Calvin Falls in Four-Set Thriller at Chicago in Nationally-Ranked Showdown

Calvin Falls in Four-Set Thriller at Chicago in Nationally-Ranked Showdown

CHICAGO, Il. - In a meeting of nationally-ranked teams, sixth-ranked Chicago toppled top-ranked Calvin 28-26, 28-26, 25-27, 27-25. The loss was the first of the year for the Knights who fell to 9-1 while Chicago improves to 10-1 on the year.

Calvin had set points in sets, one, two and four but could not put the host Maroons. The Knights forced a set four with a strong comeback in set three, overcoming a 23-18 deficit.

In set one, Calvin moved out to a 16-10 lead but Chicago rallied back with five unanswered points. Calvin later led 22-20 but Chicago forged a 23-22 lead. Calvin came to take leads of 24-23, 25-24 and 26-25 but could not put Chicago away. The Maroons closed out the set with three final points, using a kill, a Calvin attack error and a Calvin ball handling error to claim the win.

In set two, Calvin fell behind 20-17 but answered with a 7-3 run to take a 24-23 lead with senior Sarah DeVries (Grand Rapids, Mich./Northpointe Christian HS) serving up an ace to put the Knights within a point of victory. Chicago answered and then forced Calvin to fight off a pair of set points before finally closing out the second set on a Calvin attack error.

Chicago appeared poised for the three-set sweep, building a 23-18 advantage before the Knights rattled off six straight points to take a 24-23 lead. Chicago fought off two Calvin set points before DeVries was able to pound home back-to-back kills to give the Knights the 27-25 set three win.

In set four, Calvin led 23-21 only to see Chicago score the next two points. After a Calvin timeout, the Knights got a kill from sophomore Kelsey Smith (Vienna, Va./Madison HS) to take a 24-23 lead, forcing the Maroons to use their final timeout.

Chicago scored a pair of points out of the timeout including an ace that tipped off the tape and fell to the floor in front of the Calvin defense. Another kill by Smith tied the set at 25 but a service error by the Knights and a Chicago block on an attack through the middle gave the Maroons the final two points they would need to seal the match.

DeVries notched her first triple-double of the season, amassing 21 kills, 20 assists and 10 digs to go with four block assists. Smith had 10 kills as did freshman Heidi Westra (Clarendon Hills, Il./Timothy Christian HS) with Westra also serving up four aces. Sophomore Anna Schriemer (Vicksburg, Mich./Vicksburg HS) had 27 assists, 20 digs and three service aces.

Freshman Aubrey Wrubel (Jenison, Mich./Jenison HS) tallied a career-high 27 digs from her libero spot while also collecting a pair of service aces.

Calvin had 13 service aces on the evening. The Knights also had 14 service errors.

Calvin hit a season-low .192 as a team while Chicago hit at a .239 clip. As a team, Chicago dug up 97 balls.

COACHES COMMENT: "Congratulations to Chicago," said Calvin head women's volleyball coach Amber Warners. "They played very well and had some incredible results from their defense. I thought we fought very hard. We made some critical mistakes at key times so we will be working hard to improve on that."

NEXT UP: Calvin will travel to Trine on Saturday for a triangular. The Knights will face Bluffton at 2 p.m. and then meet Trine at 4 p.m. in a non-conference match.