Nov. 22, 2010

DIII Sidebar: Calvin's Megan Rietema Shines


By Jim Faasen
Special to

ST. LOUIS - The Calvin College Knights got off to a fast start and didn't look back Monday in winning the NCAA Division III women's volleyball championship at the field house on the campus of Washington University, for the Knights' first DIII title in program history.

Coach Amber Warners' squad took control early - with a .609 kill percentage in the first set - and stayed in control in its 25-14, 25-20, 19-25, 25-23 win over Emory.

"I think that there are many people that doubted that we had the chance to win the match today," Warners said. "There were 22 people that walked into the gym today that believed they could do it. They not only played like they could but they went out and did it."

In the first game, Calvin opened as much as a 10-point lead. A Renee DeHaan kill made it 23-13, then Kelly Peterson's service ace ended the game at 25-14. DeHaan had five kills and Erin Vander Plas four.

In the second game, Emory had a brief lead early before Calvin's Megan Rietema capped a 3-0 run that put the Knights ahead to stay. Rietema scored with a back row tip that fooled the Emory defense and put the Knights ahead, 14-13, and they took the game, 25-20, on a Lizzie Kamp kill.

Rebecca Kamp, who had five kills in the second game and 11 for the match, was named the Most Outstanding Player of the tournament. Vander Plas had a team-high 13 kills while DeHaan added 12.

"We came here and no one just really gave us the credit we knew we deserved," Rebecca Kamp said. "We wanted to show everyone how good Calvin volleyball is and we did that. This award isn't for me; this was earned by the entire team. We were like 'let's show them what we can do.' "

Emory clawed its way back into the match with a 25-19 win in the third set. A Breanah Bourque/Jessica McAlvany block keyed a 3-0 run to put the Eagles up, 10-6. Later in the game, Ana Ramirez had a kill and a service ace to end the game and extend the match.

In the final game, Emory pushed Calvin to the limit, threatening to force a decisive fifth game. But with the game tied at 23, Rietema scored on consecutive tip kills to clinch the title for Calvin.

"This feels awesome," said Rietema, who was named to the all-tournament team. "But it would not have been possible without the team."