posted April 2, 2009

Winter Sports Season in Review

Hope's winter sports teams challenged for titles on the conference and national level, finishing as Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) champions in women's basketball and men's swimming/diving, and league runners-up in men's basketball and women's swimming/diving.

The accomplishments keep Hope atop the MIAA Commissioner's Cup standings for the best cumulative performance in conference sports.

Basketball

The Flying Dutch repeated as conference champions, posted a 28-2 record and advanced to the elite eight of the NCAA Division III tournament, where for the second straight year Hope was eliminated by the eventual undefeated national champion.  The Flying Dutch extended their home-floor winning streak to 49-in-a-row. Hope was host to the final four of the NCAA women's basketball championships for the second consecutive year.

The Flying Dutchmen advanced to the NCAA Division III championships for the 20th time in school history by defeating rival Calvin in the conference tournament title game.  Hope had finished second in the MIAA's regular-season standings.  The team's 21-8 season record marked a school-record 29th consecutive winning campaign.

Senior forward Jesse Reimink and sophomore center Carrie Snikkers, both from Hudsonville, Mich., were named Division III All-Americans. They earlier were voted the MIAA players of the year.  Reimink is a second-generation Hope basketball player. His father Ron '80 also played for current coach Glenn Van Wieren '64.  Junior Jenny Cowen of Dexter, Mich., was named to the All-MIAA first team.

Swimming & Diving

The assault on the Hope record book was unprecedented for a single season as new marks were established in 16 events, including 11 by the MIAA-champion Flying Dutchmen.  The league championship was the 30th under coach John Patnott. Hope's entries at the NCAA championships garnered 14 honorable-mention All-America awards.

Thirteen swimmers were named to the all-conference team.  Senior Brittaney Reest Delo of Holland, Mich., was honored for a fourth consecutive year.  Five swimmers were honored for a third year:  senior Laura Ansilio of Western Springs, Ill.;  junior Phil Heyboer of Zeeland, Mich.; junior Ryan Nelis of Holland; junior Claire Piester of Columbia, Mo.; and junior Matt Rose of Grandville, Mich.  Honored for a second time were junior Christina and senior Ryan Vogelzang of Holland, and junior Mitch Ruch of Zeeland. First-time honorees included freshman Jeff Shade of Davison, Mich.; freshman Matthew Gregory of St. Joseph, Mich.; freshman Sarah Sohn of Arlington Heights, Ill.; and junior Aaron Welsch of St. Peters, Mo.