It all started in the fall of 2008. A first-year student from Chicago named Rebecca Kamp stepped foot on Calvin’s campus. She graduated four years later but left a legacy at Calvin. Three of her four younger sisters are now in uniform for Calvin’s volleyball team.
Lizzie, a senior, enjoyed playing with her older sister for her first three seasons wearing the maroon and gold. The second of these seasons concluded with the Knights winning their first national volleyball championship in school history. Last season, Lizzie helped the Knights to a 33-1 record, the best in school history. For her efforts, she was named to the Division III All-American second team.
“Anytime you win something of that magnitude, it’s a special occasion,” said Lizzie. “It was even more special to win it with my sister on the team.”
Fast-forward to this season. Lizzie is now the oldest sibling at Calvin. Stacey, a sophomore, and Maggie, a freshman, are also on Calvin’s varsity squad.
“Just as Becca looked after me, I now look after Stacey and Maggie,” Lizzie said. “When I left for college, they were both relatively young. It’s nice to get to know them in a new way as both teammates and siblings.”
Midway through the season, Lizzie led the Knights, hitting at a .350 clip. Both Stacey and Maggie also earned playing time for the Knights this season. Head coach Amber Warners said it’s not solely their skill on the volleyball court that affects Calvin’s volleyball program.
“People don’t see their dedication, character and work ethic off the court,” said Warners. “We have been blessed to have each one in our program. Lizzie, Stacey and Maggie each bring their own personalities to the makeup of this team.”
The trio of Kamps is not the only one of its kind on Calvin’s campus this year. Kally Verkaik, a freshman, joins her older sisters, Carissa, a senior, and Breanna, a sophomore, in Calvin’s women’s basketball program.
“I’m so excited for Kally to join the program this year,” Carissa said. “The background you have not only as teammates, but as sisters, goes so deep.”
Carissa, named the MIAA’s Most Valuable Player the past two seasons, and recently became Calvin’s all-time leading scorer when she leaves the program. Leading the Knights to a 28-2 record and an Elite Eight appearance last season, Carissa earned a spot on the Division III All-American first team a season ago. Despite all the accolades, Carissa has her mind focused on the season ahead.
“We’ve had a great season as a team a year ago,” said Carissa. “I’m looking forward to a great senior season, and being able to play with Breanna and Kally makes it all the more fun.”
Similar to Warners, Calvin women’s basketball coach John Ross believes the trio brings so much more to the program than solely basketball talent.
“All three of them are really strong Christian women,” Ross said. “They bring a great work ethic to practice and in the classroom every day. They are a joy to coach.”