Calvin University's official student newspaper since 1907

Calvin University Chimes

Since 1907
Calvin University's official student newspaper since 1907

Calvin University Chimes

Calvin University's official student newspaper since 1907

Calvin University Chimes

The rivalry: Calvin takes down Hope

Lauren Nyong
The student section was so large the box office started distributing overflow tickets.

The January 17 Calvin-Hope matchup game was highly anticipated this year and probably the best Calvin basketball game I’ve been to during my time at Calvin. 

The night before, Calvin Gameday hosted an event with pizza and games where student section tickets were distributed; the turnout was overwhelming. Students had to be at the Van Noord Arena early to ensure that they could get a student ticket for the game. 

“It was crazy,” junior Madelyn Helmus said about the box office. “I got there 10 minutes early and the line was fully wrapped around the inside of  Van Noord,” Helmus told Chimes.  

People who arrived even ten minutes late didn’t receive student section tickets and were instead placed in the overflow section. 

On the actual game day, the student section was nearly full 30 minutes before the game started, and fans still continued to pour in. Due to overflow, the student section did not guarantee seats in the section unless fans showed up early.

“I got there 10-15 minutes before the game started. It was packed but we were able to find seats,” said sophomore Taya Recchia.

 At tip-off, the arena was full and fans were on their feet and cheering. Although the game started slow, the energy in the arena was electric, and it appeared as if fans were emotionally invested in the game. The game was competitive; towards the end, the score got tight. Emotions were high when key players sophomore Owen Varnado and senior Uchenna Egekeze fouled out of the game. 

“It was loud, it was fun, the music was great, it was just a great vibe,” Recchia said.

“The environment[was] filled with team spirit and full of energy,” said junior, Chloe Koning. 

The rivalry game brought out individuals who don’t watch basketball or sports at all. “I don’t typically go to Calvin basketball games, but I had to show up for the rivalry,” said Koning. 

“I went with someone who knew nothing about sports,” Recchia said. “So I was explaining the whole thing to her and that was actually really fun and she loved it.”

Recchia notes that this rivalry game felt different compared to rivalry games in the past.  “It felt like all of the students were kind of included in the game. It wasn’t just us watching them,” Recchia said. “Everyone was really into it — even the players interacted with the fans so it was inclusive for everyone.” 

At the end of the game, Campus Safety informed the student section that they would not be allowed to storm the court after the win. Calvin shook hands with Hope after winning 69-61, and the team signaled for fans to rush onto the court to celebrate.  

One student section leader, junior Isaac Northouse, noted that the experience wasn’t just good for Calvin Basketball, but for Calvin University as a whole. 

“There were a lot of recruits and visitors there, and that builds a lot of ground for the university too … It excites the community a lot too.”

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