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  Holmes finds home at Calvin
By Lynn Bolt Rosendale

The Holmes family of Traverse City, Mich., has gotten a good taste of the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association. With a daughter who went to Alma College, a son who went to Hope College and finally, a daughter at Calvin, each of these MIAA schools has had their allegiance at one time or another.

Lately, though, their allegiance has been to Calvin where Charla Holmes is a member of the MIAA championship volleyball team.

A 5-9 senior from Traverse City High School, Holmes stepped up to a leadership role for the Knights this year.

"This season came as a big surprise," said Holmes. "We really didn't know what to expect after our start out in California."

The team came back 1-3 from their season-opening tournament. "We played some really tough teams and we were still working on adjusting to our positions so it was hard to tell how we would do this year." Holmes said their first glimpse of what could happen occurred when they upset nationally ranked Ohio Northern at the Wittenberg tournament.

"That's when we started to see our potential and decided why limit our goals to winning the MIAA? We wanted to go on to the national tournament." Holmes believes good balance was a key to the team's success this year.

"We had a lot of talent spread out among the team," she said. Holmes was named to the All-MIAA first team and was joined by all of the other five Calvin starters on either the first, second or honorable mention teams.

"That really shows the talent we had when the whole starting line-up gets recognized," she said.

Holmes was third in kills this season with 429 going into post-season play. She also broke the single-season digs record with 498, but that was eclipsed by teammate Anne Wiersma, who led the team with 506.

Teammate Rhonda Volkers also broke the old mark with 423.

"I think we played really well defensively," she said. "We were pretty strong in that aspect."

Holmes has a strong background in defense transferring from West Virginia Wesleyan University as a sophomore. While there she only played back row.

"That was frustrating," she said. "I felt like I wanted to be at a place where I could contribute more."

Holmes transferred to Calvin for her second year and has been a contributor to the team ever since.

"I'm very glad that I made this decision," she said. "Volleyball turned out to be a plus, but the Christian community at Calvin has really had an influence on me. I'm glad that I was able to come here and be a part of that."

Holmes was also glad to be able to pursue a major in art/graphic arts at Calvin. "I'm not exactly sure what I'm going to do with it yet, but I hope to figure that out."

She will be participating in the Chicago Metropolitan program during second semester, which places students in a semester-long internship position in the Chicago area. "I hope to figure out exactly what I want to go into through that," she said.

As far as volleyball goes, Holmes hopes to keep up her skills on the beach this summer by playing in some tournaments on the Lake Michigan shoreline.

"I will miss all of the excitement and the competition at this level though," she said.

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