Hope College December 2012 : Page 9
Fall Sports Report Memorable H ope’s fall sports season could not be measured as much in conference championships won as in past years, but there were many memorable accomplishments by teams, athletes and coaches. Even though there was not a conference championship trophy to be hoisted, it wasn’t a matter of the fall teams not achieving. No team finished below third place in its respective MIAA standings, and at the end of the fall season Hope trailed Commissioner Cup standings leader Calvin by just four all-sports points. Hope recorded second-place conference finishes in men’s and women’s cross country, men’s golf and volleyball. The women’s soccer team tied for second place. The football and women’s golf teams finished third and men’s soccer team tied for third. Every Hope team eligible to compete in NCAA-qualifying post-season tournaments reached that goal. For the first time in a quarter of a century, the Flying Dutch were NCAA Division III Great Lakes Regional women’s cross country champions and their longtime coach, Mark Northuis ’82, was honored as the Regional Coach of the Year. They went on to place 10th at the NCAA Championship, their best finish in nearly two decades. Hope volleyball celebrated two All-Americans in the same season for the first time in school history. Sophomore outside hitter Jenna Grasmeyer of Hudsonville, Mich., was named a AVCA first-team All-American, while senior setter Greer Bratschie of Grand Moments Celebrated Jenna Grasmeyer and teammates celebrate a successful volleyball season. The Flying Dutch qualified for cross country nationals. Rapids, Mich., was a third-team All-American. Bratschie had the distinction of being a three-time All-MIAA and All-Region honoree. Her father, Steve Bratschie ’80, was an All-MIAA football player. The tradition of achieving All-MIAA football honors continued in one Hope family. A sophomore offensive tackle, Joe Droppers of Kalamazoo, Mich., became the fifth member of his family to achieve the honor when he was named to the All-MIAA first team. He joined his grandfather Don “Doc” Van Hoeven ’56, his father Kurt ’79, his brother Jacob ’08 and his brother Josh ’12 as first-team all-league players. And all of them have been offensive linemen! Two football players received distinct honors. Junior placekicker Evan Finch of Ann Arbor, Mich., was named a finalist for the Fred Mitchell Outstanding Place-Kicker Award, which is given to the nation’s top collegiate place-kicker among the more than 750 collegiate football teams. The recipient is chosen based on excellence on the football field and in the community. Finch was successful on every kick he attempted in league games. His community service has included working with special education students as a swimming instructor. Junior quarterback Michael Atwell of Geneseo, Ill., was named the Midwest Region’s top quarterback academically. In addition to achieving All-MIAA honors for his athletic performance, Atwell, who is majoring in biology, has maintained a 3.88 cumulative grade point average. Achieving All-MIAA first team honors were: Cross Country – junior Camille Borst of Allendale, Mich., senior Sharon Hecker of Grandville, Mich., junior Sam Pederson of Mount Prospect, Ill., and senior Blake Rottschafer of Spring Lake, Mich.; Football – junior Tim Klaus of Saugatuck, Mich., junior Connor Parcell of Cadillac, Mich., sophomore Joe Droppers of Kalamazoo, Mich., junior Santino DiCesare of Dorr, Mich., and freshman Dean DeVries of Grand Rapids, Mich.; Men’s Golf – sophomore Collin Breit of Muskegon, Mich.; Women’s Golf – senior Charlotte Park of Grosse Pointe, Mich., and sophomore Brittany Haight of Otsego, Mich.; Men’s Soccer – junior Grant Neil of Holland, Mich., and Jason Muller of Petoskey, Mich.; Women’s Soccer –sophomore forward Lindsey Bieri of Holland, Mich., and sophomore forward Courtney Schmidt of Lowell, Mich.; and Volleyball – senior Greer Bratschie of Grand Rapids, Mich., sophomore Jenna Grasmeyer of Hudsonville, Mich., and junior Mari Schoolmaster of Portage, Mich. Hope’s outstanding athletic facilities came into focus once again in mid-November as the NCAA Division III women’s volleyball championships were held at DeVos Fieldhouse. A record crowd of more than 3,500 fans packed the arena for the national championship match. The NCAA women’s basketball final four return to DeVos in March. hope.edu/pr/nfhc June 2012 December 2012 9
Memorable Moments Celebrated
Hope’s fall sports season could not be measured as much in conference championships won as in past years, but there were many memorable accomplishments by teams, athletes and coaches.
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