The ever-changing game of college volleyball adds yet another exciting dimension as the 2002 Hope College Flying Dutch seek to repeat as champions of the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA).

The Dutch will launch their season Saturday, Aug. 31 with a non-conference home match against Tri-State University. Then they'll dive right into league play traveling to Olivet on Wednesday, Sept. 4.

A year ago rally scoring and the live net serve were introduced to college volleyball. The 2002 season will be remembered as the "year of the libero" as teams will be allowed to use a back-row player with unlimited replacement opportunities. The libero player will wear a contrasting jersey color from her teammates. Viewed as a defensive specialist, she cannot serve, attack or set inside the attack line.

Coach Maureen Dunn's Flying Dutch were MIAA co-champions with Alma in 2001 and have been league champions four of five seasons under coach Dunn. The team in those five seasons has posted a 130-52 record, including 58-6 in regular season MIAA conference play.

The pre-season roster of jayvee and varsity players includes nine returning letterwinners. The co-captains are seniors Martha Luidens of Holland, Mich. (Holland HS) and Kara Van Assen of Jenison, Mich. (Jenison HS).

Other returning letterwinners are junior Lindsey Brink of Chelsea, Mich. (Chelsea HS), sophomore Caitlin Deis of Chelsea, Mich. (Chelsea HS), senior Laura Hahnfeld of Midland, Mich. (Midland HS), junior Katie Hall of Holland, Mich. (West Ottawa HS), sophomore Kelley Hutchins of Livonia, Mich. (Stevenson HS), senior Alexis Mick of Roscommon, Mich. (Roscommon HS), and junior McKenna Troyan of Sylvania, Ohio (Northview HS).

Van Assen achieved All-MIAA first team honors last fall while Hahnfeld and Luidens were each named to the second team. Hahnfeld also received All-MIAA recognition in 2000.