by Alan Babbitt
Hope College's Taylor LaBarge excelled on the court and in the classroom over four years.
The senior from Hudsonville, Michigan (Hudsonville) has been recognized as the top student-athlete in Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association women's tennis as the recipient of the Karen Caine Scholar-Athlete Award.
The Karen Caine Award is an annual scholar athlete award instituted by the MIAA in 2007 to honor Karen Caine, former long-time women's tennis coach at Adrian College.
LaBarge is Hope's fourth recipient. She joins a group that her sister, Leah LaBarge (2013), Mallory Smith (2014) and Carli Capestany (2015).
On the court, LaBarge is a four-time MIAA team regular-season and tournament champion.
This season, LaBarge has 20 doubles wins this season, including 10 this spring against MIAA foes, and 15 singles wins, including seven against league opponents.
In her career. LaBarge has 78 doubles victories and 56 singles wins. She is tied for second all-time at Hope in doubles victories with Capestany.
Off the court, LaBarge has earned a 3.99 grade point average while pursuing a double major of public accounting and business.
"The fact that Taylor has been able hold for her entire career a 3.99 GPA, and be able to compete and have 134 wins between singles and doubles, is quite an incredible feat," head coach Bob Cawood said. "The Karen Caine Award really encompasses what a student-athlete is. All the nominees that were brought up by the conference deserve the award. The fact that Taylor won it shows not only her excellence in the classroom and tennis, but her involvement in extracurriculars, including being part of the Dance Marathon (fundraiser for DeVos Children's Hospital.
"I'm really proud of her."