RVC volleyball team ready to head to Nationals with the #1 seed

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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO/WQRF) –If there’s a national championship tournament about to get underway at the Junior College Division III level, chances are a team from Rock Valley College will be playing in it. That’s the case this week. The RVC women’s volleyball team will be playing at Nationals later this week in Rochester, Minnesota.

12 teams will be competing at the National Tournament. Rock Valley is the number one seed. The Golden Eagles have put together a 32-7 record. Most of their losses were against opponents bigger than D-III.

“I think we just have so many players that are so dynamic,” said RVC middle blocker and  Rockford Auburn graduate Madisen Perry. “No one’s scared. No one backs down from competition either. We’ve gone against a lot of higher division schools.”

“I think we are very ready,” said outside hitter Addison Metts. “I think we’re really capable. The number one seed definitely helps. It gives us a lot of good competition.”

RVC has won three national championships in women’s volleyball in 1996, 1997 and in 2012. In 2018 the Golden Eagles took sixth at Nationals in head coach Kristy Pierce’s first season.

“We’re just excited to extend our season and be able to play,” said Pierce. “It’s kind of been our goal all season long to compete for a national championship, and that’s what we do here at RVC.”

Since RVC is the number one seed it gets a first-round bye into the Quarterfinals on Thursday. Pierce says there’s no added pressure with being number one.

“If we were the sixth seed I’d be saying we’re playing for a national championship, so it doesn’t really  make any difference.”

“Our offense is the best in the country statistically. Also, our bench and our balance are a good, strong point. We have a lot of kids we can bring in, and not lose much.”

And then RVC has probably the best player in the country in Metts.

“Our offense definitely is one of the best I’ve ever seen,” said Metts. “I think we play really, well as a group.”

“I think there was never a lull where we had to get everybody on the same page,” said Perry. “We all just came in the gym the very first day, and we were like, ‘Alright, we know what we’re going to do. Let’s go do it.”

Coach Pierce won three state championships while coaching in high school at Eastland. Now she has a chance for her first national championship. Her motivation is seeing her players have success.

“It’s just the pleasure to see the kids when they achieve something that they set their minds to, and I think that’s why coaches coach for the most part is to see that come true.”

“She really does. She wants all of us to succeed,” said Metts.

Since last season was canceled due to COVID-19, all of the players on RVC’s roster this season are freshmen athletically, but about half of them are sophomores academically and they’ll be moving on next year

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