ELMHURST, Il. - Calvin picked up an important pair of non-conference road wins over regionally-ranked opponents on Saturday at the Elmhurst Invitational, defeating Carthage in four sets and Aurora in five sets.
After defeating nationally-ranked Wisconsin-Whitewater Friday night, Calvin came back just over 12 hours later to face Carthage. The Knights defeated the Lady Reds 25-21, 25-23, 21-25, 25-19.
The Knights then came back to defeat Aurora in a five-set thriller, winning by scores of 21-25, 21-25, 25-23, 25-17, 17-15.
Calvin is now 23-1 overall heading into its final week of regular season play.
In the win over Carthage (17-8), Calvin recorded 10 service aces with six different players recording at least one ace.
Senior Anna Kamp (Orland Park, Il./Chicago Christian HS) led Calvin with 17 kills, 10 digs and one ace. Junior Sarah DeVries (Grand Rapids, Mich./Northpointe Christian HS) had 10 kills, 30 assists, five blocks and two aces.
Freshman Grace Kellogg (Belleville, Mich./Plymouth Christian Academy) tallied three kills, nine digs and one ace. Freshman Anna Schriemer (Vicksburg, Mich./Vicksburg HS) had eight assists and three aces.
The Knights then came from behind in the win over Aurora, overcoming a 2-0 sets deficit. The victory marked Calvin's sixth five-set match of the season. The Knights are now 5-1 in five-set matches this season.
Calvin remained alive in the match by overcoming a 22-21 deficit in set three by ripping off a 4-1 run with Kellogg collecting two key kills down the stretch. After winning set four, the Knights pulled out a dramatic set five win. Calvin jumped out to a 9-5 lead but fell behind 13-11. Calvin led 14-13 but was unable to close out the match. Aurora (18-6) had a match point at 15-14 but could not seal the win. The Knights followed with the next three points with Kamp, DeVries and Kellogg pounding home kils to wrap up the win.
DeVries had a huge match with 18 kills, 34 assists and eight digs. Kamp had 18 kills and 12 digs. Kellogg amassed 13 kills and nine digs. Sophomore Courtney Vanderhoning (Byron Center, Mich./South Christian HS) stepped up to deliver seven kills and three block assists. Castillo had 19 digs.
Freshman Ellie Weststrate (Sun Prairie, Wisc./Lakeside Lutheran HS) picked up 21 assists and six digs.
"We played three very good opponents this weekend," said Calvin women's volleyball coach Amber Warners. "I was proud of our players for playing with a lot of grit and determination. They were three very hard-fought matches. We are grateful to the Calvin community, particularly those from the Chicago area, for coming out and supporting us. We had the most fan support in the gym all weekend and it made a big difference for our team."
Calvin will now prepare to travel to Olivet for a 6:30 p.m. conference match next Wednesday.