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Volleyball coach has no regrets

Amber WarnersBefore the national championship game, Coach Amber Warners told her team: “Trust me when I tell you, you don’t want to have any regrets.”

She didn’t have to say any more. The Knights understood.

On Nov. 22, 1986, the Calvin volleyball team, led by freshman setter Amber Blankespoor Warners, squared off against the University of California–San Diego. Calvin fell in five sets, leaving the Knights with an outstanding secondplace finish.

Exactly 24 years later, on Nov. 22, Calvin, again led by Warners–this time as coach, took the floor with top ranked Emory University. This time the outcome was different.

“It was very rewarding. As a coach, you dream about this,” she said. “The whole experience was very validating.”

For her efforts, Warners was awarded the 2010 AVCA Division III National Coach of the Year.

“I’m honored and grateful to my team. Their head nods and eye contact mean more to me than anything else,” said Warners. For the team, the tournament was a chance to showcase not only their title, but also their gratitude for their coach.