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Hope College Friday Roundup

by Carolyn Binder

CROSS COUNTRY

Second Hope Athlete Claims NCAA Elite 89 Award

Hope country runner Michelle Kerr has earned the school’s second NCAA Elite 89 Award in three days.

The junior from Dearborn (Divine Child HS) was honored Friday during the banquet for the NCAA Division III Women’s and Men’s Cross Country Championships in Hanover, Ind.

The Elite 89, an award founded by the NCAA, recognizes the true essence of the student-athlete by honoring the individual who has reached the pinnacle of competition at the national championship level in his or her sport, while also achieving the highest academic standard among his or her peers.

The Elite 89 is presented to the student-athlete with the highest cumulative grade-point average
participating at the finals site for each of the NCAA's 89 championships. All GPAs are based on a straight grading scale to ensure consistency among institutions.

Kerr joins volleyball player Jayne Kessel (2013) and women's swimmer Chelsea Wiese (2012) as Elite 89 winners at Hope.

Kerr is a nursing major.

“Michelle is a great example of what it means to be a D-III student-athlete,” Hope coach Mark Northuis said. “She excels in the classroom as a nursing major and has greatly improved as a runner. Last year she was an alternate on our NCAA team and this year she finished sixth for Hope in the regional meet.

“Her team-first attitude helps the whole team develop to their full potential, individually and corporately. She is a true joy to have at Hope College.”

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL

Flying Dutch Beat Hiram (Ohio), Stay Unbeaten

Maura McAfee made the most of her limited amount of time on the basketball court for Hope College.

The sophomore forward from Midland (Midland HS) posted her third consecutive double-double in just 15 minutes of an 84-57 over Hiram (Ohio) Friday at the Wisconsin Lutheran Paul F. Knueppel Classic.

McAfee collected a game-high 21 points and 10 rebounds for the nationally ranked Flying Dutch (4-0 overall). She also was credited with three steals, one assist and one blocked shot.

“(She) played well again today,” Hope coach Brian Morehouse said. “Most impressive she had a double-double in 15 minutes. We played a lot of people tonight. We got some really good experience for our players.”

Eleven different players scored for the Flying Dutch, including freshman guard/forward Mandy Traversa of Winfield, Ill. (Wheaton North HS) with 11 off the bench and starting freshman guard Angelique Gaddy of Caledonia (Grand Rapids South Christian HS) with 10.

“I like how we took care of the ball. We had only 14 turnovers,” Morehouse said. “We missed too many free throws, but I thought our defense is improving. I think we’re doing a little better job with how the ball is being called. We’re playing more with our feet and less with our hands.

Hope will play Wisconsin Lutheran at 3 p.m. CST. Wisconsin Lutheran lost to nationally ranked Washington University-St. Louis 79-48 in Friday’s second game.

“They got really good size and their guards have got good balance,” Morehouse said of Wisconsin Lutheran. “They ran into a really good WashU team that was poised and grinded out every possession. They ran into some double trouble, which I think really hurt them. It should be a very good game.”

MEN’S BASKETBALL

Flying Dutchmen Fall In Opener at Wisconsin-Whitewater

The Hope men’s basketball team dropped its season opener on Friday, losing 83-70 at nationally ranked Wisconsin-Whitewater.

The Flying Dutchmen received a game-high 21 points from sophomore point guard Ben Gardner of Carmel, Ind. (Carmel HS).

Senior center Nate VanArendonk of Grand Haven (Grand Haven HS) also reached double figures with 10 points and a team-high seven rebounds against the 13th-ranked Warhawks (3-0 overall).

Hope coach Matt Neil said the Flying Dutchmen did a good job rallying from an early 13-point halftime deficit.

Hope took a 61-60 lead with 9 minutes, 44 seconds remaining in the second half on a layup from sophomore center Brock Benson of Willowbrook, Ill. (Hinsdale South HS).

Neil said the game changed after VanArendonk and Benson both picked up their fourth fouls in a span of 50 seconds shortly after Benson scored.

“We came out in the second half, and we decided we want to break this game into five four-minute games. We won the first one. We won the second one,” Neil said. “At the 10-minute mark, we had great focus. We didn’t turn the ball over during a 10-minute period. They did a really good getting the ball inside. We lost track of what was getting us to where we need to get.

“We’ve got some things we definitely learned,” Neil said. “The nice part is we did come back (against) a very, very good basketball team.”

Hope returns to action Saturday at 7 p.m. Central when it plays at fourth-ranked Wisconsin-Stevens Point.

ICE HOCKEY

Flying Dutchmen Top Michigan-Flint

Goals from seven different players led the Hope ice hockey team to a 7-2 win vs. University of Michigan-Flint on Friday at Edge Ice Arena.

The Flying Dutchmen pushed their record to 12-1 while extending their win streak to eight games.

Senior goalie Drew Cook of Columbus, Ohio (Upper Arlington HS), stopped 43 shots for Hope.

SCORING SUMMARY

1.  Rob Calvert from Justin Glick and Elliott Digison

2.  Justin Glick from Caleb Morgan and Jamie Haak

3.  Drew O'Brien from jamie Haak and Caleb Digison

4.  Ryan Restum from Caleb Digison and Elliott Digison

5.  Andrew Settecerri from Eric Newman and Brandon Richardson

6.  Jamie Haak unassisted

7.  Justin Glick from Ryan Restum