Volleyball Advances to NCAA III Final Four With Win Over UMass-Boston
Friday, November 19, 2010
(Photos by Danny Reise)
(Written by Sports Information Student Assistant Mitch Blankespoor)
The Calvin College women’s volleyball team had won the region for the first time since 1992. That was an amazing feat. They won one of the toughest regions in the country knocking off the 13th ranked Student Princes of Heidelberg and then defeating host 2nd ranked Wittenberg to win the region. The Knights were not satisfied with that.
A phrase that the Knights have used all year is “We love winning”. This phrase proved correct as Calvin went on to defeat the 24th ranked University of Massachusetts at Boston Beacons in four sets my scores of 25-21, 25-10, 17-25, 25-17.
Calvin started out the first set on a 10-5 run thanks to a service run my first team All-American Rebecca Kamp. Teams kept trading points until the 21-16 mark when Amber Clemons stepped up to the service line. She rattled off four straight points which forced a timeout from Calvin head coach Amber Warners. Calvin was able to close out the first set with a Rebecca Kamp serve.
The second set was total domination for Calvin. Calvin got ahead by the familiar score of 10-5 causing UMass-Boston head coach Terry Condon to call a timeout. The timeout did not prove to do much, as service runs from Jen Pluymert and Lizzie Kamp doubled Calvin’s lead to 21-9. An Erin VanderPlas kill ended the second set.
Determined not to end their season with a straight set loss, the Beacons popped out to a 6-2 lead in the third set forced Warners to call a timeout. Calvin just the lead to 10-7, but that was as close as they got. Beacon All-American Shannon Thompson served out four straight points for UMass-Boston. She recorded four more kills to give the Beacons the set.
The Calvin Knights were not to be denied. The fourth set was tied at five, and the Calvin went on a12-5 run to take a 17-11 lead. Cassy Hanneman came up with a mini service run to keep pace with Calvin, but that is all they could do. Erin VanderPlas came up with a couple of kills to seal the victory for the Knights.
Calvin as a team hit at a .303 clip while the Breacons hit .149. Calvin had eight total team blocks to UMass-Boston’s seven. Each team had six service aces,
Calvin had nine service errors while the Beacon’s had four.
“We had a pretty balanced attack today. Megan did a nice job reading the block. Our middle hitters were triple teamed often. She did a nice job of setting it to the outsides where our hitters had only one blocker to deal with” Warners said after the match.
Calvin used a balanced attack. Megan Rietema dished out 37 assists to go along with five kills and four blocks. Calvin had four players with at least nine kills. Rebecca Kamp had 14, Erin VanderPlas had 13, Lizzie Kamp had 10, and Renee DeHaan had 9. VanderPlas led the Knights hitting .478, followed by Renee DeHann who hit .400, and Rebecca Kamp who hit .379. DeHaan led the block for Calvin with five.
“Erin and I feed off of each other. We have had that connection ever since we’ve stepped on the court for Calvin. The whole front row has developed a connection” Renee DeHaan said of her teammates.
The Beacons were led by Shannon Thompson who had 15 kills on 42 attempts for a .115 hitting percentage.
“We have seen her on film and knew what kind of player she is. We really tried keying in on her” Warners continued.
The Knights improve to 30-4 on the season and advance to the final four where they will face Juniata 5th ranked Juniata College who has yet to drop a set in the NCAA Tournament. They defeated St. Thomas University Tommies in straight sets. The other semifinal will feature the defending national champions, 3rd ranked University of Washington at St. Louis against the top ranked team in the country the Emory University Eagles. They survived five setter scare against 5th ranked Christopher Newport University.
The match will take place at 4:30 Eastern Standard Time.