posted July 3, 2009

2008-09 Sports Highlights

° Hope won the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) Commissioner's Cup for the best cumulative performance in the league's 18 sports for men and women. Hope ranked 37th among 310 NCAA Division III colleges in the NACDA Director's Cup national standings.

° Hope captured four MIAA titles - volleyball, women's basketball, men's swimming & diving and women's tennis.

° Hope qualified individuals or teams in 11 NCAA championships - men's and women's cross country, men's and women's basketball, men's and women's swimming & diving, men's and women's track & field, men's and women's tennis, and volleyball.

° Eight athletes were voted the MIAA's most valuable player - Steve Strock, golf; Allison VanBeek, soccer; Jesse Reimink and Carrie Snikkers, basketball; Kelli Duimstra (softball), Nora Kuiper (track & field), John Pelton and Samantha Stille, tennis.

° Sixty-six athletes were voted to All-MIAA teams and 191 were named to the MIAA Academic Honor Roll, including 14 for a fourth consecutive year.  A record 12 teams received the MIAA All-Academic Team GPA Award. The women's cross country team received the honor for an 11th consecutive year. Other teams honored included women's basketball, men's cross country, men's and women's golf, men's and women's tennis, women's soccer, softball, women's swimming & diving, women's track & field, and volleyball.

° Senior Nora Kuiper became the first Hope female athlete to win an NCAA Division III track & field national championship with a gold medal performance in the 100-meter dash.  She was also honored as the outstanding senior scholar-athlete in the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association, the nation's top Academic All-American in women's track & field, and was awarded an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship.

° Six athletes achieved Division III All-America status - Jesse Reimink and Carrie Snikkers, basketball; Kelli Duimstra, softball; Nora Kuiper and John Donkersloot, track & field; and John Pelton, tennis.

° Voted Hope's outstanding senior student-athletes were Nora Kuiper (track & field) and Jesse Reimink (basketball).

° Tennis All-American John Pelton was presented the Division III Arthur Ashe, Jr. Leadership and Sportsmanship Award for the Central Region and the MIAA's Stowe Sportsmanship Award.

° Longtime men's athletic director Ray Smith retired, concluding 39 years of service that included 25 seasons (1970-94) as football coach.

° Both Hope basketball teams topped NCAA Division III in home attendance and the volleyball team ranked second nationally. Hope was host to the NCAA Division III women's basketball final four for the second straight year.

° Ground was broken for the new Van Andel Soccer Stadium. It is the fourth major athletic facility built at Hope in recent years joining the DeVos Fieldhouse, Boeve Baseball Stadium and Wolters Softball Stadium.

° Four teams - men's & women's swimming/diving and men's and women's soccer - had the opportunity to travel overseas.