Last Saturday Hope’s volleyball team, ranked 13 in the NCAA, played rival Calvin College, ranked first in the NCAA. This was the 99th match between the rival colleges, led by Calvin with a record of 68-30 among the games. The Flying Dutch put up a strong fight on Saturday after losing the first two sets to the Knights, forcing the game to a fifth after winning the third and fourth sets.
Calvin came out on top, winning the game 3-2. Head coach Becky Schmidt commented on the tight game. “As is often the case, these matches come down to serve and pass. When we were passing and serving tough, we were creating more opportunities for ourselves and making it a little bit harder for Calvin to attack into our defense.” The loss brings Hope’s MIAA record to 1-1 and the season record to 11-2 overall.
Hope had some five point runs throughout the sets, led by sophomore setter Adair Cutler and freshmen Ana Grunewald, helping the team take two sets victoriously. Cutler contributed five aces and 22 assists in the game. Grunewald took 12 kills and 12 digs throughout the game, showing up strong for her first rivalry match. Schmidt “thought when Ana got in, she did a fantastic job of being able to mix up some of the shots we were giving them when we were out of a system.” She was followed by senior Katie Rietberg at 11 kills, freshman McKenna Otto at 10 kills and freshman Tracy Westra who had 9 kills and 15 assists. Hope fought well despite the loss, risking Calvin their undefeated season and nearly upsetting NCAA rankings.