Knights Stop Kalamazoo and Baldwin-Wallace at Midwest Challenge
Friday, October 31, 2008
By Chaz Amidon
GRAND RAPIDS – The Knights picked up a pair of convincing wins over Kalamazoo and Baldwin-Wallace on the opening day of the Midwest Challenge, an annual cross-conference tournament co-hosted by Calvin and Hope.
Freshman Rebecca Kamp (Orland Park, Ill./Chicago Christian) totaled 29 kills throughout the doubleheader, while senior setter Lauren DeGroot (Tulare, Calif./Central Valley Christian) dished out 54 assists as the No. 14 Knights extended their win streak to 12 games, dating back to Oct. 1.
“It was crucial that we played our game,” said Calvin coach Amber Warners. “I was happy that we stayed focused and carried the momentum and set the tempo, rather than the other team.”
Calvin toppled Kalamazoo (7-19, 4-11), the sixth-place team in the MIAA, in the 4:30 p.m. opener, routing the Hornets in straight sets (25-13, 25-13, 25-13).
The Knights ended the first set on a 5-0 run and jumped out to a momentous 10-1 lead in the second, stifling a Kalamazoo team that hit at only a .089 clip throughout. The third set ended in a 10-2 Calvin run, finalizing a trio of 25-13 wins over the Hornets.
Kamp led the way with 14 kills, while freshman Erin VanderPlas (Cadillac/Northern Michigan Christian) added six and senior Jessica Garlick (Kalamazoo/Kalamazoo Christian) and junior Sara Kramer (Dyer, Ind./Illiana Christian) each tacked on five.
Calvin cruised to another flawless victory in the nightcap against Baldwin-Wallace, sweeping the Yellow Jackets by a final score of 25-13, 25-10, 25-16.
Dubbed as “Dig Pink” night – an event promoting fundraising for breast cancer research and awareness – the Knights, donning pink warm-up shirts prior to the start of the game, relied on its outside hitters to jumpstart the offense. Sophomore Kim Wigboldy (Chandler, Ariz./Chandler Valley Christian) skewered the Jackets’ defense for seven kills, complementing Kamp’s 15 and Kramer’s nine in the middle.
“From the beginning…we said you would see us really good at times, and really bad at times,” said Warners. “All season long, in our goals and practice plans, our goal has been for them to be consistent. These last two weeks we have been playing very consistent volleyball.”
DeGroot compiled 36 assists against Baldwin-Wallace, and junior Kelsey Sears (Traverse City/Traverse City West) came up with 15 digs – the same amount that she had in the opener against Kalamazoo.
Calvin will face off against Alma tomorrow morning at 11:00 a.m., followed by an afternoon finale at 1:30 p.m. against Heidelberg, a squad listed as the No. 3 team in Great Lakes Region.