Men's Tennis Headed To MIAA Finals

A rematch with rival Calvin College is next on the Hope men's tennis team's tournament docket after the Flying Dutchmen blanked Adrian College, 5-0, on Thursday in the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association semifinal played at the VandePoel-Heeringa Stadium on Hope's campus.

Second-seeded Hope (9-10 overall) now advances to the MIAA tournament finals to face first-seeded Calvin College on Friday at 4:00 p.m. at Strikwerda Tennis Stadium on Calvin's campusThe winner receives the MIAA's automatic berth to the NCAA Division III Tournament. 

The Flying Dutchmen, who finished third in the MIAA regular season standings, were narrowly defeated by the second-place Knights, 5-4, a month ago. 

On Thursday, Hope swept all three doubles flights and then won the first two singles flights in straight sets against Adrian. In MIAA tennis tournament play, the team match is played to decision as opposed to completion.

Sophomore Danny Kroeze of Holland, Michigan (Holland Christian HS), pictured, and junior Mark VanderStoep of Holland, Michigan (West Ottawa HS) accounted for three of Hope's five points in the match. The two paired to win their first doubles flight over Ronald Ducharme and Jon Rhind, 8-3. Then, Kroeze blanked Jeff Sophiea, 6-0, 6-0, on his first singles match while VanderStoep defeated Ducharme, 6-1, 6-1, at second singles.

Other Hope victors in completed matches were junior Michael Kiley of Muskegon, Michigan (Mona Shores HS) and freshman Carter Smiley of Minnetonka, Minnesota (Minnetoka HS) who beat Sophiea and Nate Waterbury at second doubles, 8-5. In third doubles, junior Timothy Roe of Bakersfield, California (Frontier HS) and junior Justin Folkert of Hamilton, Michigan (Hamilton HS) teamed up to defeat Tanner Wilcox and Nolan Duda, 8-4.

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