posted November 16, 2009

Hope Volleyball National Championship Game Notes

° The Flying Dutch are headed to the national championships of the NCAA Division III volleyball tournament for the first time in school history. In a showdown of top ten ranked teams, Coach Becky Schmidt's Flying Dutch won the school's first-ever regional championship by defeating Ohio Northern in four sets, 21-25, 25-14, 25-22, 25-20, before more than 2,400 DeVos Fieldhouse fans.

° Hope advances to the Elite Eight and will face Tufts, Mass. (31-4) in a quarterfinal match Thursday (Nov. 19)  at 3 p.m. on the campus of John Carroll University in Cleveland Heights, Ohio.

° Tufts University is located in Medford, Mass. and has an enrollment of 4,500. The Tufts Jumbos are appearing in the NCAA tournament for the fourth time in school history (1996-2005-08-09) and like Hope are making their first trip to the national championship round. The Jumbos also won the regional they hosted winning three-set matches over Maine Maritime, Wellesley, Mass.  and Williams, Mass.

NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS
at John Carroll University
Cleveland Heights, Ohio

THURSDAY QUARTERFINALS
#1 - Washington, Mo. (31-4) [winner Wash U regional] vs. Colorado (35-4) [winner Redlands regional], 12:30 p.m.
#2 - Hope (33-3) [winner Hope regional] vs. Tufts, Mass. (31-4) [winner Tufts regional], 3 p.m.
#3 - Juniata, Pa. (34-3) [winner Juniata regional] vs. Trinity, Tex. (30-11) [winner Southwestern regional], 5:30 p.m.
#4 - UW-Oshkosh (38-2) [winner WI-Oshkosh regional] vs. Christopher Newport, Va. (36-6) [winner NYU regional], 8 p.m.
FRIDAY SEMI-FINALS
winner Match #1 vs. winner Match #2, 4:30 p.m.
winner Match #3 vs. winner Match #4, 7 p.m.
SATURDAY CHAMPIONSHIP
National championship match, 7 p.m.

° The Flying Dutch are appearing in the NCAA Division III volleyball championships for the seventh time. The previous appearances were 1987, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2006, 2008. Hope is 7-6 in NCAA matches and is advancing to the championship round for the first time.

HOPE IN THE NCAA

1987

Hope defeated Buffalo, N.Y., 15-5, 12-15, 15-3, 15-11
Illinois Benedictine defeated Hope, 8-15, 15-8, 15-11, 12-15, 15-12

1997

Ohio Northern defeated Hope, 11-15, 13-15, 15-8, 15-6, 16-14

1998

Hope defeated Calvin, 11-15, 15-7, 15-5, 16-14
Wittenberg, Ohio defeated Hope, 7-15, 15-8, 15-3, 13-15, 15-13

2000

Hope defeated DePauw, Ind. 15-12, 2-15, 15-6, 15-8
Wisconsin-Whitewater defeated Hope 15-4, 15-5, 15-7

2006

Hope defeated Ohio Northern 30-24, 31-29, 23-30, 30-28
Calvin defeated Hope 30-23, 30-25, 30-32, 30-21

2008

Heidelberg defeated Hope 25-22, 20-25, 27-29, 25-19, 15-7

2009

Hope defeated Lakeland, Wisc. 25-17, 25-16, 25-16
Hope defeated Calvin 25-18, 25-23, 25-22
Hope defeated Ohio Northern 21-25, 25-14, 25-22, 25-20

º The Flying Dutch are ranked 6th in the latest AVCA Division III national poll. Hope has been ranked as high as fifth.

° Hope's won the regular season championship of the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) with a 16-0 record. The Flying Dutch were defeated by rival Calvin in the championship match of the conference tournament giving the Knights the MIAA's automatic berth in the NCAA tournament. Hope received a Pool C at-large bid. The Flying Dutch rebounded to defeat their rival in the semi-finals of the Great Lakes Regional tournament.

° This is the third season that a Hope volleyball team (33-3) has won 30-or-more matches. The other years were 1987 (32-3) and 1998 (33-8).

° Coach Becky Schmidt has guided the Flying Dutch for six seasons compiling a 154-61 record.  She previously coached at Redlands, Calif. and has a career collegiate record of 191-93. A 1999 Hope graduate and outstanding volleyball player, she was named a Division III All-American middle blocker as a senior.  She was a member of the 1997 and 1998 teams that competed in the NCAA championships.

° Five players on Hope's MIAA champion volleyball team were presented all-conference honors highlighted by two individual awards. Senior setter Andrea Helminiak of Maumee, Ohio (Anthony Wayne HS) was voted the league's most valuable player while senior libero Kristen Johnson of Naperville, Ill. (Wheaton Academy) was named the defensive player of the year.  Helminiak was joined on the All-MIAA first team by teammates Jacie Fiedler, a sophomore from Richmond, Ill. (Richard Burton HS), and Kara VandeGuchte, a junior from Hamilton, Mich. (Hamilton HS). Helminiak and VandeGuchte were honored for the second year. Johnson was joined on the All-MIAA second team by teammate Cassidy Bulthuis, a junior from Nunica, Mich. (Spring Lake HS).

° Three Hope players were named to the NCAA Division III All-Region team by the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA). Hope honorees are junior outside hitter Jacie Fielder of Richmond, Ill. (Richmond Burton HS), senior setter Andrea Helminiak of Maumee, Ohio (Anthony Wayne HS), and junior middle blocker Kara VandeGuchte of Hamilton, Mich. (Hamilton HS). VandeGuchte is receiving all-region honors for the second consecutive year. It marked the first time in the 23-year history of the all-region program that three Hope players have been honored in the same year.

° Jacie Fielder was voted the outstanding player of the regional tournament and was joined on the all-tournament team by Andrea Helminiak and junior outside hitter Sara DeWeerdt of Holland, Mich. (Hamilton HS).

° During the regular season, Hope played seven teams that are in the NCAA tournament field, posting a 6-3 record. Hope's three losses this season were all to nationally ranked teams.
9/4 - defeated Webster, Mo. 25-17, 25-14, 25-15
9/5 - defeated Washington, Mo. 25-23, 25-20, 18-25, 25-23
9/18 - defeated Mt. Union 19-25, 20-25, 25-20, 25-20, 15-12
9/19 - lost to Ohio Northern 25-15, 25-23, 30-28
9/19 - defeated Wittenberg 25-19, 25-27, 25-23, 25-11
9/26 - defeated Calvin 25-22, 25-15, 25-18
10/3 - lost to Uw-Platteville 16-25, 25-18, 27-25, 25-13
10/28 - defeated Calvin 25-22, 22-25, 25-27, 25-12, 15-6
11/7 - lost to Calvin 15-25, 25-23, 25-23, 25-13