The Hope College volleyball team is ranked 17th in the American Volleyball Coaches Association Preseason Coaches Poll and second in the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association Preseason Coaches Poll.
Coach Becky Schmidt’s Flying Dutch totaled 397 points for its spot in the AVCA Top 25. They were 19th in last year’s final regular-season poll.
Hope collected 57 points and one first-place vote in the MIAA rankings. They trailed only preseason favorite Calvin, which had 64 points and eight first-place votes. Coaches could not vote for their own teams.
Hope is coming off a 2015 season in which the Flying Dutch posted a 24-7 overall record and qualified for the NCAA Division III Tournament for the eighth consecutive time and 13thoverall.
Hope must overcome the graduation of five seniors, including three-time All-American setter Lauren Hazekamp and libero Allie Mitchell, Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association Defensive Player of the Year.
The Flying Dutch return All-MIAA Second Team outside hitter Sarah Feldpausch, a senior from White Cloud, Michigan (White Cloud HS).
Feldpausch led Hope with 342 kills last season. Junior outside hitter Haley Muller of Grand Rapids, Michigan (Grand Rapids Christian HS) was second last season as a sophomore with 311 kills.
Hope opens the season Friday and Saturday, Sept. 2-3 at the Mount Union Purple Raider Classic in Alliance, Ohio.