Calvin volleyball to play in final rounds of national tourney this weekend


Photo by Elizabeth Mulcock.

Calvin’s women’s volleyball team returns yet again to the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) tournament this weekend for the third time in the last four years.

Thursday at 3 p.m., Calvin competes against U-Mass Boston in the quarterfinals at Hope’s DeVos Fieldhouse. The winner of the game will proceed to the semifinals on Friday at 5 p.m.

The championship game will be held Saturday at 7 p.m. between the last two remaining teams.

Calvin reached the championship match last year, but lost in five sets to St. Thomas of Minnesota.

“There’s pressure on every team,” said coach Amber Warners. “If we weren’t challenged last week in the regionals, it would have been harder to come through the pressure this week, but we focus on thriving in conditions under pressure.”

Calvin is ranked No. 1 (31-1) according to the NCAA, but coach Warners is careful not to let the rankings define the team.

“While we’re ranked number one, the other teams are going to be really good,” Warners said. “The ranking really doesn’t mean anything. It’s anyone’s game at this point. We’re going to give it our best shot and let the results happen.”

Thursday’s game will either cut the team out of the running for the national title or progress them into the semifinals.

“For our women, this is still just a game,” said Warners. “There’s a lot of exposure to the community and student body, but volleyball does not define us as people. The girls are here to be students and children of God first.”

“This weekend should be the most fun of the year,” Warners said.