Women’s Tennis Captures First MIAA Title Since 1982 With Victory Over Alma
Monday, April 26, 2010
ALMA—For the first time since 1982, the Calvin women’s tennis team has captured an MIAA championship. The Knights clinched the outright league crown with a 9-0 win at Alma Monday afternoon. The Knights finish the MIAA regular season 8-0, marking just the second time in school history that the Knights swept through the league dual match schedule unbeaten. Calvin’s only other unbeaten MIAA campaign came in 1981 when the Knights went 6-0. Calvin captured the 1981 MIAA title outright and shared the 1982 league crown. Prior to this year, the Knights had not won a league championship since.
Calvin also gains the top seed for this weekend’s MIAA Tournament scheduled to be hosted by Hope Friday and Saturday. The winner of the MIAA Tournament will gain the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA III Tournament. Calvin has not won the MIAA Tournament since 1982. Calvin will face Alma again on Friday in a first round MIAA Tournament match at Hope as Alma will enter the tournament as the eighth seed.
A link to Calvin’s 2010 MIAA championship team and its 1981 and 1982 MIAA title teams is current Calvin junior Kaitlin Spoelhof of Holland Christian High School. Spoelhof’s mother Jan (Boerema) Spoelhof was a key piece on Calvin’s 1981 and 1982 championship teams led by then head coach and current Calvin director of women’s athletics Nancy Meyer. During her Calvin tennis career, Jan Spoelhof was a two-time first team All-MIAA selection and a two-time recipient of the Sue Little Sportsmanship Award.
On Monday, Kaitlin Spoelhof rolled to a 6-0, 6-1 win at No. 2 singles and also teamed up with junior Melissa Oosterhouse (Grand Rapids Christian HS) for an 8-3 win at No. 2 doubles.
Oosterhouse won 6-1, 6-0 at No. 1 singles and became the first player in Calvin women’s tennis history to hit the 20-win plateau as she is now 20-1 in singles play. Spoelhof is 12-7 at No. 2 singles while senior Elisabeth Geenen (Holland Christian HS) is now 16-4 after a 6-1, 6-1 win at No. 3 singles Monday. Senior Rachel Strikwerda (Holland Christian HS) was a 6-2, 6-1 winner at No. 4 singles against Alma, boosting her season singles mark to 15-3. In addition, junior Michelle Busscher (Western Michigan Christian HS) won 6-1, 6-2 at No. 5 singles to improve to 13-5 on the year while senior Rachel DeGroot (Lombard, IL) upped her season record to 6-10 with a 6-4, 6-2 win at No. 6 singles.
Senior Jill VanVeen (Grand Rapids Christian HS) and Strikwerda also won 8-1 at No. 2 doubles and DeGroot and Geenen won 8-1 at No. 3 doubles. Strikwerda and VanVeen are now 12-5 in doubles play while DeGroot and Geenen are 16-2.
The MIAA title by Calvin is the school’s first league crown of the spring and the seventh of the 2009-10 academic year. Other MIAA titles by Calvin teams this year included the sports of men’s and women’s soccer, men’s and women’s cross country, men’s basketball and women’s swimming and diving.
FINAL MIAA WOMEN’S TENNIS DUAL MATCH STANDINGS FOR 2010
Saint Mary’s 4-4
MIAA TOURNAMENT FIRST ROUND PAIRINGS
#8 Alma vs. #1 Calvin
#7 Olivet vs. #2 Hope
#6 Adrian vs. #3 Kalamazoo
#5 Saint Mary’s vs. #4 Albion