A year ago the Hope College volleyball team began its successful campaign by winning a season-opening tournament at Ohio's Mt. Union College.
So what better place to go to set the tone for 1998 than
Coach Maureen Odland's Flying Dutch will defend its crown in
the tournament Friday and Saturday.
The Flying Dutch will be bidding for a school-record third
consecutive Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA)
The 1997 Flying Dutch posted 28 victories against just four
losses, including a school-record 17 consecutive win to begin the
season. The MIAA champions posted 12 consecutive league victories
and gained a berth in the NCAA Division III championships.
Hope has won 20-or-more matches a school-record four
consecutive years, posting a 101-30 record during that span.
Coach Maureen Odland, who begins her second season, will build
the team around nine returning letterwinners.
Senior middle hitter Becky Schmidt of Holland, Mich. (Holland
HS) was voted the MIAA's most valuable player last fall. In the
final NCAA statistics last year, Schmidt ranked 11th in hitting
percentage (.402) with just 72 errors in 115 games and 25th in
blocks (1.40) per game.
Senior outside hitter Heather Velting of Byron Center, Mich.
(Grand Rapids South Christian HS) was named to the All-MIAA first
team and joined Schmidt on the All-Region team.
Other returning letterwinners include sophomore Amy Brower of
Hamilton, Mich. (Hamilton HS), junior Sara Brown of Buckley, Mich.
(Kingsley HS), sophomore Jennifer Gerig of Montague, Mich.
(Montague HS), sophomore Kim Grotenhuis of Hamilton, Mich.
(Hamilton HS), senior Kristi Langland of Holland, Mich. (Hamilton
HS), sophomore Lindsay Schrotenboer of Zeeland, Mich. (Zeeland HS),
and sophomore Susie Schwalenberg of Darien, Ill. (Hinsdale South
The Flying Dutch play their first home match on Wednesday,
Sept. 9 when they host new MIAA member Saint Mary's.