Calvin Volleyball Topples Susquehanna and Ohio Northern on Day One of Midwest Invitational

Calvin Volleyball Topples Susquehanna and Ohio Northern on Day One of Midwest Invitational

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The No. 1 Calvin women's volleyball team opened up the Midwest Invitational with a pair of nonconference victories on Friday. The Knights swept Susquehanna University (25-7, 25-11, 25-13) in the afternoon before defeating No. 19 Ohio Northern 3-1 (25-13, 25-22, 25-14, 29-27). 

With the win, Calvin improves to 18-0 on the year. 

The six teams competing in the Midwest Invitational, hosted by Calvin, are No. 1 Calvin, Elmhurst, No. 16 Hope, No. 19 Ohio Northern, Susquehanna and No. 7 Thomas More. 

No. 1 Calvin vs. Susquehanna (25-7, 25-11, 25-13)

The Knights kicked off the weekend with a decisive 3-0 match victory over Susquehanna University on Friday afternoon. With the loss, the River Hawks fall to 17-8 on the year.

With the score tied at four early in the first set, Calvin used a five-point run to take an early lead and force a Susquehanna timeout. Out of the break, the Knights extended its scoring streak by seven points to lead 15-4 before the River Hawks called their second timeout of the set. Susquehanna came back with two quick points, but Calvin continued to roll to a 22-6 lead behind the serve of senior libero Keilahna Castillo (Grandville, Mich./Grandville). After a River Hawks side out, a kill-ace-kill sequence by the Knights earned the home team a 25-7 set win. 

In set two, Calvin used a 5-1 scoring run to build an 8-4 advantage. After an attack error, Calvin came back with a trio of kills to lead by six. The two teams exchanged points until the Knights staged a four-point run to claim a 16-8 lead and force a River Hawks timeout. With Calvin leading 19-11, senior Anna Kamp (Orland Park, Ill./Chicago Christian) put down a kill for a side out and closed out the second set from the serving line, lifting the Knights to a 25-11 victory.

Calvin continued to roll in set three as freshman Grace Kellogg (Belleville, Mich./Plymouth Christian Academy) served for eight straight points to give the Knights a commanding lead before Susquehanna halted the run with a timeout. After points on both sides, the Knights used three straight kills to hold an 15-4 lead, courtesy of Kamp, Kellogg and freshman Anna Schriemer (Vickburg, Mich./Vicksburg). The River Hawks shaved the deficit down to seven points, but Calvin shut down any chance of a comeback, closing out the set and match with a five-point run.

Kamp led Calvin in two categories, finishing with 12 blocks and 12 digs. Freshman Kelsey Smith (Vienna, Va./Madison) swung for a .571 hitting percentage to earn eight kills, while junior Sarah DeVries (Grand Rapids, Mich./Northpointe Christian) added six kills. Schriemer pumped out a game-high 13 assists, while freshman Ellie Westrate (Sun Prairie, Wisc./Lakeside Lutheran) dished out 10 assists. Castillo, Kellogg and Schriemer logged eight digs apiece. 

The Knights held the River Hawks to a -.060 hitting percentage in the winning effort.

No. 1 Calvin vs. No. 19 Ohio Northern (SCORES)

In its second match of the day, Calvin picked up a four-set victory over No. 19 Ohio Northern University. The Knights won the first two sets before dropping a set to the Polar Bears and then winning the fourth set in extra points.

Calvin took an early lead in set one, using a four-point run to break out of a 4-4-tie and force a Ohio Northern timeout. The Polar Bears sided out after the timeout, but Calvin came back to build a seven-point lead behind the serve of Sarah DeVries. Ohio Northern began to find its groove, but Calvin maintained its lead, answering every Polar Bear point. After two back-to-back points, Calvin led 19-11 and Ohio Northern took its second timeout. The Knights claimed three straight points out of the break to lead by 11 and went on the take a 25-13 set-one win.

The Knights pulled ahead 8-3 in set two as DeVries put down four straight kills. After calling timeout, Ohio Northern surged to cut the Knights' lead to two points and force a Calvin timeout. The Polar Bears came within one point of the Knights before Anna Kamp hammered down back-to-back kills to spark Calvin's offense. Kamp earned two more kills to help the Knights go up 19-15 before Ohio Northern called its second timeout. Unwilling to go down without a fight, the Polar Bears made it a two-point set on three separate occasions before bringing the score to 22-21, still in favor of the Knights. The comeback effort fell short, however, as Kelsey Smith and Kamp answered with kills for Calvin, and the Knights held off Ohio Northern with a 25-22 victory.

The Polar Bears came out strong in the third set, building an 11-6 lead before Calvin used a timeout. Out of the break, Ohio Northern continued roll, capitalizing on Calvin errors to earn a 16-9 advantage and force a second Knights' timeout. The Polar bears extended their lead to ten points, and Calvin was unable to recover as Ohio Northern took a 25-14 third-set victory.

The fourth set was closely contested as Calvin looked to close out the match and Ohio Northern battled to stay alive. Trailing 9-7, two straight kills by Smith knotted the score. The Knights pulled ahead 13-11 before Ohio Northern called timeout to break up the momentum. After points on both sides, the Polar Bears were the first to reach twenty, holding a two-point lead. Calvin called two timeouts late in the set as Ohio Northern capitalized off of errors by the Knights to lead 22-18. Kamp stepped up for the Knights, putting down back-to-back kills to keep Calvin alive. After a timeout by the Polar Bears, junior Ally Fea (Mechanicsburg, Pa./Mechanicsburg) and sophomore Courtney Vanderhoning (Byron Center, Mich./South Christian) came up with two big blocks to tie the set at 23. The set was tied at 24, 25, 26 and 27 before Smith delivered two straight kills to give Calvin the set and match victory.

Smith and Kamp led the Knights with 15 kills apiece. Kamp also led the Knights with 18 digs. DeVries finished with 14 kills and 11 assists. Schriemer had a team-high 22 assists, while Westrate posted 16. Castillo and Kellogg had 13 and 10 digs, respectively.

The Knights are back in action tomorrow for day two of the Midwest Invitational. Calvin faces Elmhurst at 11 a.m. and then No. 7 Thomas More at 3:30 p.m.