posted November 13, 2008

Women's Basketball Opener Cancelled

The virus that swept across Hope College causing the campus to be closed for several days has another casualty.

Officials at Mt. Union College notified Hope on Wednesday afternoon that its women's basketball team will not be allowed to travel to Holland for a season-opening game against the Flying Dutch at DeVos Fieldhouse on Saturday night.

The decision came on the heels of Hope receiving permission from Ottawa County health officials to resume to normal activities, including athletic practices and contests.

Mt. Union officials indicated their decision was based on their assessment of what is happening at Hope. The virus that affected approximatelty 425 students, faculty and staff has received national media attention.

Lisa Stefanovsky, health officer for Ottawa County, noted that the numbers of cases at Hope have significantly declined since the outbreak began nearly a week ago and that "risk of exposure is minimal."

Mt. Union College had its own health scare earlier this fall when a volleyball player was taken seriously ill while on an athletic trip and ended up being hospitalized for two weeks. The source of the illness was identified as E.Coli, according to "The Dynamo,: the student newspaper at Mt. Union. The student has since recovered, according to Mt. Union officials.

The Purple Raiders are coming off a 10-17 record and had been picked to finish sixth in the pre-season Ohio Athletic Conference poll. The Flying Dutch were 30-1 a year ago and have been picked as the pre-season favorite in the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association.

Hope's season opener will now been a home Tipoff Tournament the weekend of Nov. 21-22.