Men’s Cross Country
The men’s cross country team ended the 2004 schedule fifth in the MIAA conference. Led by senior and second team All-MIAA honoree Joe Whitman (Davison), the Scots came in fifth place at the MIAA Championship meet. Alma played host to the NCAA Division III Great Lakes Regional, in which they placed 22nd.
Women’s Cross Country
The women’s cross country team ended its 2004 campaign ranked fifth in the MIAA. Led by second team All-MIAA performer Andrea Miller (Cadillac), the team finished in fifth place at the MIAA Championship meet. Playing host for the NCAA Division III Great Lakes Regional, the team finished tied for 23rd.
The men’s golf team finished sixth in the MIAA for the 2004 season. Senior Ryan Riley (Portland/St. Patrick’s) and classmate Brandon McNally (Frankenmuth) paced the team, averaging about 82 strokes per round.
The women’s golf team rounded out the year ranked sixth in the MIAA. The team was led by freshman Erica Lynch (Kaleva/Brethren), who averaged about 90 strokes per round. Following closely were Abbey French (South Lyon/Brighton), Kristina Schwab (Saginaw/Heritage) and Megan Stevenson (Comstock Park/Rockford).
The men’s soccer team closed out the 2004 season by finishing fifth in the MIAA. The Scots were led primarily by upperclassmen. Seniors Wes Rasdorf (Columbus, NJ/Midland Dow) and Jamie Shooks (Livonia/Churchill) were first-team All-MIAA selections, while senior Luke Oostindie (Kentwood/East Kentwood) made the MIAA second team. Nick Kost (Lansing/Holt), Kyle Jean (Auburn/Bay City Western), Dan Weidman (Caseville/Lakers) and Kyle Lieberman (Petoskey) all earned coaches’ honorable mention.
The women’s soccer team posted a final standing of sixth place in the MIAA for the 2004 season with a 7-12 overall record and a 6-9 mark in MIAA conference play. The young team carried just two juniors and was led almost entirely by underclassmen. Freshman Christina Harig (Honor/Benzie Central) was named to the All-MIAA second team. Six others received coaches’ honorable mention. They were: Pam McCarthy (Flushing/Powers Catholic), Megan Thompson (Royal Oak/Dondero), Ruth Anderson (Diamondale/Holt), Angela Szatkowski (North Muskegon), Rachel Comfort (Eastpointe/South Lake) and Kelle Sajdak (Southgate/Lincoln Park).
The Alma College football team won the 2004 MIAA conference championship, finishing with a 6-1 league record and an 8-3 overall finish. Alma came out of the gate strong with victories against Bethany (W. Va.) and Aurora, allowing only 14 points in two games, shutting out Aurora, 45-0. The Maroon and Cream were humbled a week later when Division II Tiffin handed the Scots a 59-21 loss. The Scots then rattled off five-straight victories against MIAA opponents before falling to Albion, 35-10, in a game that could have guaranteed the Scots at least a share of the conference crown. A week later, needing a win over league rival Hope and an Olivet win over Albion to win the MIAA title outright, the Scots did their part, downing the Flying Dutchmen 47-24 to find out as time ticked off the clock in the fourth quarter that Olivet had helped the Scots to their second MIAA title in three years.
Alma earned the conference’s automatic qualifying bid into the NCAA Division III playoffs and hosted Carthage. Despite leading the majority of the contest, the Redmen battled to the final minutes as they scored the deciding points on their final drive of the game to move on in the national tournament with a 31-28 win.
Receiving first team All-MIAA honors were senior wide receiver Clayton Sims (Reed City), sophomore quarterback Josh Brehm (Vestaburg/Ithaca), senior linebacker Scott Barriger (Prescott/Whittemore-Prescott), junior defensive lineman Garrett Whitmore (Alma), junior defensive back Chad Abbey (Burton/Bendle), and senior return specialist Justin McHugh (Hadley/Lapeer West). Making the All-MIAA’s second team were senior running back James Edington (Bancroft/Morrice) and senior defensive back Kevin Vermeersch (Unionville/Unionville-Sebewaing Area). In addition, Aaron Bradley (Rudyard), John Ditmar (Spring Lake), Brad Hovinga (Kalamazoo/Parchment), Jeff LaPorte (Cassopolis/Ross Beatty), Mike Tobin (Tawas City/Whittemore-Prescott), Brian Weston (Gaylord/St. Mary’s), Osai Johnson (Grand Rapids/Grand Rapids Central), Cole Thelen (DeWitt) and Tyler Thelen (DeWitt) all earned coaches’ honorable mention.
The volleyball team had an amazing season in 2004, winning the MIAA season championship with a perfect 16-0 league record, as well as a perfect overall regular season record, winning 33-straight matches to end the season at 34-2. After advancing to the MIAA tournament championship game as one of only six undefeated teams in the NCAA across all Divisions, the team was defeated by Calvin College 3-1. Despite not getting the automatic conference championship bid, the Scots received an at-large bid into the NCAA Tournament.
The team faced Benedictine, champions of the Northern Illinois-Iowa Conference, and defeated them 3-0, to move on and play Wittenberg, the second-ranked team in the country. The Scots lost three straight games, ending their great run. Senior setter Lindsey Baker (Chelsea) and junior Erin Fralick (Petoskey) became Alma College’s first volleyball All-Americans, earning honorable mention All-America honors. Both student-athletes played their way to All-Great Lakes Region honors.
In the MIAA, Baker was named the conference MVP for the second year in a row, thus earning first team All-MIAA honors for the third season in a row. Fralick joined her on the first team, along with senior Kristin Judson (Frankenmuth). Senior Kerri Judson (Frankenmuth) and Kelly O’Connor (Suttons Bay) were named to the MIAA’s second team while Caitlin Deis (Chelsea) earned coaches’ honorable mention recognition. Adding to the accolades, head coach Steve Humm was tabbed the conference’s Coach of the Year.