Tuesday night saw the top two teams in Division III volleyball square-off in Van Noord Arena. Calvin entered the night with the #1 ranking and a 12-0 record, while the Flying Dutch of Hope were just recently ranked #2 as it also held a 12-0 record.
The Knights, defending their top ranking, defeated Hope in straight sets by scores of 25-17, 25-21, 28-26. Calvin has now won eight consecutive matches against Hope dating back to 2010.
Feeding off a boisterous Calvin crowd, the Knights took set one 25-17, with sophomore Maggie Kamp tallying five kills and senior Kristin Zietse adding 10 digs. The Knights held momentum from the beginning, leading 10-6 early on and utilizing eight attack errors by the Flying Dutch to take the first set.
In set two, Hope jumped out to a 7-3 lead. After a Calvin timeout, the Knights rallied to tie the game at 12-12, aided by a pair of Hope errors. Four straight points by Calvin allowed them to take a 16-12 lead, which it would not relinquish. The Knights took set two 25-21.
Set three was tied early 8-8. Six straight points by Calvin gave the Knights a 14-6 lead and a lot of momentum. Calvin held the eight point margin until 19-11 when Hope called a timeout. The Flying Dutch responded with four straight points, bringing the score to 19-15 and forcing Calvin into a timeout. Hope continued its run after the Knights timeout, tying Calvin at 24-24.
Errors on both sides saw the momentum swing back-and-forth before Calvin won two straight points, a kill by freshman Laura Danhoff and a kill by Rietema to take the third and final set, 28-26.
Maggie Kamp paced the Knights with 16 kills while Danhoff added eight and junior Ellie Diepersloot seven. Rietema tallied 31 assists and 12 digs while Zietse finished with 21 digs.
Hope had 13 service errors on the game.
"I thought we came in and served really aggressively in a high pressure situation, and if you had to pinpoint one difference in the match, I think that is what it was," said head coach Amber Warners. "I'm extremely happy with how tough we held, even when it got tight in the third set – those are growing moments and we need those moments to get better."
Calvin is now 13-0 and 5-0 in the MIAA while Hope moves to 12-1 overall and 3-1 in conference play.
The Knights now look forward to Saturday when they will travel to Saint Mary's to play the Belles. Saturday's contest is scheduled to start at noon.