by Alan Babbitt
The 100th Hope College-Calvin College volleyball match brought out the biggest crowd to a NCAA Division III match this season.
The 15th-ranked Flying Dutch were denied in their bid to thrill their home fans as the top-ranked Knights took the rematch in three sets in front of 2,218 fans at DeVos Fieldhouse.
Hope's overall record dropped to 23-6 overall. The match did not count toward the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association standings.
Freshman middle hitter McKenna Otto of Wheaton, Illinois (Wheaton North HS) topped the Flying Dutch with 12 kills.
The Flying Dutch could not overcome 23 hitting errors and an .116 hitting percentage. Hope held the lead just twice - both times early in the second set.
Hope rallied from a 23-16 deficit during the second set to pull within a point at 24-23 on a kill from freshman setter Tracy Westra of Clarendon Hills, Illinois (Timothy Christian). Calvin's Anna Kamp ended the comeback with one of her 12 kills for set point.
Calvin (25-1) hit .231 for the match with just 14 hitting errors. The Knights lead the all-time series 70-30.
"There were some opportunities we didn't take advantage of. (Calvin) took advantage a lot of the opportunities they had. That was the match," head coach Becky Schmidt said. "I thought we were inconsistent in elements of our game that are pretty important: energy, communication and serve-receive, especially the serving game. We needed to be a lot more assertive with our serve.
"We need to take advantage of the opportunity we had tonight, learn from it and get better tomorrow."
Hope concludes the regular season on Saturday, October 27 with a 1 p.m. Senior Day match vs. Olivet College on the DeVos Fieldhouse main court. There will be a free team poster giveaway and an autograph session after the match.