posted July 23, 2013

Hope Flying Dutch Women's Tennis Team, Players Honored Nationally for Academics

The 2013 Hope College women’s tennis team has earned a spot on the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) All-Academic team, while eight members of the Flying Dutch, coached by Adam Ford, are ITA Scholar-Athletes.

The ITA All-Academic Team award is open to any ITA program that has a cumulative team grade point average of 3.20 or above (on a 4.00 scale). All eligible student-athletes whose names appear on the NCAA/NAIA/NJCAA/CA JUCO eligibility form and have competed in one or more varsity matches must average into the GPA for the current academic year (including fall 2012 and spring 2013).

Senior Casey Baxter of Saline (Saline HS), senior Melissa Bieri of Holland (Holland Christian HS), senior Leah LaBarge of Hudsonville (Hudsonville HS), junior Kelsey Jeletz of Cedarburg, Wis. (Cedarburg HS),  junior Andrea Pickelman of Grand Rapids (Forest Hills Eastern HS), sophomore Meghan Ahlgrim of Libertyville, Ill. (Libertyville HS), sophomore Carli Capestany of Hudsonville (Hudsonville HS) and freshman Anna Garcia of Battle Creek (Battle Creek Lakeview HS) claimed ITA Scholar-Athlete distinction.

In order to earn ITA Scholar-Athlete status a player must meet the following criteria: 1) be a varsity letter winner, 2) have a grade point average of at least 3.50 (on a 4.00 scale) for the current academic year, and 3) have been enrolled at their present school for at least 2 semesters (including freshman through senior year).

"We always talk about how you are a student-athlete, not an athlete-student. I could not be more proud of this group of phenomenal women,” Ford said.

Earlier, the Flying Dutch received the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) Team GPA Award given to conference teams that achieve a 3.300 or better GPA. They had the highest GPA in the conference at 3.749.