A focused and determined Hope College women's tennis team started NCAA Division III Tournament play successfully with a 5-0 victory against St. Scholastica, Minnesota on Thursday in Whitewater, Wisconsin.
The 21st-ranked Flying Dutch improved to 20-3 overall and earned a rematch with No. 27 Wisconsin-Whitewater in the second round on Friday at 11 a.m. Central. Whitewater beat Northwestern-St. Paul 5-0 in the first round.
"The scores might not reflect it, but that was a good test for us. They forced us to play good tennis," interim head coach Nate Price said. "The hitting level was right where we want it. Our ability to compete at a high level was ready to go from ball one."
This is the third consecutive season Hope and Whitewater have met in the postseason. Whitewater has won the previous two meetings.
Hope reached the 20-win mark for the third team in team history. The Flying Dutch joined the 1998 team that went 23-2 and the 2015 team that finished 20-5.
Freshman Claire Hallock of Lakeland, Florida (Harrison Center HS) clinched the match with a 6-2, 6-0 win at No. 3 singles against Elise Hauer.
Senior Nancy Benda of Birmingham, Michigan (Seaholm) earned Hope's other singles point with a 6-0, 6-0 win at No. 1 singles against Jessica Solberg.
Benda's 71st career singles victory in 103 matches gave her sole possession of fifth place all-time among Flying Dutch players. She broke a tie with Dani Zurchauer, who went 70-18 from 1987-90.
Hope swept doubles to begin the match.
Benda and freshman Quincey Glupker of Grandville, Michigan (Grandville) topped Solberg and Madeleine Scanlon 8-2 at No. 1 doubles.
Hallock and senior Christin Drozd of Allegan, Michigan (Allegan) served up an 8-1 at No. 3 doubles against Hauer and Alexia Brascugli.
"We definitely put a premium on our doubles play," Price said. "Even if we don't get the 2-1 split, it sets the tone. How we play can carry us through singles."