Flying Dutch Sets Service Records In Kalamazoo Sweep
The top-ranked Hope volleyball set Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association and school records for service aces Tuesday during a sweep of Kalamazoo.
Coach Becky Schmidt’s Flying Dutch delivered 17 aces to spur a 25-13, 25-15, 25-11 win that put them one match from at least a share of their 12th MIAA championship. Hope can clinch a league title on Friday, Nov. 1 when it hosts Albion at 6:30 p.m.
Hope (27-1 overall) passed the MIAA record for service aces that Adrian posted against Saint Mary’s on Oct. 26, 2011 the school record for all sets of 14 that the Flying Dutch accomplished twice during the 2010 season.
Schmidt said she thought her team’s assertiveness at the service line paid big dividends.
“We had eight service errors, but in the first two sets we had done a nice job of limiting them and putting a lot of pressure on their passers,” Schmidt said after her team improved to 14-1 in league play. The Flying Dutch are tied with Calvin for first place.
“I was impressed it just wasn’t one person that kind of went off in serving. It was pretty balanced,” Schmidt said. “They were hitting their zones, doing a nice job of staying focused.”
Junior outside hitter Jenna Grasmeyer of Jenison (Hudsonville Unity Christian) topped Hope with four service aces and 11 kills. She had a .333 kill percentage.
Sophomore libero Allie Mitchell of Portage (Portage Central HS) also had four saves.
Two Hope players had three aces apiece — junior libero Elyse Maley of Milton, Ind. (Lincoln HS) and sophomore setter Lauren Hazekamp of Fruitport (Fruitport HS).
Freshman libero Alexis Thompson of Monroe (St. Mary Catholic Central HS) chipped in two aces, while senior middle hitter Mari Schoolmaster of Portage (Portage Central HS) had one along with eight kills.
Schmidt said her team is getting back to an aggressive service game at the right time. Postseason play begins in 1 ½ weeks.
“At the beginning of the season, we started serving the ball out of bounds and getting less aggressive back there. We became a little more tentative,” Schmidt said. “What tonight did was just give them the confidence back there to go serve more aggressively and do it with the focus that’s going to keep the ball in play.”
Flying Dutch Still No. 1 In AVCA Poll
The Hope volleyball team remains atop the American Volleyball Coaches Association NCAA Division III Poll for the second consecutive week.
The Flying Dutch (26-1 overall) totaled 1,191 points and 39 first-place votes.
Hope, which plays at Kalamazoo tonight, finished 31 points ahead of Calvin (25-1), which received the other first-place votes.
This is the first time in school history the Flying Dutch have been ranked No. 1.
The top five is rounded out by, in order, Cal Lutheran (25-1), 2012 national champion St. Thomas, Minn. (24-2) and Elmhurst, Ill. (27-4).
Hope hosts the NCAA Division III national championships on Nov. 21-23 at DeVos Fieldhouse.
Flying Dutchmen Blank Olivet 3-0
A multi-goal game from senior Jason Muller of Petoskey (Petoskey HS) powered the Hope men’s soccer team to a 3-0 win at Olivet on Tuesday.
Muller scored twice to help the Flying Dutchmen avenge a home overtime loss to Olivet on Oct. 5. It was his fourth multi-goal game of the season.
Hope stayed in second place in the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) while improving to 13-4-1 overall and 9-3 in league play. The Flying Dutchmen are three points behind first-place Calvin with two matches remaining.
Muller gave Hope a 1-0 halftime lead by scoring an unassisted goal 10 minutes, 11 seconds into the match. He beat the Olivet goalie on a free kick from 18 yards out.
Junior midfielder Tarwo Konbloa of Kentwood (East Kentwood HS) pushed the lead to 2-0 in the 60th minute. He put home a rebound off the post, earning senior midfielder Matthew VanZytveld of Grand Haven (Grand Haven HS) the assist.
Muller added his team-leading 13th goal of the season in the 82nd minute. Konbloa had the assist.
Sophomore Ethan Beswick of Grand Haven (Grand Haven HS) claimed the shutout by recording five saves.
The Flying Dutchmen return to action on Saturday, Nov. 1 when it travels to Kalamazoo for a 2:30 p.m. match.
Hope needs one more point to clinch home-field advantage for the semifinals of the MIAA Tournament.
Flying Dutch Fourth In Preseason National Poll
The Hope women’s basketball is ranked fourth in the 2013-14 Preseason USA Today NCAA Division III Top 25 Coaches Poll announced today.
Coach Brian Morehouse’s Flying Dutch totaled 152 points to share fourth with Montclair State (N.J.).
DePauw (Ind.) University topped the poll with 200 points after receiving all eight first-place votes. The Tigers won last season’s national championship at DeVos Fieldhouse.
Wisconsin-Whitewater took second with 177 points, while Amherst (Mass.) came in third with 161 points.
Hope is coming off a 29-2 campaign in which it reached the elite eight for the sixth time in school history and the fourth time in five seasons. It was the Flying Dutch’s 13th postseason appearance.
The Flying Dutch also claimed their 13th MIAA championship overall and 11th in 14 seasons by going 15-1 in league play to share first place with Calvin.
Hope’s 2013-14 roster of 15 players features three seniors, six juniors, two sophomores and four freshmen.
Co-captains for this season’s teams are senior Megan Kelley of Rockford (Rockford HS) and junior guard Brittany Berry of Grand Rapids (Catholic Central HS).