The 10th-ranked Hope College volleyball team ran into a fearless opponent to start the 2015 NCAA Division III Tournament.

Bethel, Minnesota played with nothing to lose, Hope coach Becky Schmidt said, en route to a 25-23, 25-20, 25-20 victory over the Flying Dutch on Thursday at the Whitewater, Wisconsin Regional. 

“Bethel, I thought, played very, very well,” Schmidt said. “When we’ve struggled this season, we’ve struggled to be able to find holes in the opposing defense. They played great defense, not just at the net but in the back row as well.” 

The Flying Dutch finished the season with a 24-7 record after making their 13th appearance in the NCAA Tournament and eighth in a row. 

Bethel (23-9 overall) overcame a 16-12 deficit in the first set and a 12-9 deficit in the second set to grab a 2-0 lead.

The Royals limited Hope to a .076 hitting percentage. 

Freshman outside hitter Katie Rietberg of Holland, Michigan (West Ottawa HS) led the Flying Dutch with 10 kills. Sophomore outside hitter and first-team all-region selection Haley Muller of Grand Rapids, Michigan (Grand Rapids Christian HS) added eight kills. 

Senior setter and first-team all-region honoree Lauren Hazekamp of Fruitport, Michigan (Fruitport HS) totaled 25 assists and 10 digs. 

Senior libero and first-team all-region selection Allie Mitchell of Grand Rapids, Michigan (Forest Hills Eastern HS) totaled 10 digs. 

“Not our afternoon. Despite the result, I’m very proud of this team and the way they represent Hope,” Schmidt said.