2019-20 Hope College Women's Swim/Dive Preview A Look at the Upcoming Season

Women's Swim/ Dive At A Glance

  • Roster size: 29
  • Returners: 16
  • 2018 Season Recap: Hope women's swim/dive finished 6-1 in dual meets and had their highest finish in a multi-team meet with first place at the Michigan Illinois Quad.
  • 2018 MIAA Championship Recap: The Flying Dutch claimed the MIAA title for the first time in 15 years at the MIAA Championships, hosted at the Holland Aquatic Center.

Pictured: Senior diver Areal Tolsma competes on the 3-meter board.

Senior Paula Nolte is the three-time defending MIAA champion in the 200-yard breaststroke.

2019-20 Roster

The Flying Dutch's roster consists of six seniors, three juniors, seven sophomores and 13 freshmen. The captains are Alison Sobkowski and Erin Emmert.

"We're a very different team this year than last year certainly. We might be a little bit deeper which is obviously a big win. The breaststroke events are areas of strength for us right now, and we'll take advantage of those types of things when and where we can." — Head Coach Jake Taber
Senior Alison Sobrowski is a distance freestyler for the Flying Dutfch.
Junior Emma Schaefer is the two-time defending MIAA champ in the 200- and 400-yard individual medley.
Senior captain Erin Emmert

Key Returners:

  • Senior Paula Nolte, an All-MIAA swimmer in three of her previous seasons, is the three-time defending MIAA champ in the 200-yard breaststroke.
  • Senior Erin Emmert is also a three-time All-MIAA swimmer. She won the 200-yard butterfly at last yer's MIAA Championships. She was also third in the 400-yard IM.
  • Junior Emma Schaefer was selected as an All-MIAA swimmer for the second time in her career. She was a gold medalist in the 200- and 400-yard individual medley, and took a runner-up finish in the 100-yard breaststroke, at the 2019 MIAA Championships. She holds the school record in the 200-yard IM.
  • Junior Hope Reynolds was a fourth-place finisher in the 400-yard IM at the 2019 MIAA Championships.
  • Sophomore Aubrey East and senior Erica Slenk finished fourth and seventh respectively, in the 200 breaststroke.
  • Sophomore Paige Kuhn, sophomore Abigail LaDuke, and senior captain Alison Sobkowski finished fourth, seventh, and 10th in the 1650 freestyle;
"Emma (Schaefer), Paula (Nolte) and Erin (Emmert) are three returners who were all conference last year so they'll set the bar this year. We return a handful of other women who scored individually and scored pretty well at the conference meet. Erin, Emma and Hope (Reynolds) were three out of the top four in the 400 IM last year and they've created a pretty nice training group for one another. That's been good."
"Keep an eye out for (freshman freestyler) Tarah Lang. She took her summer training seriously, was intentional in her pre-season and is focused on being fast. And she has already won one Swimmer of the Week award on the first week of her Hope career."
"It could truly be a three-team race this year (in the MIAA). We're going do what we can to focus on the things that we can control and put our best foot forward in February when it matters most." — Head coach Jake Taber
TOP LEFT: Junior Hope Reynolds; TOP MIDDLE: Senior Erica Slenk; TOP RIGHT: Sophomore Abigail LaDuke. BOTTOM LEFT: Sophomore Paige Kuhn; BOTTOM RIGHT: Junior Aubrey East

2019-20 Women's Swim/Dive Schedule

The Flying Dutchmen have already opened their competitive season with two meets — the Oakland Relays and the MIAA Relays. Their first home meet is Saturday, November 16 against Olivet College. Hope has four home meets this season. This year's MIAA Championship will be hosted by Calvin University from Wednesday, February 19 to Saturday, February 22, 2020.

"We've made a couple changes to the schedule. It was fun to start at Oakland to hop in the water and swim next to some pretty good swimmers from scholarship programs. We've added a pair of quads meets to our schedule this year. The first one is the Davenport Quad and there's two D 2s and two D3s at that one. But we also added a quad in January and that'll have a couple of Indiana DIII teams that we don't typically see who are historically pretty good. I think the nice thing about these formats is we're not limited in entries in events. We're able to go out and swim our full lineup and everybody gets their opportunities to compete and get better and learn from their races. That's one of those things that we were pretty intentional to target this past off-season: to make sure we could gather the information and create the opportunities for everyone on the team." — Head coach Jake Taber

2019-20 Coaching Staff

Head Coach Jake Taber

Jake Taber '04 returned to his alma mater to become co-head coach with John Patnott in 2018-19. He took over sole head coaching duties after Patnott's retirement at the end of last season.

A former swimmer for the Flying Dutchmen, Taber returns was a successful head coach at Albion College (2012-18) and Olivet College (2007-2012). He was an assistant for Patnott for three seasons at Hope prior to those head coaching stints.

Taber guided the Albion men to Top-25 finishes at the Division III championships the past three seasons, including a program-best 13th-place finish in 2017. The Britons were 2017 MIAA champions, their first conference championship in 46 years.

Taber holds the academic rank of assistant professor of kinesiology.

"As much as anything, I think the dynamic early this year is as healthy as I've ever seen it. So that really excites me right now." — Head coach Jake Taber
Ready to race.

Some Other Numbers

  • 2:06.79. Emma Schaefer's new school record time in the 200 IM.
  • 3.47. The team GPA of the 2018 -19 squad that earned them earned both the MIAA Team GPA Awards and the Scholar All-America Team honors from the College Swimming and Diving Coaches Association of America.
  • 17. Women's swim/dive student-athletes who made the MIAA Honor Roll with GPAs of 3.5 or higher.

Visit Us

Let's go, Hope!
Created By
Eva Dean Folkert


Photos by Steven Herppich, Lynne Powe and Tom Renner