Head coach Becky Schmidt liked how her Hope College volleyball team executed more often in the rematch with rival Calvin College Tuesday.
Despite playing in front of a partisan road crowd of 1,859, the Flying Dutch showed flashes of realizing their potential before falling in three sets to the fourth-ranked Knights 25-14, 26-24, 25-16.
"Tonight was a little different. Calvin was in system more often. In the second set, we were in system a lot more often. You saw the hitting percentages reflect that," Schmidt said. "When teams were in system, they were kind of having their way with the defense. We need to find ways to get in system more."
The loss dropped Hope to 17-10 overall and 11-4 in Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association play.
The Flying Dutch still clinched the No. 2 seed in next week's MIAA Tournament at regular-season champion Calvin after Albion College lost to Kalamazoo College in four sets on Tuesday. Saint Mary's (9-6 MIAA), Albion (8-6 MIAA) and Trine (7-7) are battling for the final spot.
Hope plays at Albion in Saturday's regular-season finale.
Junior Vanessa Reynhout of Freeport, Michigan (Lakewood HS) recorded eight kills to lead the Flying Dutch against Calvin (22-3, 14-0 MIAA).
Senior Paige Baker of Encinitas, California (La Costa Canyon) made seven kills with a team-best .312 hitting percentage.
The Flying Dutch produced nine more kill attempts than Calvin, but committed 11 more hitting errors. The Knights also served 12 aces to Hope's three.
"You got to be able to put balls down when the passes aren't great. We're struggling to do that right now," Schmidt said. "Credit to Calvin's defense. They did a nice job of making that difficult for us. Their back and their defense were good.
"We were a little closer to things in our control than the last time we played. We've got to find ways to execute on that."