"A full team effort" is what head coach Bobby Cawood deemed his Flying Dutch's semifinal win in the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association women's tennis tournament on Thursday. Top-seeded Hope quickly dispatched fourth-seeded Trine University, 5-0, in approximately one and a half hours at the DeWitt Tennis Center.
The Flying Dutch, ranked ninth in the NCAA Central region and owners of a 12-8 overall record, now advances to the MIAA tournament finals to face rival and third-seeded Calvin College on Friday at 4:00 p.m. at VandePoel-Heeringa Tennis Stadium on Hope's campus. The winner receives the MIAA's automatic berth to the NCAA Division III Tournament.
With their victory in Thursday's semi, Hope has advanced to the MIAA tournament final every year since 2009.
Winners of the regular season title, Hope swept all three doubles flights and then won two singles flights, at number-one and number-six, in straight sets. In MIAA tennis tournament play, the team match is played to decision as opposed to completion.
Sophomore Amanda Bandrowski of Traverse City, Michigan (St. Francis HS) completed both of her matches victoriously by winning her number-one singles match, 6-0, 6-0, and pairing with freshman Bailey Chorney of Waunakee, Wisconsin (Waunakee HS) to win number-two doubles, 8-0. Bandrowski, this year's MIAA MVP, remains undefeated in league play in both singles and doubles.
In number-one doubles, sophomore Claire Hallock of Lakeland, Florida (Harrison Center HS) and junior Taylor LaBarge of Hudsonville, Michigan (Hudsonville HS) blanked their Trine opponents, Madison Hatkevich and Zoe Laubach, 8-0, while senior Natalie Rahrig of Fort Wayne, Indiana (Bishop Luers HS) and junior Erin LaBarge of Hudsonville, Michigan (Hudsonville HS) won their number-three doubles match, 8-2, against Kyra Braun and Katie Simon.
In the last match played to completion, sophomore Liz Pniewski of Lowell, Michigan (Grand Rapids Catholic Central HS) didn't allow Trine's Andrea Jordan a single game, winning in two sets, 6-0, 6-0. She is undefeated in league singles play this season.