Story by Brett Venhuizen
GRAND RAPIDS- The top-ranked Knights beat the University of Chicago in the final match for the Midwest Challenge on Saturday to remain the only undefeated team in Division III; Calvin sweeping Chicago with scores of 25-11, 25-12, 25-16. This was the only match for Chicago that did not last five sets.
The Knights played with enthusiasm against a Chicago team that could not quite keep up. Chicago, ranked 15th in the nation, showed glimpses of greatness but in the end the ruthless attack of the Knights proved too much to handle. The Knights hit .341 overall with .500 in the second and .467 in the third.
Sophomore Maggie Kamp (Orland Park, IL; Chicago Christian) led all players with 15 kills and added 6 digs with a .517 hitting percentage with no errors. Juniors Emily Crowe (Granger, IN; Mishawaka Penn) and Ellie Diepersloot (Madera, CA; Chowchilla) both had 6 kills. Senior Kristen Zietse (Grand Rapids; Grand Rapids Christian) lead all players with 20 digs Jamie Kooiman (Eugene, OR; South Eugene) and Elise Biesboer (Elmhurst, IL; Timothy Christian) both had 9 digs, Biesboer added 3 service aces. Senior Megan Rietema (Grand Rapids, MI; Grand Rapids Christian) led all players with 29 assists and tacked on 4 kills and 4 digs.
Calvin opened the day with an impressive 25-14, 25-16, 25-19 victory over sixth-ranked Elmhurst College. A year ago at the same tournament, the Bluejays handed Calvin one of its three losses on the season.
Calvin received 14 kills in the win from Maggie Kamp while Ellie Diepersloot had nine kills and Emily Crowe and Megan Rietema six kills apiece. Rietema added 29 assists and seven digs while Maggie Kamp and freshman Laura Danhoff each had one block solo and three block assists.
Calvin completed the weekend with a 4-0 record, defeating four nationally-ranked teams along the way.
Head coach Amber Warners had only good things to say about her team's play over the weekend saying, "We got into a mindset of playing one point at a time. We started forgetting about previous plays, not worrying about the plays ahead of us and really playing in the moment. Moving forward we are going to take a lot of confidence from this weekend." When asked who stood out during this tournament she responded, "No one in particular stood out; just great play from the whole team all week is what really made the difference."
The Knights will return to action on Tuesday, October 15 against MIAA opponent Trine at home in the Van Noord Arena, that match will take place at 6:30 p.m.