Volleyball Falls to Hope in Three Sets in MIAA Tournament Finals
Saturday, November 06, 2010
By sports information student assistant Mitch Blankespoor
HOLLAND - Calvin’s five-year run as MIAA Tournament champions came to an end on Saturday as the seventh-ranked Knights were defeated by sixth-ranked Hope in the MIAA Tournament finals Saturday afternoon 25-14, 25-17, 25-14. Prior to Saturday, Calvin had won five straight MIAA Tournament titles including a four-set win at Hope a year ago but on Saturday, the Flying Dutch turned the tables by limiting Calvin to an .082 hitting percentage while Hope hit at a blistering .340 clip.
Hope took the lead early and often in all three sets played. The Knights were down most of the afternoon. Hope got up to a 16-7 lead off of a couple of kills from Hope senior Kara VandeGuchte (Hamilton). Calvin was forced to call a timeout in attempt to halt the Hope run. Hope went on the win the first set 25-14.
The second set started positively for the Knights. Junior All American Rebecca Kamp (Chicago Christian) put down a kill to give the Knights the lead. Hope then went on the win the next seven points, which forced another Calvin timeout. Side outs were traded most of the entire set. Hope took the second set 25-17.
Calvin jumped out to a 4-2 lead in the third set. Hope’s sophomore setter Greer Bratschie (East Grand Rapids) went on a huge service run however, winning seven points straight to give the Dutch a 9-5 lead. The Dutch would not be denied, taking the final set by a similar score of 25-14.
Calvin, the nation’s leading team in attacking percentage coming into the match, hit only .082. The Knights came in hitting .325 per match. Hope hit .340 as a team using many special options and quick attacks. Greer Bratschie dished out 37 assist for Hope while freshmen Megan Rietema (Grand Rapids Christian) had 19 assists. Hope had five team blocks to Calvin’s three. Hope scored 41 digs as the Knights had 33.
The real story of the game was the passing off of serve receives. Hope had seven aces to Calvin’s three. The Hope serve gave the Knights trouble all game long.
“Give all the credit to Hope. They served very well. We did not pass well either. When the passing isn’t there, the offense becomes very one-dimensional” Coach Amber Warners said after the game.
With the win, Hope (26-4) gains the MIAA’s automatic bid to the NCAA III Tournament while Calvin will await a possible at-large bid. The NCAA III Tournament field is expected to be announced Monday morning at 11 a.m. (EST) at: NCAA.com