GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- For the fourth consecutive year, Calvin has advanced to the NCAA III Regional finals. The Knights advanced to the regional final in similar fashion, once again defeating Mount Union in a five-set second round thriller at Van Noord Arena. A year ago, Calvin defeated the Purple Raiders in five sets, winning by scores of 25-12, 23-25, 25-21, 24-26, 15-6. On Friday, Calvin won in much the same way, winning by scores of 25-11, 23-25, 25-20, 23-25, 15-8.
Top-ranked Calvin (31-1) will meet Wittenberg (25-8) in the regional final Saturday night. It marks the fourth consecutive year that the two teams will meet in the regional final with Calvin winning in 2010 and 2012 and Wittenberg winning in 2011.
In its win against Mount Union Friday night, Calvin rolled through set one, hitting at a .371 clip. The Knights then led 22-17 in set two only to see the Purple Raiders rip off six unanswered points to take a 23-22 lead. Calvin tied the set at 23 but Mount Union scored the next two points to even the match.
After a set three win, the Knights went for the win in set four but committed five service errors in the set to fall behind 18-13. Calvin rallied to within a point at 24-23 but a kill by Mount Union’s Taylor Webb closed out the set and forced a deciding set five.
Mount Union (31-5) grabbed a 5-4 lead in set five but the Knights went on to rip off a 9-1 lead to build a 13-6 lead. A pair of attack errors by Mount Union allowed Calvin to claim the final two points.
Calvin senior setter Megan Rietema tallied her first collegiate triple-double in the win, recording 11 kills, 46 assists and 16 digs. Sophomore Maggie Kamp came up with a match-high 24 kills for the Knights to go with 13 digs. Juniors Emily Crowe and Ellie Diepersloot had 11 and 10 kills respectively for the Knights. Senior libero Kristen Zietse had a career-high 33 digs for the Knights.