This has been a year of firsts for the Hope College volleyball program.
For the first time in school history, the Flying Dutch captured a third consecutive Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) championship and became the first Hope volleyball team to earn back-to-back appearances in the NCAA Division III tournament.
And now Hope has its first NCAA Division III volleyball All-American.
Senior Becky Schmidt of Holland has been named a second team All-American by the College Volleyball Coaches Association.
The All-America team was announced Thursday in Huntingdon, Pa., site of the NCAA Division III volleyball championships.
"The honor of Becky being named All-American is well-deserved," said coach Maureen Odland. "In addition to being an outstanding athlete, Becky is a well-respected leader. She understands what it takes to be a team player, and has never shown any signs of selfishness. Her athletic ability is unparalleled, but it is her enthusiasm for the sport and the desire to succeed that sets her above the rest. She is one of the most motivated people I've ever met. I have enjoyed having her as a player on my team."
A middle hitter, Schmidt was voted the most valuable MIAA player and an all-region player as both a junior and senior.
This fall she established a Hope single season record for kills (515) as the Flying Dutch posted school-record 33 victories. A four-year letterwinner, she was co-captain of the team for three seasons (1996-97-98).
A kinesiology major, Schmidt last spring was presented the college's John Schouten Award for excelling in athletics while possessing other strong character traits and leadership abilities.
A 1994 graduate of Holland High School, she is the daughter of Dr. John Schmidt of Holland and Sara and Dr. Boyd Wilson of Holland.