HOLLAND — Hope women’s tennis seniors Claire Hallock and Amanda Bandrowski have come a long way as part of the Flying Dutch.
They and the rest of the team learned new things every year — sometimes by accident.
“(Hope coach Bob Cawood) and I didn’t even know that being ranked top-20 in the nation would earn you an All-American title, so that is how much of newbies we were when we were going to compete in that tournament,” Hallock said with a laugh.
“Seeing us come full circle from that season to this season, having more experience, I think his confidence as a coach has grown. He’s a young coach and the way he’s handled that has been awesome.”
Hallock and Bandrowski were named Intercollegiate Tennis Association All-Americans on Wednesday.
The two seniors are the third Flying Dutch pair to be All-Americans in the same season, joining Audrey Coates and Becky Lucas (1996, doubles) and Kim Baxter and Colleen Sandro (1987, doubles).
Bandrowski and Hallock are All-Americans after finishing eighth and 17th, respectively, in the ITA’s final NCAA Division III singles rankings.
“With the way the season ended and both of them being seniors, I am extremely happy for them,” Cawood said. “I think honors — it feels good, 100 percent, no doubt to get that feeling — but especially for this year for them to receive that, I think that they deserve it.
“For how short of a season we had, they performed well when they needed to with the matches that they had and I’m just extremely happy for them.”
In addition, Hallock is Hope’s first two-time All-American in singles. She also earned the distinction as a junior.
“This year, it was our goal to make it back again and win first round at least at the national tournament,” Hallock said. “Having the season end in general was definitely really hard. Getting this award halfway through the season was really weird to say the least, but I definitely think it does speak to the season we were having so far and it is definitely an honor.”
This is the first All-American honor for Bandrowski.
Bandrowski joins Hallock, Sandro (1986) and Audrey Coates (1994) as All-American singles players for Hope.
Twenty-five Division III singles players were All-Americans this season. Hope is one of seven Division III schools with multiple All-Americans.
The Hope women’s tennis team was one of the many teams whose season was canceled because of the outbreak of COVID-19.
“It was pretty devastating,” Bandrowski said. “I saw it coming, but it also really hoping it wasn’t. When I got the news, I didn’t really know what to do. I started pacing and walked all the way to the tennis courts because I was on campus. I just walked around, thought about all the good times I’d had and just knew it was going to be okay, but also knew it was not OK at the moment.
“I really appreciated the support from our teammates and just the solidarity I felt with our team because they understood to an extent what the seniors were going through. I guess after four years of playing tennis, it’s kind of nice to finish strong, although obviously with COVID it feels a little bit unfinished, but I’m still really honored for this title.”
Hallock appreciates her teammates, too.
“As I look back on our season, the thing I’m going to remember most is the relationship with my teammates,” Hallock said. “I’m just so grateful for Amanda and we got to go through this journey together. Reflecting back on committing to Hope, I just knew that she was going to be a person who would help sharpen me — iron sharpens iron.
“I’m grateful to have competed with such a dedicated athlete and she’s pushed me a lot to grow on the court and off the court as a person.”
— Contact Assistant Sports Editor Beau Troutman at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @BVTroutman.