The MIAA champion Hope College volleyball team will open play in the NCAA Division III playoffs at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater on Thursday (Nov. 8).

The Flying Dutch gained a berth in the 44-team field by capturing the championship of the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) tournament with a four-game victory over rival Calvin on Saturday.

Coach Maureen Dunn will be taking the Flying Dutch (30-7) to the NCAA championships for the third time in four years.

The Midwest regional at Wisconsin-Whitewater will consist of six teams. Host Whitewater is seeded first followed by Wisconsin-River Falls, Elmhurst, Ill., DePauw, Ind., Hope and Lake Forest, Ill.

Hope (30-7) will meet DePauw (32-5) in one of Thursday's two quarterfinal matches while Lake Forest (23-5) will meet Elmhurst (32-7) in the other. Starting times for the matches have not been announced.

Friday's semi-final matchups would pit the Hope/DePauw winner against Whitewater (36-1) and the Lake Forest/Elmhurst winner against River Falls (27-10). The finals would be Saturday.

The Flying Dutch will be competing in the NCAA championships for the fourth time in school history (1987, 1997, 1998). Hope has a 2-3 record in NCAA play.

The Dutch were also the regular season MIAA champions. This is the third time in school history that a team has won 30 or more matches in a season. The 1998 team posted a 33-8 mark advancing to the second of the NCAA tournament. The 1987 team was 32-3 and also advanced to the NCAA's second round before losing.

In four seasons under coach Dunn the Flying Dutch have posted a 109-37 (75%) record with three MIAA championships. This year's team also had the distinction of going undefeated (12-0) on their home floor.