The Skippers were on a roll in Grand Rapids, Michigan, at the Raiders Challenge tournament on the weekend of Sept. 28, walking out with a 3-1 record and only losing to the defending NJCAA champions and host team, the Grand Rapids Raiders.
As sweet as it seemed, bad news struck the Skippers as they took a new and unsatisfying turn once the month of October began.
The Skippers immediately fell into a 1-4 slump, only to beat their division rivals, the Macomb Monarchs on Oct. 10.
The Schoolcraft Ocelots, creeping up on the Skippers in the conference, were threatening a second seed placement, which would have knocked the Skippers down to a third seed in the MCCAA tournament.
“We started off really well in the season, and our skills hit a plateau,” said Rachel Cooper about the team slump, “We just got tired.”
Thankfully, the Skippers caught their second wind as they dominated the Kishwaukee College Tournament in Rockford, Illinois.
Winning three of their four games, the Skippers were satisfied as their talents shined in a match with the top of the Western Conference, the Muskegon Jayhawks.
Taking the Jayhawks to a five game match, the Skippers lost by only five points in the last sudden death round (25-16,18-25,18-25,25-22,10-15).
The regular season came to a close after the tournament in Rockford, and the Skippers finished the season with a record of 22-10, and went 7-3 in the Eastern Conference.
Clinching an MCCAA state tournament spot, the Skippers are headed to Jackson, Michigan, on the weekend of Oct. 26, to fight for the title of State Champion.
With an outstanding finish, the unrelenting force of the Skippers doesn’t look as if they can be stopped for the upcoming weekends.
The Skippers will rally together to play the state tournament, along with the regional tournament in Grand Rapids the weekend of Nov. 1, which, if they qualify, will lead them to nationals in Toledo, Ohio, on Nov. 21 and 22.