The Flying Dutch approach the 2007 season with a blend of returning veterans and players new to Hope tennis .
A year ago the Flying Dutch finished fourth in the seasonal standings of the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) and placed third at the season-ending conference tournament.
Coach Karen Page begins her tenth season at the helm of the women's tennis program. Her teams have posted a dual match record of 117-73, including 49-17 in the MIAA.
This year's team has three returning letterwinners. There are seven freshmen, a sophomore, junior and senior.
The captain of the team is senior Ashley Leary of Naperville, Ill. (Naperville Central HS).
Other returning letterwinners are sophomore Samantha Stille of Holland, Mich. (Holland HS) and junior Christine Garcia of Battle Creek, Mich. (Battle Creek Central HS).
Stille was the MIAA's second flight champion and an all-conference first team honoree as a freshman. Leary was the league runnerup at third flight singles and an All-MIAA second team honoree.
For the first time, this year's MIAA champion will receive an automatic berth in the NCAA Division III championships. The league championship meet, therefore, will be changed to a team-format instead of having singles and doubles flight champions.
The 2007 schedule includes several indoor matches at Hope's six-court DeWittTennisCenter and the annual spring break competition in Hilton Head, S.C. Five of the team's nine regular season dual matches will be at home. The MIAA tournament will be hosted by Kalamazoo on April 27-28.