Hope, Calvin Share MIAA Volleyball Championship; Dutch Claim Top Seed
For the third time in five years, Hope and Calvin are co-champions in the MIAA in volleyball.
On Friday night, Hope swept Saint Mary's, 25-15, 25-22, 25-7, while Calvin did likewise to Olivet, 25-17, 25-17, 25-15. Both teams finished the season 15-1 in conference play, with each time winning the head-to-head matchup on their home court.
It's the second year in a row the Flying Dutch and Knights have shared the MIAA title. Last year, Calvin went on to win the NCAA Division III national championship while Hope reached the quarterfinals.
The Flying Dutch gained the top seed for next weekend's conference tournament by virtue of having won more sets in their head-to-head matchups with the Knights. Hope swept Calvin in three sets on September 20 at DeVos Fieldhouse, while Calvin defeated the Flying Dutch 3-sets-to-1 in the rematch at Van Noord Arena on October 22.
Trine and Alma round out the field for the four-team MIAA tournament, with the Scots claiming the final berth via tiebreaker by virtue of their two head-to-head wins over Saint Mary's.
Here are the matchups for next weekend's conference tournament:
Friday, November 7 at Hope
Saturday, November 8 at Hope
Four MIAA Soccer Players Named Academic All-District
Four soccer student-athletes from the MIAA - two men and two women - have been named to the Capital One Academic All-District VI teams, as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).
Travis Vegter of Calvin and Olivet's Austin Dunn were selected to the men's Academic All-District team, while Hope's Lindsey Bieri and Kalamazoo's Lucy Mailing are on the women's Academic All-District Team.
Vegter (pictured left), a senior from Hudsonville (Unity Christian HS), carries a 3.41 grade point average as a biology major at Calvin. The 2013 MIAA Most Valuable Player in men's soccer, he leads the MIAA in scoring with 17 goals and 39 points in league play, and is likely to win the scoring title for the third consecutive year.
Dunn (pictured left center), a junior from Perry (Perry HS), has a 3.90 GPA in biology at Olivet. He has started all 19 games on the backline for the Comets this season. The defense has allowed only 33 goals for a 1.73 goals against average. A 2013 Academic All-District VI pick, Dunn has collected two goals and two assists for six points this season.
Bieri (pictured right center), a senior from Holland (Holland Christian HS), holds down a 3.91 GPA with a double major in management and economics. A forward, she has scored three goals and added two assists for eight points on the season for the Flying Dutch, who are nearing an MIAA championship.
Mailing (pictured right), a junior from West Bloomfield (Birmingham Groves HS), has a 3.95 GPA as a biology major at Kalamazoo. She has played every minute of the Hornets' season in goal, posting a 0.46 goals against average and 10 shutouts, seven of them against MIAA opponents.
In order to be selected to an Academic All-District team, a student-athlete must possess at least a 3.30 cumulative GPA and be at least a sophomore in academic and athletic standing. He must also be a starter or key reserve on the team. The four are now eligible for Academic All-America consideration.
Albion's Hancock Balancing Athletic, Academic Opportunities
Molly Hancock could have enrolled at Albion, in her words, as a “a non-athletic regular person.”
A first-year student from Midland, she didn’t play soccer her senior year at Dow High School, choosing to spend time on other activities. But that didn’t deter her from signing up for the Briton squad when she came to campus in May for new-student orientation, and she has started eight of the 11 contests she’s played in so far this season.
And she decided to take a chance on another opportunity during orientation, choosing a first-year seminar course examining important European and global transformations as illustrated in selected German films from the early 20th century through the fall of the Berlin Wall. The class included a fall break trip to the German cities of Frankfurt and Heidelberg giving students an immersion into the culture.
Going on the field trip to Germany required Hancock to miss a week of the women’s soccer season – including a pair of contests against MIAA rivals – but she wasn’t going to miss the opportunity. Hancock is a biochemistry major with aspirations of a medical career, and opportunities to study abroad may not fit into her schedule later in her academic career.
"I chose (the first-year seminar)," Hancock said, noting students are given the opportunity to choose four seminars that appealed to them. "Three of the four I chose were ones where you travel.
"I thought the seminar would be interesting," she added. "I never thought about other countries making films because Hollywood is so big here. I like learning about things you might never think of on a normal basis."
Click here to read more about Molly Hancock.
Olivet Blocked Punt Wins D3football.com Play of the Week Honor
For the second week in a row, the MIAA has been recognized with the national Division III football Play of the Week by D3football.com.
This time, Olivet's special teams came up with a blocked punt for a touchdown. Trevor Wyman broke through and blocked the Kalamazoo punt - right into the waiting arms of teammate Javon Moore in the end zone for a Comet touchdown. The blocked punt was one of two by Olivet on Saturday in the Comets' 30-14 win over the Hornets.
Last week, Hope defensive back Kirby Crook had the national Play of the Week with his game-saving interception in overtime of the Flying Dutchmen's 42-35 win over Olivet.
In addition to the national Play of the Week honor, D3football.com named Olivet defensive lineman Ryan Armstrong to its Team of the Week for his performance on Saturday that included 7.5 tackles for loss, the most by any NCAA player this season, and 3.5 sacks.
Click here to see the play.
Players of the Week
Men's Cross Country
"Florida Four" Provides Spark For Adrian Football
The Adrian football team is getting valuable contributions from four student-athletes who came to Michigan from the state of Florida.
Seniors Wallen Augustine (Lantana), Juwan King (Hollywood), Curtis Rhoden (Plantation) and Nate Cunningham (Deerfield Beach) chose Adrian for the opportunity to play college football and get an education. They have been part of an MIAA championship team (2012) and have the Bulldogs in the hunt for another championship this season, with a 2-1 league record and 5-2 overall.
You can read more about the "Florida Four" in this story from Adrian sports information director Ryan Thompson here.