Volleyball undefeated through first four games
The Calvin Knights volleyball team played its way to a 4-0 record on the opening weekend of their regular season. They traveled to Ohio for the Purple and Red Tournament hosted by Capital University and Otterbein College.
The Knights, ranked third in the nation in the initial Division III volleyball poll, opened their season against Transylvania University with a 25-23, 25-19, 25-12 victory Friday afternoon.
Sophomore Emily Crowe tallied seven kills against Transylvania while recording five block assists. Senior Lizzie Kamp was also key in the win, adding six kills and five digs while junior setter Megan Reitema scored 24 assists and six blocks in the match.
Friday night, Calvin faced Capital University. The Knights continued their strong play with a 25-18, 25-16, 25-15 over the tournament co-host. Kamp was unstoppable in the nightcap, scoring 16 kills with an attack percentage of .500.
Reitema tallied 31 assists and 14 digs against Capital while senior libero Kelly (Gordon) Hiskes added 19 digs. Head coach Amber Warners was able to give a majority of her roster game experience against Capital, giving 16 players significant playing time.
On Saturday, Calvin made the short trip to the campus of Otterbein College from Capital University for another pair of games.
In its first game of the day, Calvin claimed another straight set victory, this over Mount Union, 25-17, 25-23, 25-22.
Kamp once again led the Knights in kills with 17. Crowe added eight kills and four blocks. Key on defense for Calvin was senior Jen Pluymert who tallied 16 digs. Reitema dished out 42 assists in the victory for the Knights.
The Knights then closed out the tournament against co-host Otterbein. The Cardinals proved to be a much more difficult test for Calvin as they forced the Knights into a five-set victory, 25-11, 20-25, 25-17, 21-25, 15-10.
For the second time on the day, Lizzie Kamp tallied 17 kills while younger sister Maggie Kamp scored 13 kills. The win over Otterbein pushed Calvin’s record to 4-0 over the opening weekend of play.
“It was good for our team to play a tough match this early in the season,” said Warners. “It’s matches like these that get a team ready for the conference season and beyond.”
The elder Kamp was named to the all-tournament team for her play throughout the four games, scoring 56 kills throughout the tournament, for an average of over 13 per match.
Returning to Michigan for the first day of class and for their conference opener on Tuesday, the Knights traveled to Adrian to face the Bulldogs in each team’s opening MIAA match of the young season.
Calvin made quick work of the Bulldogs, scoring a three set win 25-22, 25-10, 25-14. Lizzie Kamp tallied 17 kills in the win, Rietema added 29 assists and eight kills, and Hiskes was key in defense with 16 digs for the Knights.
“Adrian came out on fire with a lot of scrappy defense,” commented Warners. “I was proud of the way we hung mentally tough and played better as the match progressed.”
With the win, Calvin moves to 5-0 and 1-0 in MIAA play. The Knights now look forward to Friday when they will travel to Kalamazoo to face the Hornets, with the opening serve set for 7 p.m.