Calvin Volleyball Splits Matches on Day Two of Midwest Invitational

Calvin Volleyball Splits Matches on Day Two of Midwest Invitational

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. ­– The No. 1 Calvin women's volleyball team went 1-1 in the second day of the Midwest Invitational. The Knights swept Elmhurst in their first match of the day, but fell in a five-set thriller against No. 7 Thomas More. Calvin is now 19-1 overall.

In the first day of the invitational, Calvin opened with a win over Susquehanna (25-7, 25-11, 25-13) before defeating Ohio Northern in four sets (25-13-25-22, 14-25, 29-27).

No. 1 Calvin vs. Elmhurst (25-18, 25-23, 25-14)

Calvin opened day two with a three-set victory over Elmhurst.

The Knights earned an 9-4 advantage in set one, landing four kills as they staged an early six-point run. Out of the break, junior Sarah DeVries (Grand Rapids, Mich./Northpointe Christian) landed two straight kills and the Knights went on to build a 14-4 lead before the Bluejays sided out. With Calvin holding a 16-7 lead, Elmhurst called its second timeout. The Bluejays heated up to cut Calvin's lead to four points. A big kill by the senior Anna Kamp (Orland Park, Ill./Chicago) Christian and a pair of Elmhurst attack errors made the score 22-15 and Calvin rolled to a 25-18 set one win.

The two teams exchanged points for the majority of the second set. The score was tied 12 times before the Knights won back-to-back points to lead 16-14. Sophomore Courtney Vanderhoning (Byron Center, Mich./South Christian) and Kamp stuffed an Elmhurst attack and Kamp put down a big kill before the Bluejays called a timeout to break up the momentum. Elmhurst knotted the score at 17, but Calvin pulled ahead once again to lead 22-19 and force a second Bluejays timeout. Elmhurst came within one point of the Knights, but the home team was able to hold on for a 25-23 set-two victory.

An emphatic kill by DeVries early in the third set sparked the Knights' offense as the home team surged for four straight points to take a 10-5 lead and Elmhurst spent a timeout. After points on both sides, Calvin used another four-point run to go up 16-8. Kamp put down a kill in the run, while junior Ally Fea (Mechanicsburg, Pa./Mechanicsburg) and Vanderhoning followed with back-to-back blocks. The Knights continued to roll, going on a late run to lead 23-11. Elmhurst answered with a trio of points, but Calvin closed out the set and match with two straight points.

Kamp and DeVries led the Knights with 11 kills apiece. Freshmen Anna Schriemer (Vicksburg, Mich./Vicksburg) and Ellie Westrate (Sun Prairie, Wisc./Lakeside Lutheran) dished out 16 and 10 assists, respectively. Senior libero Keilhana Castillo posted 16 digs in the win.

No. 1 Calvin vs. No. 7 Thomas More (31-29, 26-28, 25-14, 20-25, 13-15)

The No. 7 Thomas More Saints (22-2)  handed Calvin its first loss of the season in the Knights' second game of day two of the Midwest Invitational. With Calvin leading two-sets-to-one, the Saints won set four to stay alive and went on to take a closely-contested fifth set.

Thomas More took the lead early in set one, but Calvin used four straight points to go up 12-11 and force a Saints timeout. Out of the break, the Knights continued to roll, using a 6-1 run to earn a six-point lead before Thomas More spent its second timeout. The Saints chipped Calvin's lead down to one point, 22-21, and Calvin called timeout. Thomas More went on to tie the set at 23 before Calvin used its second timeout. The Knights had three chances to end the set, but the Saints held strong and moved into a 27-26 lead. The two teams exchanged points with until Calvin strung together three straight points, including kills by Kamp and DeVries, to take a 31-29 win.

The Saints jumped out to an early lead in set two, but Calvin battled back to tie the score at six. The teams went back-and-forth with scoring until Thomas More put down a trio of kills to gain a 12-9 advantage and force a Calvin timeout. The Knights answered out of the break as kills by Kamp and DeVries gave the home team a spark. Calvin moved into a 14-13 lead, and Thomas More called timeout. The Saints responded with a 6-3 run out of the break to regain the lead and go up 19-17, and Calvin used its second timeout. The Knights came back to tie the score at 20, but the Saints sided out. A big kill by freshman Kelsey Smith (Vienna,Va./Madison) tied the score once again before a Saints attack error gave the Knights the lead. Thomas More came back once again to lead 24-22, but back-to-back kills by Kamp kept Calvin alive. Calvin had the opportunity to close the set, leading 26-25, but the Saints used the three straight points to take a 28-26 set-two win.

Calvin took control in set three, using a pair of runs to earn a 10-7 lead before Thomas More called timeout. Out of the break, the Knights continued to roll after a Saints side out, racking up four straight points behind the serve of DeVries to lead 14-8. The Knights continued to build their lead as Thomas More struggled to get its offense going. Calvin outscored its opponent 11-6 to claim the third-set victory.

The Knights carried their momentum into the fourth set, taking an early 8-4 lead. Thomas More broke up Calvin's run with a timeout and responded with a scoring run to go up 14-12. Calvin evened the score at 14 and then 15 before the Saints strung together three straight points earn a 18-15 advantage. The Knights scored back-to-back points out of timeout, but the Thomas More quickly rebuilt its lead to four points. Freshman Grace Kellogg (Belleville, Mich./Plymouth Christian Academy) and Smith delivered big kills late in the set, but the comeback effort fell short as the Saints held on to take a 25-20 fourth-set win and force a fifth set.

Thomas More took the first two points of set five, but Courtney Vanderhoning stepped up for the Knights, logging a pair of kills and a solo block as Calvin took a 4-2 lead. The Saints were able to tie the score twice after a timeout, but Ally came up with two straight points for Calvin with a solo block and a kill. After a Saints' kill, the Knights scored back-to-back points to lead 9-6 and force a second Thomas More timeout. The Saints came back with a 3-0 run to tie the set and it was Calvin's turn to call timeout. The Knights went up by two out of the break, but Thomas More showed resilience and climbed to a 14-13 lead before Calvin took its final timeout. The Saints landed a service ace to seal the set and match victory.

Kamp led the Knights with 18 kills, while also finishing with 24 digs. DeVries had a solid all-around performance with 16 assists, 13 kills, eight block assists, seven digs and four solo blocks. Smith contributed 12 kills and five block assists, while Schriemer pumped out a team-high 22 assists. Castillo finished with a game-high 39 digs. Calvin had 21 team blocks compared to Thomas More's seven.

The Knights are now 4-1 in five-set matches.

Calvin is back in action on Tuesday when it hosts Adrian in a conference match. Game time is set for 6:30 p.m. at Van Noord Arena