Hope sports teams excelled at the conference and national levels during the 2006-07 winter season. As a result, Hope is on track to win another Commissioner's Cup for having the best all-around athletics program in the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association.
Hope was represented at the NCAA Division III championships in every winter sport. The Flying Dutchmen advanced to the Elite Eight in men's basketball while the Flying Dutch qualified for the women's basketball championships after winning the conference tournament title. The men's and women's swimming and diving teams combined to garner four All-America and 12 honorable mention All-America awards.
The Hope-Calvin men's basketball rivalry took on epic proportions this year as the teams met an unprecedented five times. Hope won three of those five games, including one in NCAA tournament play. Amazingly, after 166 games over 87 years, the all-time series is tied at 83 victories for each school! There were strange twists to this year's games as the home team lost to the visiting rival every time. The fifth game ended up being played on a neutral court more than 150 miles away from western Michigan, Hope prevailing 80-64.
The men's MIAA basketball championship was Hope's league-record 33rd and the 16th over a 30-year period under coach Glenn Van Wieren '64. The Flying Dutchmen set an MIAA record for margin-of-victory (24 points per game) en route to posting an overall 26-5 record. Senior Stephen Cramer of Akron, Mich., was voted the MIAA's most valuable player and named a Division III All-American. Junior Derek Van Solkema of Cutlerville, Mich., joined Cramer on the All-MIAA first team.
The Flying Dutch continued their success in women's basketball posting more than 20 victories for a ninth consecutive season. The team's bid to repeat as national champion came up short with a first-round loss in this year's tournament. Coach Brian Morehouse's Flying Dutch ended 24-4. This year's senior class had a four-year record of 103-13. Senior Julie Henderson of Grand Haven, Mich., was voted the MIAA's outstanding defensive player. Junior Jordyn Boles of Grand Rapids, Mich., and senior Ellen Wood of Naperville, Ill., were voted All-MIAA first team.
Both Hope swimming and diving teams finished second in their respective MIAA standings. The Flying Dutch went on to finish 10th at the NCAA women's championship while the Dutchmen ended 21st at the men's nationals.
Senior Lisa Smith of Dearborn, Mich., who during the season was recognized as the Division III national swimmer of the week, achieved NCAA All-America honors a third consecutive year by finishing sixth in the 100-yard butterfly. Lisa continued a family tradition. Her older sisters, Laura '02 and Sarah '05, were also NCAA All-Americans during their Hope careers.
Freshman Phil Heyboer of Holland, Mich., launched his collegiate career with an All-America performance, finishing eighth in the 200-yard backstroke. Swimmers on Hope's All-America relay teams included Lisa Smith; sophomore Laura Ansilio of Western Springs, Ill.; freshman Christina Vogelzang of Holland; junior Trisha Meier of Cedar Park, Texas; and freshman Claire Piester of Columbia, Mo.
Receiving All-MIAA honors were Laura Ansilio; senior Jennifer Carr of Novi, Mich.; senior Sarah Diekevers of Jenison, Mich.; Phil Heyboer; freshman Ryan Nelis of Holland; freshman Matt Rose of Grandville, Mich.; Claire Piester; sophomore Brittaney Reest of Holland; Lisa Smith; junior Charles VanderBroek of Holland; Christina Vogelzang; and senior Kyle Waterstone of Holland.