Volleyball Defeats Alma in Four Sets in Matchup of Unbeaten Teams
Wednesday, September 12, 2012
By Mark DeHaan
With an important tournament looming this weekend at Wittenberg University, the third-ranked Calvin volleyball team had to focus on the task at hand Wednesday night as it hosted undefeated Alma College. Calvin, undefeated as well, came into the match with a 7-0 record overall and a 3-0 MIAA record, while the Scots were 6-0 and 2-0 in conference. The Knights prevailed in four sets, winning 25-12, 20-25, 25-18, 25-8.
The Knights, showing experience, jumped out to a 6-0 start on a pair of kills from senior Lizzie Kamp. Kamp continued to make the most of assists from junior Megan Rietema as she added five more kills throughout the first match. Overall, Calvin proved to be too much in the opening stanza as the Knights fought their way to a 25-13 first set win. The Scots were forced into eight errors in the first set.
Alma fought its way back in the second set as it jumped out to a 10-7 lead. The Scots continued to hold the lead, forcing the Knights into some uncharacteristic errors. Showing they would do anything but roll over for the highly ranked Knights, the Scots took the second set 25-20 to even the match.
In the crucial third set, Calvin struggled to shake the Scots as the set remained close through the first twenty points. The Knights did not build a four point lead until 20-16, when Calvin began to pull away. The Knights then scored five of the next seven points to take the third set 25-18.
In set number four, Calvin restored its first set form as Kamp aided the Knights to a 13-2 lead with seven kills. Calvin continued its dominating play throughout the fourth set as the Knights finished off the Scots 25-8.
Kamp paced Calvin on offense with a career-high 25 kills and a hitting percentage of .523. Senior Julia Hilbrands added 11 kills with a .409 percentage while freshman Maggie Kamp tallied eight. Rietema totaled 50 assists for the Knights, while senior Kelly Gordon led Calvin with 15 digs, senior Jen Pluymert added 14 and junior Kristen Zietse tallied 12. The Knights forced Alma into 22 attack errors throughout the game.
“I was really proud of the way we responded to (the second set). Overall, I was happy with the way we played the four sets,” said head coach Amber Warners. “(Lizzie) had a phenomenal night. (Alma) tried changing things up on her, but she hit it around them every time. But, when somebody does that, you have to give credit to our back row defense and our setter as well.”
Calvin moves to 8-0 overall and 4-0 in the MIAA while handing Alma its first loss of the season at 7-1 and 2-1 in conference. Calvin now looks forward to the Wittenberg Fall Classic this Friday and Saturday where it will play Ohio Northern, No. 1 Washington University of Saint Louis, No. 2 Wittenberg, and No. 21 Heidelberg.