By Dean Holzwarth
The Hope College women's swimming and diving team was hoping to keep its perfect Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association dual meet record intact at Calvin on Saturday.
In a matchup of nationally ranked teams, the Flying Dutch fell 166-134 and finished the dual-meet portion of its schedule with a 4-1 record.
No. 25 Hope now turns its attention to preparing for the February 21-24 MIAA Championships at Calvin.
The MIAA Championships' results solely determine the MIAA team winner. No. 12 Calvin went 5-0 in league dual meets.
"That was a little disappointing since it was our first loss in conference," said assistant coach Nathan Brown. "We knew coming in we were the underdog and wanted to try and pull off the upset. Unfortunately, we weren't able to do that.
"From here on out, we're going to ease up and shorten our yardages. We will look for faster swims at the conference meet."
On Saturday, the Flying Dutch won a total of eight events.
Hope opened the meet by winning the 400-yard medley relay. Freshman Hope Reynolds of Exon, Pennsylvania (Villa Maria Academy), sophomore Paula Nolte of Elmhurst, Illinois (York Community), senior Chloe Palajac of Dearborn, Michigan (Dearborn), and junior Sydney Asselin of Holland, Michigan (Holland Christian) recorded a winning time of 4 minutes, 00.47 seconds.
Nolte also clocked first-place efforts in the 100 breaststroke with a time of 1:08.47 and in the 200 breaststroke at 2:30.74.
Freshman Meg Peel of Spring Lake, Michigan (Spring Lake HS) claimed top honors in the 100 and 200 backstroke with a time of 58.58 seconds and 2:07.61, respectively.
Palajac won the 100 butterfly in 58.56 and the 200 individual medley in 2:11.75.
Sophomore Erin Emmert of Grand Blanc, Michigan (Flint Powers Catholic) took first in the 200 butterfly in 2:14.79.
"We haven't tapered or anything yet so that shows a good sign and our mindset was to have fun and not focus too much on our times," Peel said. "A lot of girls had great races. Paula had great races in her two breast events and Emma Schaefer did, too."