Women’s Volleyball Defeats Kalamazoo - To Face Alma in MIAA Tournament Semifinals
Tuesday, November 04, 2008
By Chaz Amidon
GRAND RAPIDS – Calvin began its quest to claim its fifth consecutive MIAA Tournament title on Tuesday, using a balanced scoring attack to sweep Kalamazoo in the first round, 25-17, 25-19, 25-18.
Rebecca Kamp bolstered the Knights’ offense with nine kills and Jessica Garlick added six as Calvin notched its 15th straight victory, dating back to Oct. 1.
“Overall, we’re just meshing as a team,” said Rachel DeYoung, who tallied five kills. “Our blocking is making it easier for our defense – we’re just doing an all-around great job.”
Without libero Kelsey Sears, who sat out with a minor injury, the Knights surpassed a resilient Hornets’ squad that refused to back down, despite the fact that Calvin jumped out to a 3-0 lead in every set.
The Knights defeated Kalamazoo in the opening match of the Midwest Challenge last Friday – a three-set victory with scores of 25-13, 25-13, 25-13 – and came up with a convincing win over the Hornets in the MIAA regular season opener back on Sept. 3.
“I think we were just a little bit nervous from the get-go,” said freshman Kelly Peterson, who filled the libero position on Tuesday. “Probably just (tournament) play. I think we could have pushed harder but we still played well.”
Sara Kramer, the MIAA Player of the Week following a 46-kill outing at the Midwest Invitational, poured in an additional five kills while Erin VanderPlas totaled four.
Lauren DeGroot distributed 27 assists and recorded seven digs to uphold a balanced defensive effort for a Calvin team that had only one receiving error against Heidelberg last Saturday. Stacie Lippert chipped eight digs, Katie Corbett had seven and Peterson finished with six in her debut as libero.
“Everything’s hit at you a lot faster, it seems like,” said Peterson. “Libero is a lot different from middle-back. Basically, Coach (Amber Warners) just told me to play with the same intensity.”
With the win, the Knights are now 9-0 in the first round of the MIAA Tournament since its inception during the 1999 season. They are 23-3 all-time in MIAA postseason play, and have claimed six out of a possible nine conference crowns, including the past four.
The Knights (26-4, 15-2) will now face the No. 3 seed, Alma, in the conference semifinal at Hope’s DeVos Fieldhouse, game time 5:30 p.m. Adrian will match up against the Flying Dutch in the nightcap at 7:30 p.m.