The Hope women's tennis team is enjoying a strong start to the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) Flighted Championships it is hosting.
Coach Adam Ford's Flying Dutch put six singles players into the semifinals out of a possible eight spots in two brackets. The two-day event at the Etheridge Tennis Complex is wrapping up this afternoon.
Freshman Nancy Benda of Birmingham (Seaholm HS) won twice after an opening bye to reach the semifinals in the top half of the A Draw.
In the bottom half of the bracket, two Hope players advanced to square off in the semifinals — junior Carli Capestany of Hudsonville (Hudsonville HS) and sophomore Claire Cooper, pictured at right, of Williamston (Williamston HS). Both won twice after receiving a first-round bye.
The B Draw featured two Hope players reach the semifinals of the bottom half of the bracket — senior Mallory Smith of Grand Haven (Grand Haven HS) and freshman Kate Mader of Granger, Ind. Smith won three times to advance, while Mader won twice after an opening bye.
In the top half of the bracket, senior Stephanie Huffman of Grand Rapids advanced to the semifinals with two wins in the top half of the bracket.