Healthy Rebecca Kamp Helps Brings Calvin Volleyball back to Full Strength
Friday, November 05, 2010
By sports information student assistant Derek Neice
HOLLAND - As the fall weather continues to get colder and conference tournaments take place across the country, it becomes a lot more vital for a sports team to maintain a healthy roster. After having dealt with some illness issues in the middle of its conference schedule, Calvin’s volleyball team is healthy once again as the Knights make their way through the end of the season MIAA Tournament.
Ranked 7th in the nation, Calvin will play in Holland for the MIAA title Saturday against Hope after defeating Alma in the semifinals. One key player that is back after having missed a stretch of three weeks this season, junior Rebecca Kamp, now gives this team an added dimension as the Knights transition into tournament play.
“It was very frustrating to not be able to play,” Kamp said of her missed time. “But I was so proud of the way the girls rallied together.”
Another player who recently returned to the lineup after missing three weeks of action because of illness is sophomore middle-blocker Julia Hilbrands. Hilbrands appeared in Tuesday’s first round MIAA Tournament match and was back in action in Friday’s semifinal.
“Everyone has stepped up in their own ways and I honestly think we’re a better team for it,” Kamp concluded. “When people have been out of the lineup, others have stepped up and filled the gaps.”
A native of Orland Park Illinois and arguably the best player on Calvin’s roster the past two seasons, Kamp is currently ranked second nationally in hitting percentage (.453), fourth in blocks-per-set (1.41), sixth in points-per-set (5.49) and 17th in kills-per-set (4.27).
We knew we weren’t a one-dimensional team and so I thought we held tough in all areas of our game [without Kamp],” Coach Warners said of playing without Kamp in the lineup. “I think it turned out to be a blessing in disguise because everyone else got confident and stepped up their game.”
“We have had such great team chemistry, and our greatest adversity has been injury, so they’ve done a nice job stepping up to fill those needs,” Warners concluded. A dominant presence on the nets,
Kamp gives this team added flexibility in other positions with her ability to block as well as finish for kills. On the year she leads the team in both categories with 333 kills and 109 blocks.
Kamp recently was selected to the ESPN Academic All District Second Team for her efforts thus far this season, despite the three weeks she missed due to sickness.
“I think we have more depth now,” Warners said. “The biggest thing is our mentality; knowing that everyone is ready to play is a big mental boost.”
Calvin is 26-3 overall and 16-1 in conference play after defeating Alma in the MIAA Tournament semifinals, and so with Kamp back in the everyday lineup this squad has a great edge moving forward towards national tournament play.
For now, Calvin will focus on maintaining its healthy status as it looks to take on the Flying Dutch Saturday in Holland in the rubber match between the two Top Ten rivals this season.