2010 Calvin Women’s Volleyball Preview
Saturday, August 14, 2010
Continuing the momentum of a 28-win campaign from a year ago is the goal of the 2010 Calvin volleyball team. Calvin’s 2009 team finished 28-7 overall, captured the MIAA Tournament title and advanced to the second round of the NCAA III Tournament.
If the Knights are to match last year’s success or even surpass it, they will need to avoid the injury bug that bit through the roster last season, particularly in late October when the Knights were battling for a regular season conference title.
Calvin returns 11 letterwinners led by junior middle hitter Rebecca Kamp (Orland Park, IL/Chicago Christian HS) who claimed first team AVCA Division III All-America honors for the second straight year while also earning spots on the All-MIAA first team and Great Lakes All-Region team for the second straight year. Kamp finished 38th nationally in hitting percentage (.337) last fall as well as 24th in kills-per-set (4.14) and 12th in blocks-per-set (1.22). A two-time member of the MIAA Academic Honor Roll, Kamp was a first team ESPN The Magazine Academic All-American last fall, becoming the first individual in Calvin volleyball history to receive the award.
Rebecca Kamp is joined up front by younger sister Lizzie Kamp (Orland Park, IL/Chicago Christian HS) who heads into her sophomore campaign this fall. A year ago, Lizzie Kamp was named the Great Lakes Regional Player of the Year by the AVCA and earned a spot on the Great Lakes All-Region team. She was also named the MIAA’s Player of the Week for her efforts in Calvin’s three-match run to the MIAA Tournament title last November. She finished the 2009 season with a .276 hitting percentage and averaged 2.58 kills-per-set.
The Knights also return a pair of All-MIAA second team selections in juniors Erin VanderPlas (Cadillac/McBain Christian HS) and Renee DeHaan (Grand Rapids/Grand Rapids Christian HS). VanderPlas was named the MIAA Player of the Week in week six of the 2009 MIAA season. An outside hitter, she averaged 2.39 kills-per-set along with a .248 hitting percentage. In Calvin’s victory over Alma in the MIAA Tournament semifinals last year, VanderPlas racked up a career-high 17 kills in a match that lasted just three sets. A middle-hitter, DeHaan finished 24th nationally in 2009 in blocks-per-set (1.1) while also recording a .303 attack percentage and an average of 1.88 kills-per-set. DeHaan had a career-high 15 kills in a four-set win over Saint Mary’s in the first round of the 2009 MIAA Tournament.
Other returning letterwinners include seniors Carolyn Nelson (Milan/Milan HS) and Kim Wigboldy (Chandler, AZ/Valley Christian HS), juniors Kayla Hollenbeck (Hudsonville/Hudsonville HS) and Kelly Peterson (Ramsey, MN/Anoka HS) and sophomores Kim Start (Grand Rapids/Grand Rapids Christian HS), Julia Hilbrands (Grand Rapids/Grand Rapids Christian HS) and Jen Pluymert (Grand Rapids/Grand Rapids Christian HS).
Nelson served as Calvin’s starting setter early in the 2009 season, earning MIAA Specialty Player of the Week honors once. Nelson was one of several players hit with the injury bug last year. Wigboldy is another experienced veteran. She averaged 2.22 kills-per-set in a reserve role last year as an outside hitter. A 6-1 middle-hitter, Hollenbeck has also fought through injuries during her Calvin career. Despite appearing in only 19 matches as a sophomore, Hollenbeck racked up 35 blocks.
Peterson has been a key figure in Calvin’s back row during her first two seasons, averaging 1.72 digs-per-set as a sophomore while missing the final 10 matches of the season with an injury. Now healthy, Peterson will be a candidate to fill Calvin’s vacated libero position now that Kelsey Sears - a 2009 NCAA III All-American - has graduated. Peterson is also a member of the Calvin women’s track and field team, competing in the long jump and triple jump in the spring. Start and Pluymert also saw time in the back row as freshmen in 2009 with Start notching double-digits in digs in Calvin’s final three matches which included a match against Hope in the MIAA Tournament final and two additional contests in the NCAA III Tournament. Pluymert saw action in 23 matches last year and racked up a career-high 11 digs in a late October match against Hope. A 6-1 middle hitter, Hillbrands (Grand Rapids/Grand Rapids Christian HS) saw action in eight varsity matches in 2009. She is also a member of the Calvin women’s basketball team.
Calvin’s schedule is ambitious as the Knights will face five teams that were ranked in the AVCA’s final Division III Top 25 poll. Ranked teams that Calvin is scheduled to face include North Central (#24), Heidelberg (#22), Wittenberg (#14), Ohio Northern (#6) and Hope (#4).
Calvin will open its season on September 3 and 4 when it co-hosts the Midwest Invitational with Hope with Calvin hosting play on September 3 and Hope hosting action on September 4. During the two-day competition, Calvin will face teams from Cornerstone, Mount Union and Thiel.
Calvin will open its MIAA season on September 7 when it travels to Adrian College. The MIAA Tournament is scheduled for November 2, 5 & 6. Calvin has won the last five MIAA Tournament titles.