by Alan Babbitt
The 33rd-ranked Hope College women's tennis team successfully opened its quest for a record-setting eighth consecutive Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association Tournament title on Wednesday.
The Flying Dutch defeated fourth-seeded Calvin College, 5-0, at DeWitt Tennis Center in the semifinals.
Hope (16-5 overall) advanced to host second-seeded Kalamazoo College on Friday at 4 p.m. in the final. The winner receives the MIAA's automatic berth to the NCAA Division III Tournament.
In postseason play, the first team to win five matches wins. The Flying Dutch took control of the match early by winning all three doubles matches.
Hope closed out Calvin (14-7) with victories from sophomore Bailey Chorney of Waunakee, Wisconsin (Waunakee HS), pictured right, at No. 5 singles then junior Amanda Bandrowski of Traverse City, Michigan (T.C. St. Francis), pictured left, at No. 2 singles.
1. Claire Hallock/Amanda Bandrowski (HOPE-W) def. Leah Newhof/Madeline Brouwer (CAL-W) 8-2
2. Sydney Jackson/Taylor LaBarge (HOPE-W) def. Alexis Bonner/Maria Poortenga (CAL-W) 8-2
3. Erin LaBarge/Bailey Chorney (HOPE-W) def. Brittney Statema/Grace Brown (CAL-W) 8-3
1. Claire Hallock (HOPE-W) vs. Leah Newhof (CAL-W) 7-6, unfinished
2. Amanda Bandrowski (HOPE-W) def. Madeline Brouwer (CAL-W) 6-2, 6-2
3. Sydney Jackson (HOPE-W) vs. Maria Poortenga (CAL-W) 6-4, 4-2, unfinished
4. Taylor LaBarge (HOPE-W) vs. Maya Klopfenstein (CAL-W) 6-2, 3-2, unfinished
5. Bailey Chorney (HOPE-W) def. Grace Brown (CAL-W) 6-1, 6-0
6. Erin LaBarge (HOPE-W) vs. Alexis Bonner (CAL-W) 6-4, unfinished