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Volleyball Splits Pair of MIAA Matches at Home

Saturday, September 27, 2008

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(written by Bruce VanBaren ‘09)

Calvin split a pair of matches in Saturday’s MIAA triangular match at the Huizenga Track and Tennis Center. The Knights swept fourth place Saint Mary’s in three games and fell in a five game thriller to sixth place Adrian. Calvin moves to 5-2 in league play and 11-4 overall.

Calvin’s outside and middle hitters, lead by freshman Rebecca Kamp’s (Orland Park, IL/Chicago Christian) 15 kills, were dominate in the first set against Saint Mary’s, but Adrian recovered from a three -set sweep to the Belles and shut down the Knights’ attack in the clutch in set two.

“Adrian played a really great defensive match,” said coach Amber Warners. “There’s no replacing veteran players when things are on the line. This team has a tendency to get down and then not know what to do. We’re working on that emotional roller coaster.”

Calvin falls two wins behind first place Hope College (7-0 MIAA, 12-3 overall). Saint Mary’s (4-3 MIAA, 10-4 overall) remains in fourth place in the conference and Adrian (3-5 MIAA, 7-9 overall) remains in sixth place.

After opening the Huizenga Track and Tennis Center with a 3-1 loss against Hope College last Friday night, the Knights came out on fire against the Belles. Calvin swept Saint Mary’s in three sets (25-14, 25-13, 25-12).

The Belles hung with the Knights through most of set one although they never gained the lead. Saint Mary’s threatened to tie the game, but leading 10-9, Calvin closed on a 15-5 run to win set one. Calvin didn’t let down in set two jumping to a 5-1 lead and a 6-0 lead in set three. Calvin never trailed in the match.

Senior Lauren DeGroot (Tulare, CA/Valley Christian HS) racked up 31 assists in the sweep of Saint Mary’s. Kamps led with 15 kills. Junior hitter Sarah Kramer (Dyer, IN/Illiana Christian) had seven kills and freshman Erin Vander Plas (Cadillac/McBain Northern Michigan Christian) had six kills.

DeGroot moved into the setter role just over two weeks ago and credits her hitters for the easy transition.

“It’s easy to fall into the position because I can trust my hitters a lot,” said DeGroot. “The pressure of getting every set perfect is off because I have talented hitters.”

The set also marks the first Calvin win in the new Huizenga Tennis and Track Center.

“We have to get used to the heat (in the new facility). It’s the biggest factor,” said DeGroot. “During practice the temperature varies so much. And today it’s so hot that you sweat a lot and lose a lot of energy. But a court is a court and it does feel like home.”

After Adrian was swept by Saint Mary’s they turned things around against the Knights. Although they hung with Calvin in set one, they ultimately fell 25-23. With set two tied 6-6, the Bulldogs went on a 3-0 run and never looked back for a 25-21 win. Calvin and Adrian were tied at all but seven points in a thrilling set three.
The Knights turned things around in set four to tie the match at two games each. Calvin started on a 5-1 run in the set and never trailed. They won 25-19 with their backs against the wall to force a fifth set.

Set five remained close until the Bulldogs scored back to back points to take a 7-5 lead. Adrian went on a 3-0 run to take a 12-7 and was able to close out the set with a 15-12 win.

Kamp had 30 kills against Adrian for a total of 45 on the afternoon. Freshman Erin Vander Plas (Cadillac/McBain Northern Michigan Christian) had eleven kills and freshman Renee DeHaan (Grand Rapids/Grand Rapids Christian) had nine kills. DeGroot amassed fifty-eight assists. Junior Kelsey Sears (Traverse City/Traverse City West) led Calvin with 25 digs and Katie Corbett had 23 digs.

Calvin travels to fifth place Albion on Tuesday. The Knights’ next home match will be October 7 against Trine.

Posted in: Volleyball
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