Volleyball Falls to Hope in Five Sets in Front of NCAA III Regular Season Record Crowd of 2,725 Fans
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
By Calvin Sports information student assistant Andrew Knot
After losing the previous match-up at the DeVos Fieldhouse in three sets, the Knights volleyball squad set out to turn the tables against the fifth ranked Flying Dutch of Hope College. In that attempt, Calvin had a record crowd behind them, setting an NCAA III regular season single match attendance record inside of Calvin’s Van Noord Arena.
The official number of tickets sold was 2725 and even more people than that had the privilege to see what began as a gem of a match.
In the first set, Calvin and Hope traded points, with the Knights eventually ahead. But Hope setter Andrea Heminiak served the Dutch back into the match with an ace to tie things at 17 and then pulling ahead by two points. Calvin sophomore middle hitter Rebecca Kamp then brought Calvin back into the match with an attack on a slide from the right side, a block, and a kill from the middle to shorten Calvin’s deficit to one point and a score of 22-21. Hope then pulled away, finishing the first set by a score of 25-22.
Calvin responded in the second set, knotting the game at seven and bouncing back from three consecutive Hope blocks. Sophomore outside hitter Erin Vander Plas served the Knights to a 12-9 lead, forcing a timeout from Hope’s Coach Becky Schmidt. Again, Calvin took a lead at the 17-point mark but Hope crept back in the game, trimming the margin to one point.
Sophomore Kayla Hollenbeck then contributed a kill from the right side. Fueled by momentum from that kill, the Knights fought for a 25-22 second set victory of their own, with sophomore Rebecca Kamp emphatically ending the game, pounding a kill on a slide approach from the right side.
Calvin and Hope then entered the pivotal third game, again trading points with each team tied at 11 early. Calvin took a 19-15 lead, before Hope battled back to a 19-18 score, eventually taking a 21-19 lead thanks to some aggressive serving from Senior libero Kristen Johnson. But Calvin responded from two set points later in the set in the biggest way. Down, 24-23 and 25-24, Rebecca Kamp thundered two kills from the middle and outside to tie the set. She then finished what she started, turning a broken play into a clutch kill from the middle, giving Calvin a 27-25 victory in the third set.
Up two sets to one, Calvin needed one more set to do something no one in the MIAA has done this season: beat Hope. However, Hope had other plans, using scrappy defense and aggressive serving to roll through the fourth set, defeating Calvin 25-12.
In the fifth and final set, Hope came out with more of the momentum they exhibited in the fourth set. Getting out to an early 6-3 lead, Calvin couldn’t claw back. Aggressive serving from Kristen Johnson and Andrea Helminiak concluded the match anticlimactically, with Hope defeating Calvin 15-6 in the final set.
“We need to learn it doesn’t matter what point in the game it is, we have to fight,” said Calvin Coach Amber Warners. She continued, “Hope’s aggressive serving took us out of our offense. Their defense was huge.”
Warners called for more consistency out of her team, but concluded in great appreciation for the record-setting attendance number.
“Tonight was a great way to celebrate the sport. We really felt support from the student body, faculty, and staff. It was an electric atmosphere,” Warners said.