The Calvin College volleyball team emerged victorious in a five-set roller-coaster against Wittenberg Nov. 10 in a Regional Final of the 2018 NCAA Division III Volleyball Championship to advance to the final eight for the seventh time in the last nine years.
After the re-seeding of the final eight teams, the Knights will challenge Aurora in the 12:30 p.m. contest of the National Quarterfinals Thursday, Nov. 15 in Pittsburgh, Pa., at the A.J. Palumbo Center on the campus of Duquesne University. Should Calvin advance, the Knightw sill play Friday, Nov. 16 at 5 p.m. against either UW-Eau Claire or Babson; the National Championship will be contested Saturday, Nov. 17 at 7 p.m.
Calvin (31-1) needed five to outlast Wittenberg, posting a 16-14 win in the decisive set to hoist the Regional trophy. In what may have been an omen to the challenging contest ahead, Wittenberg took the first set 25-22 by winning the final eight points. But the Knights were undeterred, and even after a 25-15 fourth set tied the contest at 2-2, Calvin persevered and won four of the final five points to advance. Anna Kamp had a match best 18 kills to go with 26 digs and seven blocks.
Against UW-Whitewater Nov. 9, the Knights held the Warhawks to just .118 hitting while Kamp blasted 26 kills in the four-set win. Sarah DeVries led the block party with eight of Calvin's 18 blocks, including three solo efforts; DeVries finished with a triple-double of 17 kills, 26 assists, and 13 digs.
The Knights started their journey with a 3-0 sweep of Greenville Nov. 8. Calvin hit an impressive .349 in the match, with Kelsey Smith leading the way with eight kills to no errors on 13 attempts. Keilahna Castillo had 10 of Calvin's 38 digs.
Hope (26-7) was unable to make good on 15 blocks and nine aces in a five-set setback to DePauw in the First Round Nov. 8. Hope was able to take a 2-1 lead after winning sets 2 and 3 by scores of 25-23 and 25-21, but DePauw tied it up with a 25-23 fourth-set win and finishing with a 15-9 score in the fifth. Hope's Grace Ditzenberger finished with 11 blocks while Katie Rietberg and McKenna Otto each tallied 12 kills.