Hope College was the dominant MIAA women's golf team of the 90s winning the conference championship five times and never finishing below second place.
The program enters the new millennium facing a challenge to that tradition of excellence. Under first-year coach Sam Bedrosian, the Flying Dutch roster has no seniors, just three returning letterwinners and a contingent of four freshmen.
The team gets its first test hosting Aquinas in a non-league match on Monday, Sept. 11. The first league tournament will be hosted by Saint Mary's College on Thursday, Sept. 14.
Bedrosian brings a wealth of golf coaching and teaching experience, including 15 seasons as men's golf coach at Aurora (Ill.) University. For only the third time in nine years the Dutch will enter a season without the defending MIAA conference medalist. Gone through graduation is Ellen Colenbrander, a three-time MIAA medalist who qualified four consecutive years for the NCAA tournament.
Returning letterwinners from the 1999 MIAA runnerup team are sophomore Emily Colenbrander of Holland, Mich., junior Kathryn Miller of Novi, Mich., and junior Emily Thielk of Ann Arbor, Mich.
Thielk achieved All-MIAA second team status as both a freshman and sophomore, finishing seventh and ninth respectively in the conference standings. Emily Colenbrander also was an All-MIAA second team honoree in her freshman year finishing 12th among all MIAA golfers.
The home course of the Flying Dutch will again be the Winding Creek Golf Course in Holland. Hope will host the conference tournament on Saturday, Sept. 30.