Nov. 13, 2009

HOLLAND, MI. - Calvin College's 2009 campaign came to an end Friday night at Hope's DeVos Fieldhouse as the Knights were defeated by Hope 25-18, 25-23, 25-22. Calvin concludes its season at 28-7 while seeing its eight-match streak come to an end. All seven of Calvin's defeats during the 2009 season came against ranked opponents.

Playing in front of a crowd of more than 2,400 fans, the sixth-ranked Flying Dutch came out with energy early on and had Calvin playing back on its heels early on.

Calvin fought back in set two, leading 19-18 but Hope countered with a 7-4 run capped off by a kill by Teresa Borst to close out the set two win.

In set three, Calvin grabbed a 13-9 lead but Hope scored four of the next five points to tie the set at 14. Calvin later held an 18-16 lead and a 20-18 lead but Hope proceeded to rip off five unanswered points with the final point in the run coming on a kill by Sara DeWeerdt off a lengthy rally. Back-to-back Hope errors allowed the Knights to creep to within 23-22 but a Calvin error and a kill by Hope's Cassidy Bulthuis concluded the set and the match.

The victory came six days after Calvin had upset Hope in the MIAA Tournament final on Hope's DeVos Fieldhouse Floor.

"Last week we played better and tonight they played better," said Calvin head coach Amber Warners after the match. "When you have two good teams, sometimes that's the way it goes. I want to give a lot of credit to Hope. They are a very talented team."

Hope's serve and serve receive game played a big difference in the final outcome said Warners. "I thought their serve/serve receive game was very good and ours was not," said Warners. "They kept us off balance with their serves and they passed very well with their serve receive game. When their serve receive game is on like it was tonight, they are a very difficult team to beat because they have so many talented hitters."

Calvin was led in defeat by sophomore Rebecca Kamp (Orland Park, IL/Chicago Christian HS) with 14 kills while sophomore Erin Vander Plas (Cadillac/McBain Northern Michigan Christian HS) had nine kills and a .280 attack percentage.

"I thought we had the desire and the effort tonight," said Vander Plas in a post-match press conference. "I think Hope was just better. I want to give credit to them. They hit very hard and around our block. They played well."

Closing out their careers for Calvin on Friday were seniors Kelsey Sears (Traverse City/Traverse City West HS), Katie Corbett (St. Joseph/Stevensville-Lakeshore HS), Sara Kramer (Dyer, IN/Illiana Christian HS), Rachel DeYoung (Hudsonville/Unity Christian HS) and Nora Bruskewitz (Milwaukee, WI/Milwaukee Lutheran HS).

Sears had 14 digs in her final match while Bruskewitz had 27 assists and DeYoung one kill and one assist. Corbett also had six digs, two assists and one service ace.

"We're going to miss our seniors," said Warners. "This team has had a chemistry that has been unmatched. It has been a wonderful team to coach."

Calvin will return the bulk of its roster which includes two juniors, seven sophomores and seven freshmen. "We have a talented group returning next year," said Warners. "We're already looking forward to next season."