The Hope College volleyball team is picked to challenge for the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association championship this fall.
The Flying Dutch, who won the MIAA Tournament title and were ranked ninth in NCAA Division III last spring, received two of nine first-place votes and finished with 58 points.
The preseason poll for MIAA volleyball awarded one point for a first-place vote, two points for a second-place vote, et cetera. Coaches were not allowed to vote for their own programs.
Calvin University led the poll with seven first-place votes and 63 points. After Hope, Albion College placed third with 50 points and was followed by Alma and Trine (39 points each), Saint Mary’s College (26), Adrian College (21), Kalamazoo College (20), and Olivet College (8).
The 50th season for Hope Volleyball begins on Friday-Saturday, September 3-4 at the University of Chicago Gargoyle Classic. The Flying Dutch’s first home games are Friday-Saturday, September 17-18 at the Hope College Tournament at DeVos Fieldhouse.
MIAA play opens for the Flying Dutch on Tuesday, September 21 at Alma College.
Hope is coming off a 9-1 spring season in 2021 that included a 6-1 mark in MIAA regular-season play. The Flying Dutch won three matches to claim their fourth MIAA Tournament title.
Three-time All-MIAA First Team honoree McKenna Otto and two-time All-MIAA First Team selection Ana Grunewald lead Hope’s group of returners.
Otto is a senior middle hitter and biomedical/biomechanical engineering major from Wheaton, Illinois (Wheaton North). Grunewald is a senior outside hitter and biomedical/biomechanical engineering major from Grand Rapids, Michigan (East Grand Rapids).
Hope also returns a pair of All-MIAA Second Team honorees: Charlotte Brecht and Maggie Wehrmeyer.
Brecht is a junior middle hitter and biology major from Grosse Pointe Farms, Michigan (Grosse Pointe South). Wehrmeyer is a sophomore libero from Holland, Michigan (West Ottawa).