Volleyball Opens MIAA Campaign With Win Over Albion
Tuesday, September 08, 2009
(written by sports information student assistant Derek Neice)
The Calvin College volleyball team finally have a place to call home this season. After playing home matches a year ago in the Huizenga Tennis and Track Center, the Knights opened their 2009 campaign in the fabled Van Noord Arena, which supplies any Calvin sports team a hefty home court advantage. And the volleyball squad ate it up Tuesday night, defeating fellow MIAA opponent Albion College in straight sets.
Coach Warner, entering her eighth season as the volleyball coach at Calvin, was pleased with her team’s play in their first league match, and was especially happy with the atmosphere of the arena that now serves as a permanent home court.
“It feels really great after having played a whole year of feeling like we didn’t have a home to really call home, and we look to have a lot of years moving forward in this arena.”
Junior Carolyn Nelson (Milan, MI), taking on a full-time starting role as the setter on the team, chimed in similarly on playing in such a venue as Van Noord Arena.
“It felt really good to play here finally, and we love the energy of the crowd. But even with a level of energy that high, we still have the goal to stay focused, and I think we did that well tonight.”
Confident in her own abilities to lead the team at the vital position of setter, Nelson also gave insights to how she makes those split-second decisions of where to set the ball on the court, as well as the kind of season that the team believes they can put together this year.
“We work on trying to read the block in the middle of a play, so that is a big factor; we also have certain plays that go to specific hitters. It also depends on how hot a hitter is on a certain night.”
“We’ve definitely set our goals really high this year, but we always take it one game at a time. You can’t get very far without winning each individual game.”
The Knights got out to early leads in all three sets, never trailing at any point in the match. In the first set of play, Albion’s best of the three, Calvin took an early 3-0 run to make the score 5-1. Albion answered and cut the lead to 8-7, the closest that they would come in any of the sets. Calvin quelled that comeback and upped the score to 12-8, and ended up winning the set 25-15.
The second set resulted in a 25-7 blowout for the Knights. Two early 6-0 runs established a commanding 14-3 lead, and an additional 3-0 run allowed the Knights to not let the Britons even break double-digits.
The third set was not much better for Albion as they lost the set 25-9. Early runs were the story again as the Knights rolled to an early lead, and the Britons never recovered.
Calvin finished the match with 42 kills, 51 digs, 4 service aces, and 15 blocks. Sophomore Rebecca Kamp (Orland Park, IL) led the team with 14 kills, and Erin Vander Plas (Cadillac, MI) slammed home 11 of her own. Senior defensive specialist Katie Corbett (St. Joseph, MI) led the squad with 17 digs, and sophomore Kayla Hollenbeck (Hudsonville, MI) led all players with 4 blocks.
Calvin continues its season on September 11th when it travels to play Kalamazoo. Calvin’s next home match will be on September 25th when it hosts Alma College.