Hope College has been selected to host national championship tournaments in two sports by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).
The NCAA announced today that Hope will host the 2012 and 2013 Division III volleyball and women's basketball finals at DeVos Fieldhouse.
"We are delighted that the NCAA has selected Hope College for these two national tournaments. It is a tribute to Hope personnel, especially co-athletic director Eva Dean Folkert, associate vice president for public and community relations Tom Renner, and our community volunteers. Once again the DeVos Fieldhouse enables national collegiate competition for the Hope and Holland communities which not insignificantly also benefits the local economy," said President James Bultman.
Hope was host to the 2008 and 2009 women's basketball finals and last year hosted for the first time the Great Lakes regional volleyball tournament.
Hope fans have shown their excitement for Division III sports through their attendance. Last year, for the first time in NCAA history, Hope topped all Division III schools in home attendance in men's and women's basketball and volleyball.
"That the NCAA has chosen Hope College to host four national championships in two sports for two years in-a-row speaks volumes to the quality of this campus, this community, and this facility. Most of all, it speaks highly of the quality of Hope and Holland people who make these tournaments so special and so well-run. We have received rave reviews from NCAA personnel, athletic participants, parents and fans from our hosting of past national events. We're honored that the NCAA has once again placed their faith in us," said Folkert who will serve as tournament director.
"The Holland Area Convention & Visitors Bureau is thrilled that Hope College has been selected to host the NCAA Division III Women's Basketball and Volleyball National Championships in 2012 and 2013. The economic impact of sporting events such as these is significant," said Sally Laukitis, Executive Director of the Holland Visitors Bureau. "We anticipate the direct economic impact on the Holland community (hotels, restaurants, and retail businesses) will exceed $1,000,000 for each of these weekend events. The fact that these premier NCAA championships occur in March and November, as opposed to our prime tourist season, is an added benefit to the Holland area."
The tournaments in 2012 will be March 16-17 for basketball and November 15-17 for volleyball. The 2013 dates are to be announced.
The basketball finals will consist of four teams while the volleyball
championship will be comprised of eight teams.
Hope College has a long history of hosting NCAA championship. The men's and women's cross country finals were held at the former Holland Country Club in 1987 and the men's and women's swimming & diving champions took place at the Holland Aquatic Center in 2005. The women's basketball championships have been in Holland three times, first in 1990 at the Holland Civic Center and in 2008 and 2009.
The upcoming school year is already shaping up for some exciting championship action. The NCAA Division III Great Lakes Regional men's and women's cross country championships will be held at the West Ottawa golf course on Saturday, Nov. 13 and the American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA) Division III finals will be played at The Edge in March. Hope College fields a club hockey team which a year ago finished at the national tournament.