Calvin Volleyball Drops First Match of Year in Five-Set Thriller at Hope
Friday, October 18, 2013
By Mark DeHaan
For the second time this season, the top two teams in NCAA Division III volleyball faced off in an MIAA matchup as Calvin and Hope met at Hope’s DeVos Fieldhouse. Calvin entered the contest with a perfect record of 24-0, 12-0 in the MIAA. The Flying Dutch, meanwhile, were 23-1 and 11-1 in conference, looking to avenge the only loss they’ve suffered so far this season, a three-set sweep at the hands of the Knights on September 17.
Both teams were coming off perfect weekends in the co-hosted Midwest Volleyball Challenge. Calvin swept all four of its opponents while Hope was taken to five sets in two contests, against #6 Elmhurst and #13 Wittenberg.
Friday night, both teams showed why they were the top teams in the country in a back-and-forth battle. In the end, it was Hope who would defend its home court, rallying from a two-sets-to-one deficit to earn a thrilling five-set victory by scores of 25-17, 22-25, 22-25, 25-22, 15-7.
Feeding off the frenzied environment in Holland, the Flying Dutch jumped out to a 6-2 lead in the first set before a timeout by Knights head coach Amber Warners.
Hope continued their run after the timeout, extending its lead to 11-3 on a pair of Calvin hitting errors.
The Knights cut Hope’s lead to four at 18-14 before a timeout for the Flying Dutch.
The Flying Dutch then closed out the first set, earning a 25-17 victory, forcing the Knights into five hitting errors and a hit percentage of .111. Hope hit .400 in set one.
In set two, Calvin took an 8-5 lead on three hitting errors by Hope. The Knights held the three point advantage until 13-10 while Hope responded with four straight points for a 14-13 lead, forcing Calvin into a timeout.
The two teams then battled to a tie at 22-22 before a Knights timeout. After the timeout, Calvin scored three straight points to take set two 25-22 and tie the match at one set apiece.
Calvin held the Flying Dutch to a hitting percentage of .056 in set two.
In set three, Hope earned a three point lead at 14-11 before a Calvin timeout. The Knights responded with a 7-1 lead to take an 18-15 lead.
Calvin held the lead for the remainder of the set, earning a 25-22 victory in set three.
The Knights earned a .389 hitting percentage in set three.
Out of the break, Calvin took a 6-2 lead. Hope then went on an 8-4 run, including three kills from Anna Lynch, to tie the fourth set at 10-10.
The fourth set continued to be played close, and it wasn’t until Hope broke a 21-21 tie that one of the teams took control. The Flying Dutch then won three out of the next four points for a 25-22 win, sending the match into a fifth set.
In set five, Hope took an early 2-0 lead on a pair of serving miscues by the Knights. The Flying Dutch extended their lead to 6-2 on a service error and attack error by Calvin.
Hope continued to hold the lead, and on an attack error by the Knights, claimed a 15-7 victory in set five to defeat Calvin for the Knights’ first loss of the season.
Sophomore Maggie Kamp (Orland Park, IL/Chicago Christian HS) led Calvin with 16 kills while Freshman Laura Danhoff (Willard, OH/Willard HS) added 15. Senior Megan Rietema (Grand Rapids/Grand Rapids Christian HS) had 39 assists, 13 digs and nine kills for the Knights, while senior Kristin Zietse (Grand Rapids/Grand Rapids Christian HS) had 12 digs.
Anna Lynch led the Flying Dutch with 16 kills while Courtney Earles and Jenna Grasmeyer each added 12.
The victory by Hope snapped an eight-match losing streak against Calvin. Hope hit .455 in the decisive fifth set compared to .000 for the Knights. Calvin had five kills in set five, but also had five errors.
“Hope played really well and we made a lot of unforced errors,” said Warners. “This is really good for our team to go through as far as the environment, the adversity, and being challenged – those are going to be growing moments for us that are really, really important for the next six weeks. I’m thinking this will be something that refuels our fire. If a loss is what it is going to take – it might not taste very good now – but it might be really necessary.”
Calvin falls to 24-1 on the season and 12-1 in the MIAA, dropping their first conference contest. With the win, Hope moves to 24-1 and 12-1 in the league, tying the Knights atop the standings.
The Knights return to action on Wednesday night when they host the Belles of Saint Mary’s, with the first serve scheduled for 6:30 p.m.