Hope Women's Tennis Sweeps Kalamazoo For 10th MIAA Tournament Title

The Hope College women's tennis team shuffled its doubles lineup and served up a convincing win for a fourth consecutive MIAA Tournament championship.

The 26th-ranked and top-seeded Flying Dutch beat Kalamazoo 5-0 in Friday's title match at Etheridge Tennis Center to earn the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Tournament.

The national field and regional pairings are announced on Monday. Hope is now 20-4 on the season.

Photo of Nancy Benda by Monica Dwyer

Juniors Marie Holaway of Holland, Michigan (West Ottawa HS), and Anna Garcia of Battle Creek, Michigan (Lakeview HS), moved up to the No. 2 flight and claimed an 8-6 win that completed a sweep of doubles.

Hope coach Adam Ford moved junior Claire Cooper of Williamston, Michigan (Williamston HS), into the singles linup after she played doubles only during Thursday's semifinal win against Saint Mary's.

Sophomore Kate Mader of Granger, Indiana (Penn HS), and freshman Natalie Rahrig of Fort Wayne, Indiana (Bishop Luers HS), played together at No. 3 doubles and earned an 8-4 win.

Senior Carli Capestany of Hudsonville, Michigan (Hudsonville HS), and sophomore Nancy Benda of Birmingham, Michigan (Seaholm HS), also won 8-4 at No. 1 doubles.

It was Capestany's 77th doubles win, a school record after she broke a tie with Jennifer Smith (1997-2000).

In singles, Benda clinched the final point Hope needed with a 6-4, 6-1 win against Kalamazoo's Sarah Woods, who was ranked third in the Central Region.

Benda handed Woods her first loss in MIAA competition.

Sophomore Paige Courts of Caledonia, Michigan (Grand Rapids South Christian HS), earned the Flying Dutch's other point by defeating Cheryl Zhang 6-3, 6-1 at No. 5 singles.

This is Hope's 10th trip to the national tournament. The Flying Dutch reached the regional semifinals last season.

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