The 10th-ranked Hope College volleyball team fended off a late challenge from Saint Mary's College to win a Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association Tournament semifinal for the 11th consecutive time.
The second-seeded Flying Dutch advanced to Saturday's 6 p.m. final at top-ranked Calvin with a 25-16, 25-22, 23-25, 25-22 victory over the Belles.
Calvin beat fourth-seeded Adrian 23-25, 25-17, 25-11, 25-17 in Friday's second semifinal. The Hope-Calvin winner claims the MIAA's automatic berth to next week's NCAA Division III Tournament. The field is announced on Monday, Nov. 7 at 12:30 p.m on ncaa.com/liveschedule.
Against Saint Mary's, the Flying Dutch scored four of the final five points to finish the match and improve to 24-5 overall.
Middle hitter Courtney Van Houzen recorded a match-high 16 kills on a .452 kill percentage for Hope. The senior from Traverse City, Michigan (West HS) came within one kill of her season-high of 17 against Clarkson, N.Y. on October 15 at the Midwest Invitational at DeVos Fieldhouse.
Sophomore Katie Rietberg of Holland, Michigan (West Ottawa) chipped in 15 kills.
Junior setter Sophia Hackett of Indianapolis, Indiana (Brebeuf Jesuit) totaled 42 assists.
This is Hope's 14th appearance in an MIAA Tournament championship match.
Calvin defeated Hope in both regular-season meetings this season, winning in three sets at Hope on September 28 and in five sets at Calvin on October 28.