No. 10 Calvin Comes Back to Upset No. 3 Juniata College in NCAA Semifinals
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St. Louis, Mo., November 20, 2010 – No. 10 Calvin College erased a 2-0 deficit to come all the way back and defeat No. 3 Juniata College, 3-2 (14-25, 17-25, 25-23, 25-22, 15-12) in the 2010 NCAA Division III volleyball semifinals on Saturday, Nov. 20, at the Washington University Field House in St. Louis, Mo.
Calvin (31-4) advances to the national championship for the second time in program history and will face either No. 3 Washington University in St. Louis or No. 1 Emory University on Monday, Nov. 22. It is the first national final appearance for the Knights since 1986, when head coach Amber Warners was the team's starting setter.
The Knights trailed Juniata 0-2 and were down 16-8 in the third set before mounting a comeback that permanently changed the complexion of the match.
A Renee DeHann and Lizzie Kamp block of a Drew Barnhart shot cut Juniata’s lead to just two points in the third, and the Knights trailed by just one, 21-20, thanks to back-to-back kills from Megan Rietema and Lizzie Kamp.
Juniata’s Kelsey Fuller was blocked by Lizzie Kamp and DeHaan on the next play, resulting in a tie score, and the Knights used another kill from DeHaan to complete the comeback and retake the lead.
DeHaan had four kills to lead Calvin in its third-set win and the Knights attacked .412 as a team after hitting below .200 through the first two sets.
Rebecca Kamp led made sure the momentum stayed with the Knights to start the fourth set, tallying three kills and two blocks to help Calvin jump out to a 6-0 lead. Juniata survived the opening moments of the fourth and regained the lead with senior Kristin Noetzel registering three kills over a span of five points.
The Eagles (34-6) built a 17-13 lead before the see-saw fourth set swung back in the favor of Calvin. The Knights scored five-straight points to take a one-point lead. Juniata responded with a 3-0 run to briefly lead by two, but Calvin took advantage of several Juniata attack errors down the stretch to force a fifth-set.
Two-straight setter dumps from Juniata’s Steph Strauss helped the Eagles jump out to a 4-1 lead in the fifth, but Calvin retook a 6-5 lead following a Noetzel hitting error and led 8-7 at the switchover after Barnhart sent a serve into the net. Harpster sent a shot wide left on the next play DeHaan notched her ninth kill to put the Knights up by three, 10-7, and on their way to the national championship match.
Strong serving from Juniata powered the Eagles to a 2-0 lead early in the match. Barnhart registered six aces through the first two and a half sets but was unable to drop a serve in for a score again as Calvin shored up its passing to neutralize one of Juniata’s greatest team strengths. The Eagles finished with 16 aces compared to just four for the Knights, but a majority of those scores came in the first half of the match.
Rebecca Kamp had 17 kills and hit .389 to lead Calvin’s comeback, while Erin VanderPlas registered 13 kills for a .440 hitting percentage. Juniata saw four players reach double digit kills, and were led by Barnhart’s 19 kills, six aces and 12 digs, and Noetzel, who finished with 11 kills and a .450 hitting percentage.
Strauss was two kills shy of recording a triple double, with 53 assists, 17 digs and eight kills.