Filled with the spectacular, the spring season culminated another outstanding year of intercollegiate sport.
When all the wins and accomplishments were tabulated, Hope could claim every all-sports award of the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) for the second consecutive year.
Hope won the MIAA Commissioner's Cup for a league-record 24th time, including seven of the last nine years. Hope also won the women's all-sports award for a fourth straight year and the men's all-sports award for the third time in four years.
The spring sports highlight came in baseball as the Flying Dutchmen under coach Stu Fritz put together a school-record 26-game winning streak en route to the best mark in school history (28-6).
The individual highlight came from junior first baseman B.J. Maas of Jenison who on two different occasions hit a game-winning grand slam home run in the team's final at-bat to preserve the winning streak. With 10 home runs this season, Maas already shares the Hope career mark for homers (19).
Hope placed a record four players on the All Mid-East Region Division III team. Since the all-region program started in 1966, Hope had not had more than two players honored in a single season. Named to the all-region teams were sophomore catcher Eric MacKenzie of Alpena, senior pitcher Kevin Kittle of North Adams, Maas, and junior outfielder Mike VanBeek of Hudsonville.
Van Beek and junior outfielder Kyle Blackport of Grand Rapids were each voted to the All-MIAA first team for a second consecutive year. Named to the second team were MacKenzie, Maas, sophomore second baseman Justin Kribs of Jenison, junior third baseman Casey Glass of Hudsonville, junior outfielder Kenny Papes of Scottville, and junior pitcher Matt Widenmeier of Midland.
For the ninth consecutive year the Flying Dutch notched 20-or- more victories. The team posted a 22-17 record, but it was win #21 that was most notable because it marked the 500th collegiate coaching victory for Karla Wolters '73.
The milestone victory was in the opening game of the conference tournament. The Flying Dutch followed with a 7-3 win over rival Calvin for #501. In 24 seasons of coaching softball, first at Calvin and since 1988 at her alma mater, Wolters has guided teams to a 501-273 record.
The Flying Dutch finished second in the MIAA standings. Junior pitcher Andrea Adams of Fairgrove was voted the MIAA's most valuable player. She was also voted to the Division III all- region team. She led the MIAA in victories, earned run average and strikeouts compiling a 16-9 season record with a no-hitter, three one-hitters and seven shutouts. She was joined on the All- MIAA first team by junior catcher Angie Bunker of Muskegon and freshman outfielder Megan Sheehan of Hudsonville. Second team honorees were sophomore shortstop Kelly Kraft of Brown City and senior outfielder Rose Owens of Shelby.
The Flying Dutchmen finished second in the MIAA standings for the sixth consecutive year. Coached by Steve Gorno, the Dutchmen posted an 11-8 dual match record.
Four players were named to the All-MIAA men's tennis teams. Senior Dan Mann of Spring Lake was a first-team honoree for the third year. Also on the first team were Kevney Dugan, a sophomore from Holland, and Josh Honholt, a senior from Grand Rapids. Receiving second team recognition was senior Matt Bradley of Hastings.
Mann was also presented the league's Stowe Sportsmanship Award. It marks the fourth consecutive year and sixth time in seven years that a Hope player has received the award.
Two Hope players were conference champions. Bradley captured first place at fourth flight singles while sophomore Erik Frost of Midland was the champion at the sixth flight.
Two players received All-MIAA second team recognition -- junior Jennifer Coleman of Grand Rapids and senior Emily Reeves of Hudsonville. Reeves, was also presented the MIAA's Sue Little Sportsmanship Award. Determined by the league's players, the award was especially meaningful because Reeves was unable to play in the conference tournament because of an injury.
The doubles team of sophomores Dee Clouse of Jackson and Megan McDowell of Centralia, Ill. won the MIAA championship at the third flight. Coached by Karen Page, the Flying Dutch tied for fourth place in the MIAA seasonal standings.
Women's Track & Field
The Flying Dutch crowned five league champions while finishing second in the MIAA seasonal standings. Coached by Dereck Chavis, it marked the fifth consecutive year the Flying Dutch have been second.
Sophomore Jennifer Price of Battle Creek achieved NCAA All- America honors by finishing seventh in the 800-meter run at the Division III national championships. Price was also honored through the Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholar Award program.
Price defended her league championship in the 800-meter run. The other championships came in field events -- freshman Shanna Van Zyl of Grand Island, Neb., high jump; sophomore Christy Watkin of Holland, long jump; junior Kara VanAssen of Jenison, triple jump; and freshman Emily Schlitz of Potterville, javelin. Hope's league champions were joined on the All-MIAA team by seniors Dawn Allers of St. Anne, Ill. and Sarah Burgess of Niles. Watkin also qualified for the NCAA championships, finishing 10th in the long jump.
Seven Hope records, including both relays, were established. Individual record setters were Price, 800 meters; sophomore Christy Watkin, long jump and 200-meter dash; junior Kara VanAssen, triple jump; and senior Anna King of Downers Grove, Ill., 3,000-meter steeplechase. Freshman Katie DeYoung of Portage tied the pole vault record.
Men's Track & Field
The Flying Dutchmen finished fourth in the MIAA standings. Junior Ed Perez of Dorr was voted to the All-MIAA team for a third consecutive year.
Hope had two golfers compete in the NCAA Division III championships. Sophomore Lacey Wicksall of Traverse City finished 22nd at the women's championships while senior Eric Wohlfield of Brighton was 51st in the men's finals.