The Flying Dutch are headed to their first national championship game after dispatching rival Calvin in three sets on Saturday, in Newport News, Virginia.
Hope (33-2) will play Emory for the NCAA Division III title on Monday, Nov. 24, at 1 p.m. at Christopher Newport University.
It is the Flying Dutch's first national title match."We've had this goal for years," senior Anna Lynch, said after recording a match-high 15 kills. "We're a powerhouse at Hope, and we keep setting our expectations higher and higher. We have been working on this for a really long time. It feels great to have it all come together."
Added junior setter Lauren Hazekamp, "It is absolutely amazing, but we also understand we're not done yet."
Senior and three-time American Volleyball Coaches Association First Team All-American Jenna Grasmeyer chipped in 14 kills.
Senior Jillian Sommerville, totaled a match-high nine blocks. She matched the school record for blocks in a three-set match using 25-point sets. Kara VandeGutche had nine against Albion during a MIAA match on Sept. 22, 2009.
Hope's 23 total blocks to Calvin's 10 also obliterated the Flying Dutch's previous school record of 16 blocks for a 25-point set – no matter how many sets played.
Hope also recorded seven service aces to Calvin's 2 with no service errors. The Knights had eight service errors.
The Flying Dutch impressed head coach Becky Schmidt with their performance.
"These guys came out focused -- and with intention. I could not be more proud, "Schmidt said. "I thought that effort they put into blocking and digging [was tremendous]. The focus they brought to finding the openings on the court made Calvin have to extend their defense in order to stay in rallies. It was great the way they just did it together and really relied on each other through the entire process."
Saturday's win was the 339th of Schmidt's 14-year coaching career and 301st in 11 seasons at Hope. Her record is 339-106 overall, including 301-73 with the Flying Dutch, her alma mater.
Hope's 33 wins this season are tied for the second-most in school history with the 1998 team that went 33-8.
The 2009 national semifinalist Flying Dutch hold the record after a 34-4 campaign.
Emory (39-3) reached the title match by beating Wisconsin-Stevens Point in four sets. The Eagles are seeking their first national championship since 2008.