CEDAR RAPIDS, Ia. - The 2019 season came to an end for the Calvin women's volleyball team but not without a spirited comeback effort. The Knights fell to Trinity University of Texas in a national quarterfinal Thursday evening by scores of 25-21, 20-25, 19-25, 24-26, 15-9.
After dropping the opening two sets, Calvin (27-3) came back for wins in sets three and four and held a 6-5 lead in set five.
Trinity (37-4) came back with a 4-0 run on three kills and a service ace to take a 9-6 lead. Calvin was unable to get closer than two points the rest of the set as the Tigers closed out the match on a 6-2 run with the match sealed with a service ace - one of four that Trinity served up in the pivotal fifth set.
Trinity kept Calvin off-balance with accurate and aggressive serves, accumulating 13 service aces while committing only three service errors in the five-set win. Calvin had nine service aces but committed 13 service errors overall.
The Knights hit .277 as a team and notched attack percentages above .300 in three of the five sets.
Trinity featured three players in double-digits in kills with Emily Ellis notching 15 kills, Avery Tuggle 13 kills and Sarah Williammee 10 kills.
Calvin was paced by senior Sarah DeVries (Grand Rapids, Mich./Northpointe Christian HS) who concluded her career with a triple-double - the 11th of her career and sixth of the season. DeVries finished the night with 25 kills, 28 assists, 12 digs and an attack percentage of .420 while throwing in five service aces as well. Freshman Heidi Westra (Clarendon Hills, Il./Timothy Christian HS) came up with a career-high 21 kills and a .392 hitting percentage. Freshman Aubrey Wrubel (Jenison, Mich./Jenison HS) had 23 digs, sophomore Anna Schriemer (Vicksburg, Mich./Vicksburg HS) 32 assists and sophomore Grace Kellogg (Belleville, Mich./Plymouth Christian Academy HS) 12 digs.
The Knights hit .306 in their set three win. In set four, Calvin fought off a 21-19 deficit as the Tigers committed three straight attack errors. With the set tied at 24, DeVries powered home a kill and then served up an ace to send the match to a set five.
DeVries concludes her career with 1,493 kills, 1,278 assists and 463 blocks. She ranks eighth on the Calvin career list in kills and assists and sixth in blocks.
Also wearing their Calvin uniform for the final time on Thursday for Calvin were seniors Abby Gorter (Woodbury, Mn./New Life Academy), Ally Fea (Mechanicsburg, Pa./Mechanicsburg HS) and Gabi Allread (Sylvan Lake, Mich./West Bloomfield HS).
COACHES COMMENT: "I was really proud of our fight. We never gave up," said Calvin women's volleyball coach Amber Warners. "It was a tough opening opponent for us. There were times we could have played better but I want to credit Trinity. They played very consistently for most of the match."
PLAYERS COMMENT: "I think Trinity came out really strong and hard," said Sarah DeVries. "They're a great team. One thing that took us off-guard was their blocking. I thought they blocked us really well. We struggled through the first set but we fought our way through it. They also dug up a lot of balls. They were a really scrappy team and a hard opponent to play against."
Over their four-year career, Calvin's senior class amassed an overall won-loss record of 123-10 that included four MIAA regular season titles, three MIAA Tournament crowns, four trips to the NCAA III Quarterfinals, three trips to the national semifinals, two trips to the national final and one national championship.