GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Calvin women's volleyball team defeated Wis.-Whitewater 25-23, 25-18, 28-30 and 25-17 in the NCAA Regional Semifinal on Friday night at Van Noord Arena.
The two teams exchanged points early in the first set. Calvin pulled ahead 13-9 behind the serve of freshman Grace Kellogg (Belleville, Mich./Plymouth Christian Academy). Wis.-Whitewater scored to make it a two-point game, but Calvin responded with three straight points to lead 17-12. The Warhawks took a 23-22 lead late in the set, but after a timeout, Calvin put down three straight points to take the set 25-23. Senior Anna Kamp (Orland Park, Ill./Chicago Christian) led the Knights with eight kills.
Early in the first set, the Knights went on a four-point run to lead 8-4, but the Warhawks responded back with a four-point run of their own to tie things up. The Knights pulled away late in the set and rolled to a 25-18 set victory.
The Warhawks didn't make it easy for the Knights the third set as they remained neck and neck. Both teams relentless to lose rallied back and forth until the Warhawks were able to close it out 30-28 to advance onto a fourth set.
Kellogg started out the fourth set serving as the Knights took a 3-0 lead. Wis.-Whitewater tightened things up but not for long as the Knights went on a 5-point run to take the lead 12-4. From that point on, Calvin eager to close out the match ran away with it to win 25-17.
Kamp led the Knights with 26 kills, 17 digs and a .282 attack percentage. Another leader for the Knights was Junior Sarah DeVries (Grand Rapids, Mich. / Northpointe Christian) who had 17 kills, 26 assists, 13 digs and a .364 attack percentage. Freshman Ellie Westrate (Sun Prairie, Wisc. / Lakeside Lutheran) had 20 assists and 10 digs. Senior Keilahna Castillo (Grandville, Mich. / Grandville) had 23 digs. Kellogg recorded 19 digs.
"I want to congratulate Whitewater," said Calvin women's volleyball coach Amber Warners. "They are a very solid team with a lot of offensive weapons. I thought they passed very well tonight and are a very tough opponent. I thought we came ready to play. Thought we played very consistent. They (Whitewater) stepped it up in the third set but I loved how we battled and didn't give up. I love how we responded in the fourth set."
Calvin reached its 30th win plateau with tonight's victory. This is the Knights ninth straight appearance in the NCAA Regional finals.
Calvin advances on to the NCAA Regional Final tomorrow at 7 p.m. against Wittenberg. The match will mark the seventh time the two teams will meet in the regional final.