2016-17 Hope College Athletics Year In Review

By Gerrit Immink '17


Conference champions

Men's Basketball
Women's Cross Country
Men's Golf
Women's Golf
Women's Soccer
Women's Tennis

NACDA Division III Directors' Cup Standings

Hope earned its second-highest finish in the Director's Cup all-sports standings. Hope placed 19th overall with a total of 550 points during appearances in NCAA championship postseason competition. 

MIAA Commissioner's Cup Standings

Hope finished second in the MIAA Commissioner's Cup all-sports standings with 130 points. The Hope women tied for first place with 68 points. The Hope men were second with 62 points.

Otto van der Velde All-Campus Award Recipient

Harrison Blackledge, men's basketball 

John Schouten Award Recipients

Erin Herrmann, cross country and indoor and outdoor track & field; Elizabeth Perkins, soccer and basketball. 


Nate Price served as an interim men's and women's tennis coach during the 2017-18 season after Adam Ford departed. Bob Cawood was hired as men's and women's tennis coach in April. 

Historic Moments and Notable Performances

Men's golfer Josh Gibson claims school's first individual national championship in the sport after winning a one-hole playoff in Howie-in-the-Hills, Florida in May. He finished 73 holes of play at 1-under par.

Outdoor track & field Erin Herrmann ran away with the school's first 3,000-meter steeplechase national championship by posting a school-record time of 10 minutes, 21.08 seconds in May in Geneva, Ohio. It was the ninth-fastest time in NCAA Division III women's history.

Cross country's Erin Herrmann earned her first All-America honors of the school year with a fourth-place finish at the national championship race in November in Louisville, Kentucky. She helped the Flying Dutch place 10th for the fifth top-10 finish in team history.

Men's basketball's Harrison Blackledge was named the recipient of the Jostens Trophy given to the top student-athlete in NCAA Division III. In conjunction with the awarding of the Jostens Trophy, is the presentation of the $1,000 Wooldridge Scholarship given to Hope College in Blackledge's name.

Harrison Blackledge and Erin Herrmann were selected recipients of the MIAA's Albert L. Deal and Sheila Wallace Kovalchik Scholar Awards, respectively. It was the first time student-athletes from the same school were chosen in the same school year.

Football's Aaron O'Meara was awarded a NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship. The senior linebacker was Hope College's 24th recipient of the scholarship.

Under the direction of first-year head coach Peter Stuursma, the Hope football team recorded its largest single-season turnaround with a 7-3 overall record. The Flying Dutch were MIAA runner-up. 



Hope finished its season with a ninth-place total of 323 points at the NCAA Division III Great Lakes Regional the Flying Dutchmen hosted at West Ottawa Golf Course.

Senior Julian Morrison earned all-region honors for his performance at the Great Lakes Regional. Morrison clocked an 8K time of 25 minutes, 31.9 seconds. 

Coach Mark Northuis and The Flying Dutchmen claimed United States Track & Field Cross Country Coaches Association All-Academic Team honors for the 26th time in 27 years. Junior Ben Pederson also received USTFCCCA All-Academic recognition. 


Hope finished 10th at the NCAA Division III Women's Cross Country Championships with a score of 376. The 10th-place finish is tied for Hope's third best finish at the Division III Championships.

Senior Erin Herrmann clocked in at a time of 20 minutes, 51.1 seconds to finish fourth in a field of 280 runners. Her fourth-place finish ties her for highest all-time in Hope College history.

Herrmann was also recognized as an All-American in her senior year, making her the second two time All-American in school history.

Coach Mark Northuis and the Flying Dutch qualified for nationals by placing third in the Great Lakes Regional they hosted at West Ottawa Golf Course. Hope was one of 16  teams to receive at at-large bid to secure their spot for the national race in Louisville, Kentucky.

Hope repeated as MIAA Champion with a score of 33 points to claim its eighth overall title. The Flying Dutch recorded seven of the fastest 13 times during the 6K, including all five of its scoring runners in the Top 10. Hope  finished 12 points ahead of runner-up Calvin.

Erin Herrmann, also voted Most Valuable Runner, Avery Lowe, and Emily Joosse all were honored with All-MIAA First Team selections. 

The Flying Dutch picked up United States Track & Field Cross Country Coaches Association All-Academic Team honors for the 27th time in a row with a 3.57 collective grade point average. They were among 216 NCAA Division III women's teams to achieve the distinction this season. Six runners were named USTFCCCA All-Academic: Erin Herrmann, Emily Joosse, Jessica Gaines, Alissa Frazee, Emily Hamilton, and Avery Lowe.


The Flying Dutchmen flipped the script under first year Head Coach Peter Stuursma. Hope ended with a record of 7-3, including a 5-1 mark in MIAA play. The team finished the season on six game win-streak. Under Stuursma's leadership, Hope saw its biggest single-season turnaround.

The Flying Dutchmen had a record four players earn all-region honors from D3Football: running back Brandan Campbell, offensive guard Justin Fairfield, linebacker Aaron O'Meara, and offensive lineman Michael Stephan.

Hope saw six players named to the All-MIAA First Team: Brandan Campbell, defensive back Kimani Dooley, Justin Fairchild, kicker Darren Ford, Aaron O'Meara and Michael Stephan. 

Brandan Campbell and Mike Miklusicak made history as the first backfield duo to both rush for over 1,000 yards a piece. Hope totaled a record 2,738 rushing yards as a team.

Kicker Darren Ford set the school record for most field goals made in a season with 14.

Senior linebacker Aaron O'Meara was awarded an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship. O'Meara is Hope College's 24th recipient of the scholarship.


Coach Bob Ebels and the Flying Dutchmen concluded their most successful season in school history with a sixth-place finish at the NCAA Division III Championships in May in Howey-in-the-Hills, Florida.

Sophomore Josh Gibson was crowned the individual national champion after finishing one-under at the NCAA Championships. Gibson is the first Hope golfer to become national champion.

Josh Gibson and Winton Munch both picked up NCAA Division III Ping All-Region recognition honors, as well as All-MIAA First Team.

Kade Hoeksema earned Srixon/Cleveland Golf All-America Scholars for NCAA Division III from the Golf Coaches Association of America.

Hope advanced to nationals for the fifth consecutive season and 12th overall by winning the 54-hole MIAA qualifier with a score of 866. The Flying Dutchmen also won the regular-season MIAA title for the 20th time overall and for the fourth consecutive season. 


The Flying Dutch equaled their second-highest finish at the NCAA Division III Women's golf Championships with an 11th-place effort in Houston, Texas. The Flying Dutch shot a 72-hole score of 1,300.

Hope qualified for the national tournament for the third consecutive season by winning the MIAA's 54-hole NCAA qualifier for the third year in a row with a total of 996.

Coach Greg Stafford and the Flying Dutch set individual and team marks for Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association stroke average while completing their title run with a first-place performance at the 36-hole MIAA Fall Finish at Bedford Valley Golf Club for a third consecutive season.

Megan Klintworth earned Most Valuable Golfer honors for the second time in her career.

Megan Klintworth, along with teammates Britni Gielow and Nicole Meyer were selected to the All-MIAA First Team.


Back Thomas Conerty was chosen as the MIAA Zuidema Award recipient. The award is given to a senior selected for his contributions to team play, leadership qualities, demonstration of ethical virtues and excellence in athletics and academics.

Coach Steven Smith and the Flying Dutchmen finished the season with an overall record of 6-12-1 and a sixth-place MIAA record of 4-9-1.


The Flying Dutch recorded their sixth NCAA Division III Tournament appearance and finished with a 15-4-2 overall record after losing 3-2 to Lynchburg, Virginia in the first round. Hope won the MIAA Tournament for its third postseason appearance in four years. Coach Leigh Sears and the Flying Dutch were regular-season MIAA co-champions, making them league champs for the fifth time.

Elizabeth Perkins record a Hope record 25 goals in the season. She was tied for the national scoring leader after the regular season.

Elizabeth Perkins led a group of four All-MIAA First Team honorees for the Flying Dutch. She was joined by Natalie Curry, Erin Brophy, and Elizabeth Perkins.

Erin Brophy, Natalie Curry and Elizabeth Perkins also received all-region honors. Perkins was a first-team selection.

Elizabeth Perkins was selected a College Sports Information Directors of America Academic All-America first-team honoree, as well as being named to the National Soccer Coaches Association of America Scholar All-America Third Team. 


The Flying Dutch reached the NCAA Division III Tournament for the ninth consecutive season and finished with a 25-6 record after losing to Elmhurst, Illinois in the first round in November.

Hope handed eventual national champion Calvin its only loss with a five-set victory on November in the championship match of the MIAA Tournament in Grand Rapids. Coach Becky Schmidt and the Flying Dutch placed second in the regular season standings with a conference mark of 13-3.

Three Flying Dutch received all-region recognition, including libero Alexis Thompson and setter Sophia Hackett — both American Volleyball Coaches Association first-team selections.

Sophia Hackett and Alexis Thompson also garnered All-MIAA First Team selections.



The Flying Dutchmen hosted three postseason games and advanced to the sectional round of the NCAA Division III Tournament before finishing with a 23-7 overall record. It was Hope's 28th postseason appearance all-time and second consecutive under head coach Greg Mitchell. Hope received an at-large NCAA berth after winning the regular-season MIAA title with a 13-1 league mark and placing runner-up in the MIAA Tournament.

Harrison Blackledge was also awarded as the 2017 Jostens Trophy recipient as the most outstanding NCAA Division III men's basketball player of the year. As well as, being named D3hoops and National Basketball Coaches Association First Team All-American. Off the court, Blackledge was chosen a College Sports Information Directors of America First Team Academic All-American.

Harrison Blackledge was named MIAA MVP and All-MIAA First Team. Dante Hawkins and Chad Carlson were also first-team honorees.

Chad Carlson now stands alone atop the Flying Dutchmen's 3-pointers made list with 181.

Cody Stuive sank a Hope and Devos Fieldhouse record 10 3-pointers en route to a career-high 37 points that propelled the Flying Dutchmen to a 94-80 NCAA Tournament second-round win against Washington-St. Louis on March 5 at DeVos Fieldhouse. He missed only one of the 11 3-pointers he attempted.

Harrison Blackledge scored 601 points this season — the third-most by a Flying Dutchmen player. He finished with 1,399 total career points — 13th all time in school history.   


The Flying Dutch advanced to the sectional semifinals in the NCAA Division III Tournament after reaching postseason play for the fifth consecutive time and 17th overall. Hope finished the season with an overall record of 24-5 following a loss to Christopher Newport, Virginia.

In the second round, coach Brian Morehouse and the Flying Dutch ended one of the longest win streaks in women's basketball with a 74-67 win at unbeaten Thomas More, Kentucky behind 22 points and 14 rebounds from forward Mandy Traversa  Hope was the first team to beat Thomas More since Whitman in a 2014 sectional final. That was 94 consecutive wins (when 33 vacated wins from the 2014-15 season because of a NCAA penalty are "counted"). The Flying Dutch were the first opponent to win at Thomas More since Calvin beat the Saints 84-75 in overtime on November 23, 2012 - a span of 79 consecutive victories.

Hope received an at-large berth in the NCAA Division III Tournament after finishing second during the regular season in the MIAA and losing to Calvin in the semifinals of the league tournament.

Center Francesca Buchanan received Great Lakes Region first-team recognition. She was also selected to the All-MIAA First Team. 


Diver Jean Luc Miralda represented the Flying Dutchmen at the NCAA Division III Championships. He placed 13th in the nation in the 3-meter dive and 17th in the nation in the 1-meter dive.

Coach John Patnott and the Flying Dutchmen finished third at the MIAA Championship. Swimmers Daniel Clyde, Charlie Emmert and diver Jean Luc Miralda were all named to All- MIAA.

Hope earned a spot on the College Swimming and Diving Coaches Association of America Scholar All-America Teams for the 2016 fall semester. They Flying Dutchmen were among a record 638 women's and women's teams from all NCAA and NAIA divisions to receive the award.


The Flying Dutch claimed five MIAA titles during the league meet they hosted at Holland Community Aquatic Center: the 1,650 freestyle (Elizabeth Fris), 200 breaststroke (Paula Nolte), 200 backstroke (Molly Meyer), the 100 butterfly (Chloe Palajac) and 100 backstroke (Molly Meyer). Hope finished runner-up.

Swimmers Erin Emmert, Elizabeth Fris, Molly Meyer, Paula Nolte, and Chloe Palajac, and diver Sara Plohetski, all received All-MIAA recognition. Elizabeth Fris, Molly Meyer, and Chloe Palajac all were All-MIAA for the second consecutive season.

Molly Meyer received Academic All-District At-Large honors from the College Sports Information Directors of America. 

Coach John Patnott's Flying Dutch recorded the third-highest team grade point average in NCAA Division III during the fall semester during the 2016-17 school year. They were among record 638 women's and men's teams from all NCAA and NAIA divisions to be named College Swimming and Diving Coaches Association of America Scholar All-America Teams for the fall semester.


The Flying Dutchmen set school records in the 400-meter race, distance medley relay, and 5,000 meter race en route to a second-place finish at the MIAA Indoor Track & Field Championships.

Brandon Wolliston set a school record in the 400 meter race with a time of 49.45 seconds. He was MIAA runner-up.

Brandon Wolliston was also a part of the team that set the school record, and took first in the distance medley relay with a time of 10:28.24. He was joined by Cameron Jones, Peter Temperman, and Benjamin Pederson.

Julian Morrison set a school record in the 5,000 meter race. He clocked a time of 14 minutes, 56.5 seconds and finished third.

Coach Kevin Cole's Flying Dutchmen also placed three throwers in the top four for the shot put event. Chase Gaca took second with a throw of 12.08 meters. He was followed closely by freshman Jacob Babb (12.07 meters) and freshman Timothy Ivory (11.84 meters). 


The Flying Dutch saw Erin Herrmann qualify for the NCAA Division III Indoor Track & Field Championships in the 3,000 meters for the second consecutive season and finish ninth. 

Coach Kevin Cole's Flying Dutch had five selected to the United States Track & Field Cross Country and Track & Field Coaches Association all-region team: Erin Herrmann, Allison Rich, Rachael Webb, Avery Lowe, and Chelsea Miskelley.

Hope was runner-up at the MIAA Championship with a score of 106 points. Rachael Webb took home first-place honors in the 800 meters while setting MIAA and school indoor records with a time of 2 minutes, 18.65 seconds. Emily Hamilton won the 3,000 meter run with a time of 10:25.94. Hope also won the distance medley relay with a time of 12:21.51. The team consisted of Avery Lowe, freshman Chelsea Miskelly, Rachel Webb and senior Erin Herrmann.



The Flying Dutchmen recorded an overall record of 24-18 and an MIAA league record of 17-11. The 24 wins extended the streak of consecutive 20-win seasons to nine years in a row under the direction of head coach Stu Fritz.

Senior right fielder JP Batts received all-region recognition from the American Baseball Coaches Association.

JP Batts collected 59 hits on the year, second most in Hope baseball history. He batted .415 to give the Flying Dutchmen their 24th .400 hitter. Through his career, Batts recorded 150 hits which placed him ninth all time in Hope baseball history.

JP Batts also earned All-MIAA First Team recognition. 


The Flying Dutchmen posted an overall record of 10-6 and a record of 5-2 in MIAA play. Hope finished in a second-place tied in the regular season standings and hosted their first league tournament match. Coach Michael Schanhals and the Flying Dutchmen were edged in the semifinals by Alma 11-10.

Gunnar Elder was selected All-MIAA First Team for the third consecutive season. He concluded a storied career by setting school records in games started and played, career goals and assists, and career points.

Gunnar Elder tied a single-game Flying Dutchmen record with eight assists during a 16-9 win at Calvin on April 11.

Goalie Nick Schanhals recorded 10 wins in goal which set the all-time single season school record. 


The Flying Dutch reached the championship match of the MIAA Tournament for the first time and finished with a 9-7 overall record after losing to Calvin. Their nine wins under the direction of head coach Kim Vincent — the most in team history — including a third-place 6-2 record in MIAA play during the regular season.

Attacker Alexandra Webb was an All-MIAA First Team selection. 

Four Flying Dutch set school records in 2017 as well: Alexandra Webb in career assists with 29, Erin Caton in single-season assists with 16, Audrey Park Park in single-season ground balls with 51, and goalie Alexandria Watts with nine wins in net.


The Flying Dutch were regional runner-up in the NCAA Division III Tournament for the second time in three years. They recorded their fourth consecutive 20-plus win season with a 27-15 overall record after losing to Trine in the regional final. Coach Mary VandeHoef and Hope was MIAA co-champions with a 13-3 conference record.

Pitcher Sydney Jones had a historic year on the mound for the Flying Dutch. She was selected a NCAA Division III First Team All-American by Fastpitch News. In addition, Jones earned all-region honors from the National Fastpitch Coaches Association and was named the MIAA"s Most Valuable Pitcher.

Sydney Jones broke records for career strikeouts with 482 and single season with 229. Her 17 wins are also most all time in Hope history. Eleven of those 17 wins were shutouts which is also a school record.

Senior center fielder Sammi Adams, junior catcher Hayley Reitsma, and Jones were all received all-region honors from the National Fastpitch Coaches Association. The trio of Flying Dutch were also All-MIAA First Team selections. 


The Flying Dutchmen finished as MIAA runner-up for the second consecutive season and with a 9-10 overall record under the guidance of interim coach Nate Price. They went 6-1 in regular-season league matches and lost to Calvin in the semifinals of the league tournament. 

Sophomore Michael Kiley earned All-MIAA First Team honor for the second consecutive season after playing No. 1 singles and No. 1 doubles.


The Flying Dutch served their way to the first regional final of the NCAA Division III Tournament in team history. They lost to Washington-St. Louis 5-3 for a 21-4 overall record that marked their second-most wins in a single season.

Hope repeated as MIAA champion with an 8-0 league record. Interim coach Nate Price's Flying Dutch did not lose a match to a league opponent during the regular season for a 72-0 record.

Nancy Benda was invited to compete at the NCAA Division III Individual Women's Tennis Championships for the second time in her career. She lost in the first round, but ended her career with 71 singles wins — the fifth-most wins in team history.

Nancy Benda also concluded with the most doubles wins: 89. She posted a 89-27 doubles record while playing with four different partners during her career.

Nancy Benda was recognized as the MIAA MVP, as well as All-MIAA First Team playing No. 1 singles and No. 1 doubles. Two freshmen teammates joined Benda on the first team: Amanda Bandrowski and Claire Hallock.

Bandrowski played No. 2 singles and set a school record with a 27-1 singles record. Claire Hallock was at No. 3 singles and No. 3 doubles and tied the old singles record with a 25-2 record.

Claire Hallock and Christin Drozd went 26-5 in doubles play this season — one off the school record for a single-season. 


The Flying Dutchmen's Nicholas Salomon placed ninth in the nation in the 800 meters at the NCAA Division III Outdoor Track & Field Championships, while Benjamin Pederson placed 12th in the 3,000-meter steeplechase.

Benjamin Pederson set a school record in the 3,000-meter steeplechase at the North Central College Dr. Keeler Invitational in Naperville, Illinois earlier in the year with a time of 9 minutes, 7.65 seconds.

Three Flying Dutchmen earned all-region honors from the United States Track & Field Cross Country Coaches Association for the 2017 outdoor track & field season: Joshua Izenbart, Benjamin Pederson and Nicholas Salomon.

Coach Kevin Cole's Flying Dutchmen won two events at MIAA Field Day, where the team placed third. Nicholas Salomon won the 800-meter race for the second year in a row and Joshua Izenbart won the high jump with a height of 6 feet, 6 inches.

Joshua Izenbart and Nicholas Salomon also earned All-MIAA honors for their performance this season. 


Two All-America performances highlighted the outdoor track & field season for the Flying Dutch. Senior Erin Herrmann claimed the title of national champion in the 3,000-meter steeplechase. She was joined by fellow All-American junior Alison Rich, who turned in an eighth-place performance in the heptathlon.

Erin Herrmann's school-record steeplechase time of 10 minutes, 21.08 seconds was the ninth fastest time in Division III history. She joined Nora Kuiper as Flying Dutch national champions in track & field.

Three Flying Dutch earned all-region honors from the United States Track & Field Cross Country Coaches Association: Erin Herrmann, Alison Rich, and Rachael Webb.

Coach Kevin Cole's Flying Dutch won four events en route to a runner-up finish at the MIAA Field Day. Erin Herrmann won the steeplechase for the third consecutive year. Rachel Satkiewicz won the 400 meters. The 4x400 relay team of Erin Herrmann, Rachael Webb, Rachel Satkiewicz, and Chelsea Miskelley also took home first place. Rachael Webb took home the prize in the 800 meter race, with Herrmann runner-up.

Hope's All-MIAA honorees were Erin Herrmann, Rachel Satkiewicz, Rachael Webb, and Chelsea Miskelley. Erin Herrmann and Rachel Satkiewicz were three-time honorees. Herrmann was also chosen as the MIAA Most Valuable Runner for her performance this season. | PO Box 9000, Holland, Michigan 49422