The 2004 Flying Dutchmen will be seeking to maintain the momentum of a conference championship season.
A year ago coach Steve Gorno's Flying Dutchmen stunned the small college tennis world by handing Kalamazoo College its first conference dual match defeat in 41 years and only the second since 1936. Hope and Kalamazoo went on to share the MIAA seasonal crown after the Hornets won the league tournament. The Flying Dutchmen were 15-4 in duals.
Coach Gorno begins his 12th season at the helm of the men's tennis program. His teams have compiled a 132-80 record in dual matches. Prior to his team's 2003 MIAA championship finish, the Flying Dutchmen had been league runnersup six consecutive years.
The 2004 pre-season roster of 10 players includes six returning lettermen and four players new to the varsity program.
Co-captains of the team will be seniors Kevney Dugan of Holland, Mich. (Holland Christian HS) and Derek Phelan of Warren, Mich. (Warren Woods Tower HS).
Other returning lettermen are senior Erik Frost of Midland, Mich. (Midland HS), sophomore Andy Phillips of White Pigeon, Mich. (Sturgis HS), sophomore Andy Ruemenapp of Petoskey, Mich. (Petoskey HS), and junior Jason Wagenmaker of Grand Haven, Mich. (Grand Haven HS).
Players new to the varsity program are sophomore Robert Dody of Whitehall, Mich. (Whitehall HS), sophomore Mark Johnson of Coopersville, Mich. (Coopersville HS), sophomore Nate Reed of Glen Arbor, Mich. (Glen Lake HS), and freshman Dustin Ruch of Zeeland, Mich. (Zeeland HS). Dody, Johnson and Reed were all members of the 2003 team, but did not letter.
Dugan is a two-time All-MIAA first team honoree. Last spring he and graduate Dan Mann won the MIAA first flight doubles championship and advanced to the NCAA Division III, bowing in the second round. He was the league runner-up at second flight singles. In two seasons he has compiled a 21-17 singles record and 34-10 in doubles. Also an outstanding soccer player, he was co-captain of Hope's league champion team last fall.
Phillips is also a two-sport athlete. In the winter he is a starting forward on the basketball team. Last spring he won the conference tennis championship at fifth flight singles and combined with Wagenmaker to capture the third flight doubles crown.
Ruemenapp marked his inaugural collegiate season by winning the conference championship at sixth flight singles. He posted a 16-3 season single record.
Frost, an All-MIAA second team honoree last spring, has lettered for three seasons, compiling a career singles mark of 40-16 and doubles record of 43-18.
The season is divided into three parts -- indoor, spring trip and regular season. The Flying Dutchmen will play five of six indoor matches at Hope's DeWitt Tennis Center, a six-court facility opened in 1994. The indoor season begins Friday, Feb. 20 against Wayne State. For the first time, the spring trip will take the team to xx the week of March 13-19. The regular season begins Saturday, March 27 with a home dual match against MIAA and concludes with the MIAA tournament on April 23-24 at Kalamazoo.