A Year for the Books

Hope College student-athletes and teams from spring, winter and fall seasons packed a bevy of accomplishments and excitement into a compressed four-month schedule in 2021.

Amid 213 athletic competitions in a span of 129 days, Hope College claimed Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association championships in five different sports as well as five MIAA tournament titles. Four teams qualified to compete at the NCAA Division III Championships. Also, MIAA coaches awarded league most valuable honors to Hope student-athletes 11 times.

Women’s basketball went undefeated and finished ranked No.1 for the second consecutive season. Led by MIAA MVP and senior guard Kenedy Schoonveld, the Flying Dutch posted a 16-0 record and extended their win streak to a school-record 45 games. It is the eighth-longest win streak in Division III history.

Women’s track and field swept the MIAA indoor and outdoor titles. Sophomore Ana Tucker raced to All-America honors in the NCAA outdoor 5000-meter race with a fourth-place run and was the MIAA’s Most Valuable Indoor Track Athlete. Sophomore Grace Behrens was the Most Valuable Outdoor Track Athlete.

Men’s track and field saw junior Nick Hoffman race to the team’s highest finish in the outdoor 800 meters at nationals with a third-place effort. Hoffman also swept the MIAA’s Most Valuable Track athlete honors for indoor and outdoor seasons.

Men’s lacrosse advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament for the first time with a 22-17 victory against Benedictine (Illinois). Led by MIAA Most Valuable Offensive Athlete and junior attacker Jack Radzville, the Flying Dutchmen qualified for their second NCAA postseason appearance by defeating Albion in the MIAA Tournament final on the road. Hope finished 13-2.

Women’s tennis continued its dominance in the MIAA with its ninth consecutive league tournament championship. Led by Most Valuable Player and junior Sydney Jackson, Hope also won the MIAA regular-season title for a league-record sixth consecutive time. The Flying Dutch finished 12-3 after losing in the second round of the NCAA Tournament to Linfield (Oregon), 5-4.

Women’s swimming and diving were MIAA champions for the second time in three years by winning the league meet hosted at Calvin University. Two-time MIAA Most Valuable Swimmer senior Emma Schaefer set MIAA and Hope records in the 200 breaststroke, and eclipsed her school record in the 200 individual medley and the 100 breaststroke.

Men’s soccer captured its third MIAA Tournament title with a 2-1 overtime victory against Trine at Van Andel Soccer Stadium. MIAA Most Valuable Offensive Athlete and senior midfielder Ty Dalton scored the winning goal 5-and-a-half minutes into the first overtime. The Flying Dutchmen posted a 5-1-1 record.

Volleyball served up its fourth MIAA Tournament championship with a four-set victory at Calvin. Junior outside hitter McKenna Otto’s 14 kills led the Flying Dutch, who finished with a 9-1 overall record.

Men’s tennis celebrated its seventh MIAA Most Valuable Player honoree in program history. No. 1 singles and No. 1 doubles player and sophomore Jacob Burkett claimed the award. He won all seven of his league matches.

Men’s diver Kamaron Wilcox earned co-MIAA Most Valuable Diver honors this season after winning the 3-meter board at the league meet during his junior season.

Head baseball coach Stu Fritz reached the 600-win mark with a 6-4, extra-inning win against Albion at Boeve Stadium. Freshman Robbie Stuursma hit a two-out, two-run walk-off homer to secure the milestone victory.