BLOOMINGTON, Ill. – The No. 2 ranked Calvin volleyball team advanced to the NCAA Division III Tournament Third Round with a 3-0 victory over No. 11 Millikin on Friday. Calvin moves to 28-3 on the year and the Big Blue finish at 29-8. The No. 5 seed in the Bloomington, Illinois Bracket, Calvin defeated the No. 1 seed Big Blue of Millikin, 25-17, 25-23, 25-17. With the victory, Calvin advances to the regional final round for the eighth-straight year.
"Anything can happen at this point of the game," said head coach Dr. Amber Warners. "It was nice to be on this side of the missed serves category. That is a part of our philosophy, we are aggressive in serving. First of all, I would like to congratulate Debbie and Millikin, they have an incredible team and we have seen them during the year and last year. What a lot of talent, my heart goes out to the seniors, they have a really good team and a really good program."
Friday marked the second meeting of the year, with the Knights winning 3-2 at Van Noord Arena in the Midwest Invitational. The Knights and Big Blue also met in the NCAA Tournament Third Round in 2016 with the Knights beating the Big Blue.
The Maroon and Gold started Friday on a 7-3 run. Leading 12-10, the Knights broke the set open with a 6-0 run behind the serve of sophomore Sarah DeVries (Grand Rapids, Mich./Northpointe Christian). Junior Anna Kamp (Orland Park, Ill./Chicago Christian) led the Knights in the run with two kills. Millikin cut the Calvin lead to 21-16, but the Knights ended the set on a 4-1 run, capped by a service ace by senior Emily Blankespoor (Grand Rapids, Mich./South Christian) at 25-17.
The Knights dug themselves out of an early 0-3 hole in set two. Trailing 5-7, the Knights applied some pressure with a 5-0 run to reclaim the lead. The Knights pushed the lead up to six points at 19-13, but Millikin would not go away and tied the set at 22. With the set tied at 23, Sarah DeVries recorded a kill to give the Knights the lead. The set ended at 25-23 with a block by Anna Kamp and sophomore Ally Fea (Mechanicsburg, Pa./Mechanicsburg).
Calvin was aided by the serve of Jenna Lodewyk to push the Calvin lead to 8-4 in the third set. Millikin cut the Calvin lead to 12-11, but the Knights would not give up the lead and rode a 7-2 run to put the set out of reach. A kill from senior Jenna Lodewyk (Villa Park, Ill./Timothy Christian) was the final nail in the coffin at 25-17.
Calvin improves to 13-0 all-time against Millikin.
The Knights will play Carthage in the NCAA Tournament Division III Regional Finals. The Knights and Lady Reds are meeting in the regional finals for the third time in the last four years.
Anna Kamp led the Knights with nine kills on Friday and 10 digs.
Jenna Lodewyk celebrated her birthday with a hitting percentage of .700, with seven kills and 26 assists.
Junior Keilahna Castillo (Grandville, Mich./Grandville) and Sarah DeVries both hit .500 against the Big Blue. The kills for Castillo was her first postseason kill and DeVries finished the evening with eight kills.
The Knights hit. 395 on the evening and Millikin finished with 17 service errors.
Calvin will return to action on Saturday night against Carthage. The match is scheduled to begin at 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, 7:00 p.m. Central Standard Time.