HOLLAND, Mich. -- Maggie Kamp plays better when she’s mad.
And she was mad Saturday night.
Kamp, Calvin College’s 6-foot-2 sophomore left-side hitter, was mad because her Knights trailed Cal Lutheran 2-0 in the NCAA III national championship volleyball match at Hope’s DeVos Fieldhouse.And the 10-minute break between the second and third sets only gave Kamp time think. She thought it was time to act. A first-team All-American, Kamp had 27 kills in Saturday night’s championship match, 19 of which came in the three sets following that break, three sets that the Knights won on their way to the national title.
“Sometimes I want to light a fire under her,” Knights coach Amber Warners said. “When she had that drive, when she gets ticked off, that’s how she plays. Now we’re just working on that consistency. She has improved a ton in the last year.”
For her efforts in Saturday night’s five-set victory and the remainder of the championship tournament, Kamp was named the finals Most Outstanding Player.
The fourth of four sisters who have played volleyball at Calvin, Kamp was a member of last year’s Knights squad that lost the national championship match in five sets to St. Thomas (Minn.) after leading 2-0. “Coming from last year, after losing in five after winning the first two sets, I knew that we could do it,” Kamp said Saturday night. “I never doubted that our team had it in us.”
The Knights had five other championship points and survived a Cal Lutheran Championship point at 16-15, before claiming the fifth set 20-15. “I love those high-intensity moments and I love getting the ball and I love being able to put it away,” she said. “This is what we play volleyball for, the big moments, and I love that.
“And I do play better when I’m pretty mad. After those first two I was pretty pissed off, but we came back and took it to them.”
Kamp’s oldest sister, Rebecca, who graduated from Calvin in 2012, led the Knights to the 2010 national championship and was the 2011 Player of the Year. Lizzie Kamp, who now is an assistant to Warners, was the Player of the Year in 2012. Stacey Kamp, who now is a junior hitter on the Calvin roster, was named the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association Player of the Week after leading the Knights to this year’s conference tournament championship. A fifth Kamp sister is still deciding on whether or not to attend Calvin.
“It’s pretty special to be able to share this with 16 other girls, and when one of them is your sister it is that much cooler,“ Maggie Kamp said. “All of my teammates are like my sisters, though. It is special to have family members on the team, but it’s just as cool having best friends who are just like sisters.“