Volleyball Storms to Win Over Albion - Prepares for Midwest Invitational
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
By Chaz Amidon
GRAND RAPIDS—The Knights extended their win streak to 10 games by sweeping sixth-place Albion on Wednesday, storming past the Britons by scores of 25-21, 25-17 and 25-18.
Calvin is now 4-2 on their interim home court at Huizenga Tennis and Track Center, where the Knights have won their past three matches.
“I think we’re starting to peak,” said Calvin coach Amber Warners. “Our players are playing really well and with consistency.”
That consistency has been personified throughout the 2008 season in freshman Rebecca Kamp (Orland Park, Ill./Chicago Christian), who rattled off 18 kills to spark Calvin’s offense on Wednesday. The nation’s leader in kills-per-set (4.84), Kamp has now totaled 431 kills this year while leading the MIAA in blocks (1.25/set).
Calvin’s Sara Kramer (Dyer, Ind./Illiana Christian) added 10 kills against Albion, while freshman Erin VanderPlas (Cadillac/Northern Michigan Christian) and sophomore Kim Wigboldy (Chandler, Ariz./Chandler Valley Christian) chipped in seven and five kills, respectively.
“Even though we have our ups and downs, we’re consistently winning,” said senior setter Lauren DeGroot (Tulare, Calif./Central Valley Christian), who doled out 39 assists. “We’re starting to peak, which is what we want near the end of the season.”
Dating back to Oct. 1, the Knights have won seven consecutive conference matches – including a thrilling upset victory at Hope on Oct. 17 that catapulted Calvin to the No. 16 spot in D-III national polls.
The Knights, now ranked No. 14, will co-host the Midwest Invitational Tournament on Oct. 31 through Nov. 1, where Calvin will face off against Kalamazoo, third-place Alma, and Great Lakes Regional powerhouses Heidelberg and Baldwin-Wallace.
Listed as No. 4 in the Great Lakes Region, Calvin will have a chance to play another top three teams in its region on Saturday as the Knights face No. 3 Heidelberg. Earlier this year, the Knights toppled the No. 2 team, Ohio Northern, twice this fall and stunned No. 1 Wittenberg back on Sept. 13 with a 3-0 victory.
“I think we play better when we play better teams,” said DeGroot who was cheered on by several family members including her oldest sister Alicia who was a standout player for Calvin in the late 1990’s. “I think we’re used to a more fast-paced game.”
Calvin will play Kalamazoo (4:30 pm) and Baldwin-Wallace (7:00 pm) on Friday, and will square off against Alma (11 am) and Heidelberg (1:30 pm).
“It’s definitely a big weekend for us,” said Warners. “We need to play consistently – not worry about the outcome, just play the whole game.”