by Alan Babbitt
The Hope College volleyball team honored three cherished seniors, then enjoyed a 3-0 win against Adrian College on Wednesday at DeVos Fieldhouse.
The Flying Dutch, who rose this week to 13th in the American Volleyball Coaches Association NCAA Division III poll, clinched a first-round bye and the No. 2 seed in next week's Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association Tournament.
Head coach Becky Schmidt said it was satisfying to accomplish a lot during the 25-16, 25-14, 25-17 victory.
"I liked being able to celebrate those seniors who have given so much to our program, then try to find some ways to try some things that we've been working on a little bit but haven't able to execute in practice," head coach Becky Schmidt said. "There were some offensive things we were trying and trying to get some kids some opportunities when the chances were there."
Stutz, an outside hitter, topped Hope with nine kills and a .429 hitting percentage. The senior from Kalamazoo, Michigan (Parchment HS) also recorded four blocks.
Vachon, a senior from Grand Rapids, Michigan (Jenison), led the Flying Dutch with 14 digs.
VanderLaan, a senior from Grand Rapids, Michigan (South Christian), was second with nine digs.
"Those guys have worked hard to build personal relationships with every single one of their teammates," Schmidt said of her seniors. "The stuff on the court is great. They're all very inspiring with the way the play. The way they lead and the relationships they've built with their teammates are the things that are going to make a difference on the players here for a long time after they leave Hope. We're thankful for them, their leadership and how they stood guard over our culture this year. They've done a great job of making it so strong."
The Flying Dutch conclude the regular season on Saturday, October 5 with an 11 a.m. match at Olivet College.