GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The No. 1 Calvin volleyball team improved to 19-0 on the season with a pair of wins at the Midwest Invitational. The Knights started the evening with a 3-0 victory over Clarkson, defeating the Golden Knights, 25-11, 25-22, 25-14. The Knights finished the night downing No. 17 Elmhurst, 3-0. Calvin blanked the Bluejays, 25-17, 25-22, 25-15. Calvin is now 7-0 at Van Noord Arena in 2016.
"I am happy with how we played today," said head coach Amber Warners. "We played two really good teams today. I am happy with how we have continued to play. We will now have to get ready for two tough teams tomorrow."
Clarkson jumped out to an early 4-0 lead on Calvin in the first set. The Knights would respond with a 6-1 run behind the serve of Emily Blankespoor (Grand Rapids, Mich./South Christian). With the set tied at six, the serve of senior Laura Danhoff (Willard, Ohio/Willard) broke the set open. Calvin went on a 12-2 run, anchored by two kills from freshman Sarah DeVries (Grand Rapids, Mich./Northpointe Christian). Calvin would go on to take the first set, 25-11. Calvin hit .480 in the first set.
Calvin and Clarkson would battle until the end in the second set. With the set tied at 12, Calvin would go on a 6-2 run, with three kills from sophomore Anna Kamp (Orland Park, Ill./Chicago Christian). Clarkson would cut the lead to one at 19-18, but Calvin would finish the set at 25-22. Anna Kamp had seven kills in the second set.
The two teams would tie the score four times and tie the set at seven. Calvin would push away with a 3-0 run with the serve of Anna Kamp. The Knights would not go on a 5-2 run to put the set away. The Knights would win, 25-14.
Anna Kamp finished with a game-high 14 kills and Laura Danhoff notched 10. Junior Jenna Lodewyk (Villa Park, Ill./Timothy Christian) had 38 assists and sophomore Keilahna Castillo (Grandville, Mich./Grandville) three aces and 15 digs. Sarah DeVries recorded three blocks in the victory. Calvin held Clarkson to a -.030 hitting percentage, the third time they have held an opponent to a negative hitting percentage on the year.
The Blue Jays and Knights would tie the set five times to start the set. With the set tied at nine, the Knights went on a 7-0 run on the serve of Keilahna Castillo. The Knights would walk away with the set at 25-17. Calvin hit .419 in the first set and Laura Danhoff, junior Tessa Van Laare (Toronto, Ontario/Toronto District Christian), and Anna Kamp all had four kills.
Set two started tight as well, the two teams exchanged the lead until the set was tied at four. The Knights went on a 3-0 run on the serve of Laura Danhoff. Elmhurst would fight back and take a 10-9 lead. Ally Fea would kill it up with a kill off the Elmhurst block and Tessa Van Laare would give Calvin the lead back with a kill down the middle to help Calvin go on a 4-0 run and take a 13-10 lead. The Knights would push the lead to 19-12 with the help of the serve of Kristen Vyletel (Ann Arbor, Mich./Huron). Elmhurst would cut the lead to 22-21, but Calvin would take the set 25-22. Tessa Van Laare had five kills in the first set.
Calvin would jump out to a 4-1 serve behind the serve of Kristen Vyletel. The serve of Laura Danhoff would give Elmhurst issues and the Knights would take a 7-2 lead. Elmhurst would not go away and would take the lead at the 9-8 mark. Anna Kamp would tie the set with a cross-court kill the Knights would go on a 3-0 run to take the lead back. Leading 13-12, Calvin would break away with a 9-1 run and the Knights would not look back and take the set, 25-15.
Tessa Van Laare had a game-high 11 kills, Laura Danhoff and Anna Kamp both finished with 10 kills. Jenna Lodewyk notched 32 assists. Danhoff had a season-high five blocks. Keilahna Castillo had a game-high 13 digs. Kristen Vyletel had 10 digs and three aces.
In other Midwest Invitational matches, No. 17 Elmhurst defeated Ohio Wesleyan, 3-2. No. 5 Hope defeated Wheaton and Heidelberg, 3-0. Heidelberg swept Wheaton, 3-0. Ohio Wesleyan picked up a 3-2 victory over Clarkson.
The Knights resume the Midwest Invitational on Saturday morning when they resume play with Wheaton and Ohio Wesleyan.