After an early arrival on campus for Hope College athletes, fall sports are underway! Men’s and women’s golf, volleyball, football, cross country and soccer have already had their first matches this past weekend, with some earning strong wins and others taking tough losses, all determined to work hard as the season continues. Last weekend, the men’s golf team traveled to Olivet College to compete in the Lou Collins Invitational, bringing with them senior Josh Gibson, last year’s NCAA Division III National Player of the Year. The team took first place on Friday with a score of 287, 1-under par. They followed up Saturday with another score of 287, winning the tournament a solid 14 strokes ahead of the runner-up, Trine University.
The women’s golf team played in Saugatuck against Albion College in match-play format, with several new freshmen rising up for the team. Eight Hope golfers were placed against Albion opponents with each pair vying for 18 points, the matches contributing to the final totaled team score. Hope beat Albion in five of the eight flights but ultimately lost by 1 point, with a score of 72.5-71.5 to Albion. The football team also fought hard at home against Millikin on Friday and suffered another close loss with a score of 25- 21. 3,010 people showed up for Holland’s community day game to support Hope’s team. With nine returning starters, the team is hopeful to come back for a strong season.
Other close games from the weekend include the women’s soccer team, which returned to defend the past year’s MIAA champion title. The Friday game against Illinois Wesleyan proved victorious, with Hope’s team working together to score two goals, only letting Illinois Wesleyan score once in the second half. The team returned on Saturday to beat Ohio Northern University, the defending champions of the Ohio Athletic Conference in overtime—a big win for the Flying Dutch.
The women’s volleyball team played both Friday and Saturday and raked in the wins. The team played the NCAA ranked Berry College on Friday, winning all three of the opening night sets, a big win for the unranked team. They came back strong Saturday, winning against Transylvania University 3-1, then in a closer game against Washington College at 3-2. With the season starting strong, teams look forward to more wins, with high goals set of competing well in the MIAA championships and the NCAA Division III tournaments. Come out and support the Flying Dutch this weekend as they continue to compete for wins!