GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- On Saturday afternoon, the Calvin College women's volleyball team maintained its perfect record with a 3-0 home victory over the Belles of St. Mary's College. The Knights defeated St. Mary's 25-14, 25-15, 25-17 to improve to 6-0 on the season and 3-0 in the MIAA. The Belles fall to 1-6 overall with a 0-2 conference mark.
"I felt that we played pretty consistent today," said Calvin head coach Amber Warners. "We controlled the tempo today and I thought our defense played very well."
In the first set, the Knights took an early 10-3 lead, fueled by three aces from junior defensive specialist Kristen Vyletel (Ann Arbor, Mich./Huron). The Belles called a timeout to halt the Knights' momentum and responded with a five-point run following the break to make the score 10-8. Saint Mary's reduced Calvin's lead to one point (11-10), but the Knights pulled away once again, scoring six consecutive points, bringing the score to 17-10. Calvin scored its final two points off kills by senior Laura Danhoff (Willard, Ohio/Willard) and freshman Ally Fea (Mechanicsburg, Pa./Mechanicsburg) to claim a 25-14 victory.
The Knights and Belles exchanged points early in the second set until the home team began to pull away, scoring four straight points to earn an 8-4 advantage. Calvin continued to build on its lead, outscoring St. Mary's 10-5 in the middle of the set, the scoreboard reading 18-9. In spite of a late offensive push by the Belles, they Knights put down the final four points of the set to take a 25-15 win.
Despite being down two sets to none, the Belles put up a fight in the third set. However, they were unable to answer the Knights' offense. With the score knotted at 10, Danhoff and junior Tessa Van Laare (Toronto, Ontario/Toronto District Christian) put the Knights ahead with a big block on Saint Mary's Meaghan Gibbons. Van Laare followed with two consecutive kills, and, after a timeout by the Belles, a kill by Danhoff brought the score to 14-10 in the Calvin's favor. The Knights outscored their visitors 11-7 to roll to a 25-17 victory.
Laura Danhoff led the Knights with 14 kills and assisted on five blocks while Tessa Van Laare and sophomore Anna Kamp (Orland Park, Ill./Chicago Christian) recorded six apiece. Ally Fea had a career-high four kills. Junior Jenna Lodewyk (Villa Park, Ill./Timothy Christian) dished out 30 assists in the victory. Keilahna Castillo led the Knights with 12 digs, while Kristen Vyletel contributed seven digs and five service aces.
The Knights are back in action on Wednesday when Calvin hosts Adrian College at Van Noord Arena. Game time is at 6:30 p.m.