Volleyball on a roll: 20 straight sets

Photo+courtesy+calvin.edu

Photo courtesy calvin.edu

Calvin Knight’s Volleyball, which was ranked number one in the nation in a preseason poll, won 20 straight sets from Sept. 8 to [look up last match]; six of those wins occurred this past weekend in Illinois.

The ranking came after winning a national championship, but the team is not allowing last year’s victories to make them complacent.

“What happened last year was so incredible, but it’s in the past, and it’s a new year with new goals to accomplish. We have a new team so were discovering what works best for us, one point at a time,” said junior Maggie Kamp.

With a new year comes new teammates. Among them is first-year setter Jenna Lodewyk who has provided her teammates with 293 assists in 24 sets so far this season.

Maggie Kamp was “pleasantly surprised” with how quickly the team was able to “gel” with their new setter.  Maggie Kamp currently leads the Knights with 114 kills.

“A lot of practice and communication went into connecting with new hitters. Taking reps, learning the hitters’ tendencies and adjusting accordingly has made everyone more comfortable,” said Lodewyk.

She acknowledged the encouragement of Calvin fans, coaches and players as having an impact on the transition.

Senior Stacey Kamp has experienced four years’ worth of different teammates now and can sense the team is successfully building good chemistry.

“Every year we start a whole new team with the incoming freshman which develops a unique personality for the year. That is what makes each year fun, special and memorable,” she added.

Stacey Kamp credits the first tournament of the season and spending time together off the court for creating the chemistry within the team. The first day of the Clarkson Classic on August 29th was the last time the Knights tasted defeat. They were forced to the full five with host team Clarkson. Stacey Kamp reflected:

“It is always good to… get rid of nerves and also to start seeing what we can work on to excel as a team.  We went to five sets with Clarkson which was a great experience to not only play a really good team, but also to get our first five set match out of the way and learn to stay mentally and physically though throughout the whole match.”

The Knights were back in action Wednesday against Kalamazoo and will head to Wittenberg for the Wittenberg Fall Classic Sept. 12.  Their next home game is September 19 against Adrian.