the end of the sets. Macomb was able to get a few sporadic points, but had no real continual streak like the Schoolcraft ladies began to show.
The set had a lot of shining stars such as Sophomore Madison Dest with consistent serves throughout the set. She had fast movements and was quick to be the first to set up the ball or spike when needed to support her team. Sophomore Marissa Sims also stood out with strong, consistent sets as well as Sophomore Erin Parrinello who was a heavy hitter in the game. She was not afraid to continually spike the ball and held great net contact to keep the Monarchs on edge.
“Our chemistry is key to winning playoffs. On the court we connect and we don’t make a lot of errors,” said Parrinello, when asked what is a key to winning during the playoffs.
The third set began with the Monarchs taking the lead and beginning to rally for what looked like might be a win for them. The Ocelots refused to back down and fought hard to recover. They fought with some hard hits back at the Monarchs to keep the score close throughout the nerve-wracking set with more back and forth than had been earlier in the game. They refused to let the championship slip out of their sights and managed to pull out a victory, 25-22.
“We are really looking forward to playing Grand Rapids in the playoffs and Owens. Owens we played at the beginning of the season and are one of our three loses so we are looking forward to beating them and Grand Rapids are ranked 15th with us 14th it is a close rivalry. I am so proud of all of us because I think we thought we would have a good season, but I don’t think we knew we would have this great of a season. We always said since day one of open gyms that we are going to nationals,” said Sophomore Amanda Rybak.
The playoffs start with the MCCAA/NJCAA District E Volleyball Tournament Nov. 4 at 6 p.m. where they will play the fourth place West seed who is still to be determined.
To find a team schedules, rosters, and recent stats go to the MCCAA website at http://www.mccaa.org.