This past weekend, the Flying Dutch made their way to Calvin College for the Midwest Invitational, which hosted a variety of teams for the region. The Dutch had a their work cut out for them; they would play Thomas More on Friday at 7:30 p.m., followed by Ohio Northern and Susquehanna on Saturday at 1 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. respectively. The Dutch entered the weekend a 17-4, and two of those losses had come from Thomas More and Ohio Northern earlier in the season. The Dutch began the weekend by defeating Thomas More in four sets on Friday night (21-25, 25-21, 25-23, 25-17).
Freshmen Ana Grunewald and McKenna Otto had a standout night with 12 kills apiece, while senior outside hitter Katie Rietberg led the way with 14 kills. Hope also came out strong on Saturday afternoon against Ohio Northern – a team which defeated Hope in three sets earlier this year – and recorded a five-set win (25-27, 24-26, 25- 21, 26-24, 15-10). Senior middle hitter Grace Ditzenberger was instrumental in this win for the Dutch. She recorded a total of 12 blocks against the Polar Bears – a Hope College school record. This number also ties for the second-most blocks in a match for a single player in all of NCAA Division III so far this year, and it’s the most blocks by an MIAA athlete in a match this season. Hope rounded out the weekend by defeating Susquehanna soundly in a 3-0 routing (25-20, 25-23, 25-12).
Ditzenberger finished out her excellent weekend by leading the Dutch with 12 kills against Susquehanna. The Dutch, now 20-4 on the season, will return home to DeVos Fieldhouse on Tuesday, October 16, where they will face off against the Belles of St. Mary’s College at 7 p.m.