The 2004 Flying Dutch hope a core of returning letterwinners will put Hope back in contention for the championship of the Michigan Intercollegiuate Athletic Association (MIAA).
A year ago the Flying Dutch tied for fourth place in the MIAA standings.
Coach Karen Page begins her seventh season at the helm of the Flying Dutch. Her career dual match record is 87-42, including 36-8 in the MIAA.
This year's pre-season roster of 10 players includes eight returning letterwinners. The roster is evenly spread across the classes with two seniors, two juniors, three sophomores and three freshmen.
Senior Stephanie Springer of Bloomfield Village, Mich. (Birmingham Seaholm HS) is captain of the team. Senior Deanna Clouse of Jackson, Mich. (Northwest HS) is a three-year letterwinner.
Other returning letterwinners include sophomore Erin Bradley of Hastings, Mich. (Hastings HS), junior Kortney DeVito of Okemos, Mich. (Williamston HS), sophomore Lauren Engel of Traverse City, Mich. (TC Central HS), sophomore Annaliese Fox of Alma, Mich. (Alma HS) and junior Priya Malviya of Holland, Mich. (Holland HS).
Freshman on the team include Ashley Leary of Naperville, Ill. (Naperville North HS), Amy Norris of Ann Arbor, Mich. (Pioneer HS), and Tracy Wilburn of Dimondale, Mich. (Holt HS).
Fox is the defending MIAA first flight singles champion. She posted a 15-7 dual match record in her first colelgiate season.
Three returning players were MIAA tournament consolation champions. Springer won the consolation crown at second flight singles and combined with graduate Jennifer Coleman to finish third at first flight doubles. DeVito was the consolation champion at fifth flight singles. In 2002 Clouse was a member of Hope's MIAA champion third flight doubles team and in 2003 was the consolation champion at third flight.
The season is divided into three parts -- indoor, spring trip and regular season. The Flying Dutch will play five of six indoor matches at Hope's DeWitt Tennis Center, a six-court facility opened in 1994. The indoor season begins Saturday, Feb. 21 against Lake Superior State. The annual spring trip will take the team to Hilton Head, S.C. the week of March 13-19. The regular season begins Wednesday, March 24 with a home dual match against MIAA rival Saint Mary's and concludes with the MIAA tournament on April 23-24 at Kalamazoo.