Volleyball Holds Off Saint Mary’s In First Round of MIAA Tournament
Tuesday, November 03, 2009
(Written by sports information student assistant Mitch Blankespoor)
GRAND RAPIDS - The 14th ranked Calvin volleyball team played host to Saint Mary’s on Tuesday night in a first round MIAA Tournament match at VanNoord Arena. The Knights, who are now 25-6 on the season, defeated the Belle’s, who finish their season 9-17, in four sets, 25-11, 21-25, 25-22, 25-23.
Calvin played the match without sophomore hitter Rebecca Kamp who sat out Tuesday’s match with an injury.
After winning the opening set in strong fashion, Calvin began to run into a stubborn Saint Mary’s squad that began to turn the momentum. In the second set, it was deadlocked at 14 when Saint Mary’s went on a 5-0 run to help propel itself to a second set win. The third set was close all the way through, but Calvin maintained a small lead and won 25-22. In the fourth set, Saint Mary’s led 22-21 but Calvin rebounded by winning four of the final five points to close out the match.
In Kamp’s absence, her younger sister Lizzie stepped up. She led the Knights with 16 of Calvin’s 58 kills, while Renee DeHaan added 15 kills and sophomore Erin VanderPlas had 11 kills. Saint Mary’s had 45 kills as a team, with Lorna Slupczynski and Lindsey Stuss having 15 and 13 kills respectively. Nora Bruskewitz had 42 assists, while Danie Brink of Saint Mary’s had 34. The match was full of digs with Calvin holding a slight edge,75-73. Calvin had 6 team blocks, while Saint Mary’s had 2 team’s blocks.
When asked about the game, Warners replied, “I was impressed how we came out with such new lineups. We had no time to practice with people in new positions because Becca’s injury happened so suddenly. We have played through injuries all year, and for the most part, have still won. We have more depth this year than any other. There is no question that our depth has helped us through these injuries. I am glad we kept everyone on this team.”
With this win, Calvin advances to the semifinals of the MIAA tournament where the Knights will face Alma at 5:30 p.m. at Hope’s DeVos Fieldhouse. Hope will face Albion in the second semifinal later that evening. Friday’s winners will then play in the MIAA tournament final on Saturday at 4:00 p.m.