By Crysta Paganelli
It is not uncommon to hear stories of younger siblings following in the footsteps of their older siblings when choosing a college to attend. However it's not often that you hear a story of five sisters who followed each other.
For the Kamp sisters, this was their reality. All five sisters chose careers at Calvin as a student and as an athlete with the women's volleyball program. With only a few days left in the 2018 volleyball season, the legacy will soon come to an end. Senior Anna Kamp is the last sister to come through Calvin and to say she has had remarkable journey at Calvin would be an understatement.
A native of Orland Park, Illinois, Kamp not only has been an outstanding volleyball player, but she has been an outstanding student. Kamp has been a Deans List honoree the past four years. As an athlete, she has been named All-American three times as well as AVCA Division III National Player of the year her junior year.
She is one of four Kamp sisters to receive the award as Rebecca (2011), Lizzie (2012) and Maggie (2014) were previously so honored. All five sisters have played key roles on national championship teams with the Calvin women's volleyball program. Rebecca and Lizzie were members of Calvin's 2010 national title team. Maggie and Stacey were members of Calvin's 2013 championship squad with Anna playing on Calvin's 2016 national title squad.
A graduate of Chicago Christian High School, Kamp is majoring in business with a human resource concentration and a minor in psychology. Her plan after graduation is to work in an HR consulting firm where she would be a consultant and outsource other different companies. One thing that will stick out to her is the class she took called Advance Topics and Human Resources. In the class, Kamp joined her classmates in a project where they created a development for inmates of a prison. These inmates were about to exit, so Calvin students had the opportunity to interview them and help with their resumes' so that they could sharpen their skills to find a job after prison.
When it came to make a decision on where to attend college, Anna was determined not to attend Calvin. Because her four older sisters all went to Calvin she really wanted to be her own individual person. After touring multiple colleges and universities and seeing what they had to offer, she changed her mind. At the end of the day Calvin was the one school that provided her with everything she wanted; a strong faith, strong academics, strong athletics and a balanced social life. It was the best fit for her.
Kamp's volleyball career has been an abundant part of her college years. Anna touched on how her experience has been the past four years. "When I think back on my college experience, the volleyball part is definitely one of the most positive things and it is one of the biggest parts of my college experience," she said. "I came in with expectations of it being really good because I just knew that it was a special program but everything that has happened has just exceeded my expectations. Just being a part of something that makes me feel so loved and supported has made me learn so much about who I am and who God is and how those two things work together in volleyball so it's just exceeded my expectations it's been an amazing experience."
As the baby of the family, Anna has grown up learning a lot from her older sisters Rebecca, Lizzie, Stacey and Maggie. "I have learned so much from my sisters and sometimes I think I take that for granted how much they have formed and shaped who I am and my character," said Anna. "I think that each of them are amazing women and I've been so blessed with the opportunity to see the role model of four different people and how they handle different struggles and how we go through different things."
Life in the Kamp house was always hectic growing up between school, sports and social life said Anna. Having a go-go mentality has taught her Anna time management skills however that she has used as a collegiate student-athlete.
Watching her older sisters play volleyball is what got Anna hooked. "I remember just going and watching their volleyball games and every stage of my life I could kind of see what the next stage would be," she said. "It was always fun envisioning myself being a varsity volleyball player in high school and then moving onto college."
Along with her sisters, Anna has been blessed with two other very important people in life her parents Bert and Lori. Although Bert and Lori leave nearly three hours away in the suburbs of Chicago, they have supported their daughters tremendously.
"I don't know if anyone has ever watched as many D3 volleyball as a parent as they have," said Anna. "I think that the way they make it so special for each individual daughter has been awesome. They have never put any pressure on any of us to go to Calvin even or be the kind of person that our older sister is so I think that their support means the absolute world to me and having them come to games and drive up and even drive to random places like Greencastle, Indiana, to watch some volleyball is really meaningful and I love the effort they have made to make it special for all of us."
Head Coach Amber Warners has had a tremendous impact on Anna. Playing for a coach that has cared more about the process and forming individual young ladies for Christ than that outcomes of games has been one of the biggest lessons she taught. "She has always reminded us that there are always some situations that we cannot control the outcome and I think that's so relatable to life," said Anna. "There are so many things out of your control but how you respond to them and how you trust the process in that is what life is all about. Coach has just done an amazing job forming me and instructing my thought process in a positive way."
Kamp would like to thank Coach Warners for everything she has done for her. "I thank her for trusting me and allowing me to become a captain and take ownership of my role," said Anna. "I also thank her for giving me the opportunities that have formed me into who I am. I also send out a big thank you for all the time and effort she has poured into thinking about me and developing me and just making me who I am."
A SPECIAL PLACE
As Kamp wraps up her time as a collegiate volleyball player, she looks back on all the things she has enjoyed most. Having a community on campus that feels like a family is something that meant a lot to her. Being a part of the volleyball team, it has given her the opportunity to form deep relationships and gain lifelong friends.
There is much Anna will miss.
"I'm going to miss just being on a mission with a group of women that are so supportive and kind of having that family home base around here and I'm definitely going to miss home games and having the support of friends and family," she said. "I will miss the things outside of volleyball but I'll also really miss the volleyball because this is my last chance to play volleyball at this high of a level."
To all of Anna's teammates she leaves behind some advice. "Just take it one step at a time, never think that you're too busy to hang out in the locker room or go to dinner with the team and really listen to what coach has to say because she a genius and never miss an opportunity to serve your teammates because they can teach you a lot and really help you grow."