The Flying Dutchmen are coming off their most successful season in school history with a team that has 18 returning letterwinners including six players who were all-conference honorees.
In 2001 coach Stu Fritz guided the Flying Dutchmen to their fifth Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) championship in eight years and a trip to the NCAA Division III tournament for the second time in four seasons. The Flying Dutchmen posted a 24-16 record finishing 14-4 in league play.
The pre-season roster has eight freshmen, five sophomores, nine juniors and five seniors. Included are six players who achieved All-MIAA first recognition in 2001 -- senior pitcher Mark Simonson of Holland, Mich., junior outfielder Kyle Blackport of Grand Rapids, Mich., junior third baseman Casey Glass of Hudsonville, Mich., senior second baseman Nick Grinzinger of Mount Pleasant, Mich., junior designated hitter B.J. Maas of Jenison, Mich. and junior outfielder Mike VanBeek of Hudsonville, Mich. Junior catcher Eric MacKenzie of Alpena, Mich. was named to the NCAA Central Region all-tournament team.
Hope's pitching corps is led by seniors Mark Simonson and Kevin Kittle. Simonson has been an All-MIAA first team pitcher for two seasons. Last spring he was 6-5 overall and 4-1 in league games. Kittle was perfect in league games (4-0) and was 4-4 overall.
B.J. Maas was the MIAA's leading hitter last spring (.469). He also topped the league in RBIs (22), total bases (47) and homeruns (6).
Maas was one of nine players to bat .300 or better during the season. The team leader for the season among regulars was junior outfielder Kenny Papes of Scottville, Mich. (.375) while the leader among returning starters was Mike Van Beek (.367).
Other returning letterwinners include sophomore pitcher Kenny Bart of Jenison, Mich., junior outfielder/designated hitter Clisby Jarrard of Barrington, Ill., sophomore second baseman Justin Kribs of Jenison, Mich., senior pitcher Dave Lichtenberger of Lansing., Mich., senior catcher Rob Long of Holland, Mich., junior pitcher Jason Montgomery of South Haven, Mich., junior shortstop Pat Murphy of Midland, Mich., sophomore utility player Aaron Quimby of Quincy, Mich., sophomore pitcher Christian Viel of Big Rapids, Mich., and junior pitcher Matt Widenmier of Midland, Mich.
Year-in and year-out, the Flying Dutch can be counted on to contend for the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association softball championship.
In 2001, for the eighth consecutive year, the Flying Dutch surpassed 20 victories, finishing second in the MIAA regular seaosn standings and ending 21-12 overall.
Coach Karla Wolters begins her 15th season at the helm of the Flying Dutch who are 310-178 during that time. In 23 seasons of collegiate coaching, Wolters' teams have compiled a 479-256 record ranking her among the top ten active NCAA Division coaches.
For the first time school history, the Flying Dutch have a junior varsity team to complement the varsity program. The varsity roster includes five freshmen, two sophomores, five juniors and two seniors.
The seniors are outfielder Rose Owens of Shelby, Mich. and infielder Milly VanderMeulen of Hamilton, Mich. Vander Meulen, who will co-captain the team with junior pitcher Andrea Adams of Fairgrove, Mich., was second in hitting behind graduated All-American Carrie Scott with a .350 average. Adams posted a 9-6 overall record and was 5-1 against conference opponents.
Other returning letterwinners include junior infielder Jen Boersma of Dorr, Mich., junior catcher Angie Bunker of Muskegon, Mich., junior infielder Julia Eagan of Summit, N.J., sophomore utility player Kelly Kraft of Brown City, Mich., sophomore infielder Allison Miller of Hopkins, Mich., and junior outfielder Kristi Ridge of Elk Rapids, Mich.
Miller, who received All-MIAA second team recognition as a freshman, led the Dutch in hitting in conference games with a .429 average. VanderMeulen and Kraft each hit two homeruns last spring.
MEN'S TENNIS OUTLOOK
The Flying Dutchmen return five players from a 2001 team which finished second in the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) while posting a 14-5 dual match record.
The Flying Dutchmen have won 10 or more dual matches in seven consecutive seasons under coach Steve Gorno who begins his tenth year at the helm.
Co-captains of the team are seniors Dan Mann of Spring Lake, Mich. and Raj Malviya of Holland, Mich.
Other returning letterwinners include senior Matt Bradley of Hastings, Mich., sophomore Erik Frost of Midland, Mich. and senior Josh Honholt of Grand Rapids, Mich.
Last spring Hope advanced players to the championships at the conference tournament in five of six singles matches and all three doubles matches. Advancing in singles were Mann #1, Malviya #3, Honholt #4, Frost #5 and Bradley #6. Mann, Frost, Malviya and Bradley were members of doubles teams that were second at the MIAA championships.
Mann, who plays at the number one single spot, is a two-time All-MIAA first team honoree. He posted a 15-7 singles record and has a career mark of 32-14.
Malviya has been an All-MIAA second team honoree as a sophomore and junior. He has a career singles mark of 45-17.
The Hope tennis program continues to benefit from the college's DeWitt Tennis Center, a six-court facility that opened in 1994. This facility has allowed Hope's tennis teams to have an indoor season during Michigan's winter months.
WOMEN'S TENNIS OUTLOOK
The Flying Dutch approach the 2002 season with a blend of veterans and new players.
Coach Karen Page's Dutch have been champions of the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) five of the last six years. The Dutch are 69-22 in dual matches under coach Page since 1998.
In 2001 the Dutch tied for second place challenging league champion Saint Mary's in the conference tournament by advancing to four of the six singles finals and to all three doubles flights.
The only senior on the team is captain Emily Reeves of Hudsonville, Mich. She was the second flight singles conference champion in 2001 and combined with sophomore Stephanie Springer of Bloomfield Village, Mich. to win the league crown at second flight doubles.
Other returning letterwinners include sophomore Deanna Clouse of Jackson, Mich., junior Jennifer Coleman of Grand Rapids, Mich., sophomore Megan McDowell of Centralia, Ill., and sophomore Laurel McKenna of Marshall, Mich. Coleman (#4) and Clouse (#6) advanced to the conference finals in singles last spring.
Freshman players new to the team are Kristen Daniels of Greenville, Mich., Anna DeHaan of Grand Rapids, Mich., Kortney DeVito of Okemos, Mich., and Priya Malviya of Holland, Mich.
A season highlight will be hosting the MIAA tournament on May 2-3.
The Hope tennis program continues to benefit from the college's DeWitt Tennis Center, a six-court facility that opened in 1994. This facility has allowed Hope's tennis teams to have an indoor season during Michigan winter months.
MEN'S TRACK OUTLOOK
The Flying Dutchmen approach the 2002 season with a solid group of returning letterwinners complemented by several promising newcomers.
Coach Dereck Chavis begins his third season at the helm of the men's and women's track programs. The squad includes 15 returning letterwinners from a 2001 team that finished third in the Michigan intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) standings.
The pre-season roster includes nine freshmen, 10 sophomores, eight juniors and eight seniors.
The returnees include two tracksters who have been conference champions. Junior Ed Perez of Hopkins, Mich. is a two-time defending MIAA champion in the 400-meter intermediate hurdles. He holds the Hope record (:53.25) in the event and has been to the NCAA Division III championships the last two years. Junior Tim Hoogewind of Wyoming, Mich. was the MIAA shotput champion as a freshman. He missed the 2001 season with an ankle injury.
Senior Dylan Wade of Beulah, Mich., a four-time All-MIAA cross country runner, leads a strong contingent of distance specialists.
Tri-captains of the team are senior Keith Cravotta of Mt. Vernon, N.J., junior Ben Freeburn of Hartford, Mich. and senior Curtis Tyler of Grand Ledge, Mich.
Other returning letterwinners are senior Chad Gibbie of Fremont, Mich., junior Jim Grosse of Three Oaks, Mich., sophomore Donavon Hornbeck of Ovid, Mich., junior Lee Kiessel of Suttons Bay, Mich., sophomore Kyle Morrison of Niles, Mich., senior Seth Palmer of Marshall, Mich., junior Joe Phillips of Kalamazoo, Mich., sophomore Joel Teft of Grand Rapids, Mich., and senior Kevin Woloszyn of Oak Lawn, Ill.
WOMEN'S TRACK OUTLOOK
A blend of returning veterans and athletes new to Hope track should make the Flying Dutch a contender in the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) this spring.
Third-year coach Dereck Chavis has a pre-season roster of 35 athletes, including 13 letterwinners from last year's team which finished second in the MIAA standings.
The captains of the team are senior Sarah Burgess of Niles, Mich., senior Anna King of Downers Grove, Ill., and junior Brooke Oosting of Grand Rapids, Mich.
The squad includes two athletes who have been MIAA champions. Sophomore Jennifer Price of Battle Creek, Mich. was the 2001 conference champion in the 800-meter run. She established Hope and MIAA records in the event and qualified for the NCAA Division III championships. Sarah Burgess was the 1999 and 2000 conference champion and finished second to graduated teammate Emily Sowers in 2001.
Sophomore sprinter Christy Watkin of Holland, Mich. was voted to the All-MIAA team as a freshman. She established the Hope record in the 200-meter dash.
Anna King holds the Hope record in the 3,000-meter steeplechase and junior Kara Van Assen of Jenison, Mich. is the school recordholder in the triple jump.
Hope records were established last year in both the 400-meter relay and 1,600-meter relay. Members of those relay teams return for 2002 -- junior Karen Clark of Midland, Mich., Christy Watkin, junior Jessica Oosting of Grand Rapids, Mich., and Jennifer Price.
Other returning letterwinners include senior Dawn Allers of St. Anne, Ill., sophomore Martha Graham of Midland, Mich., senior Lauren Hermes of Arlington Heights, Ill., junior Amber Inman of Haslett, Mich., junior Heather Ludwick of Newaygo, Mich., and junior Kristin Post of Holland, Mich.