HOLLAND, Mich. – The No. 1 Knights took sole-possession of first place in the MIAA with a 3-0 victory at No. 6 Hope on Wednesday night. The Knights swept the Flying Dutch, 25-20, 25-21, 29-27. Calvin improves to 13-0 on the year and 7-0 in the MIAA and Hope falls to 13-2 and 6-1 in MIAA play. The Knights have now swept Hope in four-straight matches. Calvin improves to 63-29 all-time against Hope and 8-7 all-time against Hope in DeVos Fieldhouse. The Knights are now 3-0 in 2016 against top-10 competition.
"I am so proud of the team," said head coach Amber Warners. "I thought it was a hard fought match. Hope did a great job; they did a good job receiving our serve today, better than most teams. I am just really proud of how we responded tonight. I was happy with our composure, especially in the third set when things got tight. Everyone on the team digs in the trenches together and it is very humbling. This team has jelled right from the beginning. They would do anything for each other."
The Knights jumped on the Flying Dutch early in the first set. Calvin took a 6-1 lead behind the serve of junior Emily Blankespoor (Grand Rapids, Mich./South Christian). Hope would chip away at the lead until the 9-8 mark. Leading 11-10, Calvin would get some separation with a 10-3 run, anchored by three kills by senior Laura Danhoff (Willard, Ohio/Willard). The Knights took the first set, 25-20. Calvin had three service aces in the first set, including two from Laura Danhoff.
The Knights and Flying Dutch would exchange the lead in the second set, until the set was tied at nine. Junior Tessa Van Laare (Toronto, Ontario/Toronto District Christian) broke the tie with a kill. Calvin would not look back from there and would push the lead to four at the 23-19 mark and the 25-21 mark. The Knights had a hitting percentage of .314 in the second set. Four Knights had three or more kills in the second set, led by Laura Danhoff with five.
"Tonight was a great team win," said Danhoff. "It is always fun to play Hope. We came together today and beat a really good Hope team. Everyone did their part and I am really proud of how we came together today."
After trailing 0-3, Calvin responded with an 8-0 run behind the serve of Emily Blankespoor to take an 8-3 lead in the third set. The Flying Dutch would not go away and would tie the at 12. With the set tied at 16, the serve of junior Kristen Vyletel (Ann Arbor, Mich./Huron) helped push Calvin to a 19-16 lead. Hope would tie the set at 20 and the two teams would exchange points and would tie the set until Hope took a 25-24 lead. Laura Danhoff tied the set at 25 with a kill from junior Jenna Lodewyk (Villa Park, Ill./Timothy Christian). Hope would take the lead again at 26-25 and would then have an attacking error to tie the set once again at 26. After fighting off another Hope set point, Calvin would take the lead at 28-27 with a kills from sophomore Anna Kamp (Orland Park Ill./Chicago Christian). Laura Danhoff would end the game with a service, to take the set, 29-27.
Laura Danhoff finished the match with a game-high 15 kills. Tessa Van Laare and Anna Kamp both finished with nine kills. Freshman Sarah DeVries (Grand Rapids, Mich./Northpointe Christian) recorded seven kills. Emily Blankespoor notched her first kill of the year in the second set. Jenna Lodewyk had 33 assists in the win, freshman Ally Fea (Mechanicsburg, Pa./Mechanicsburg) had her first assist and dig at Calvin College on Wednesday. Calvin had seven service aces, including three from Laura Danhoff and two from Kristen Vyletel. Sarah DeVries and Laura Danhoff both finished with 1.5 blocks. Emily Blankespoor had a game-high 12 digs. The Knight held Hope to its lowest block total of the season and its second-lowest kills total at 35.