by Alan Babbitt
The Hope College women's basketball team tops the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association 2018-19 Preseason Coaches Poll.
The Flying Dutch received all eight possible first-place votes and finished with 64 points. They were co-champions last season.
Trine, which shared the MIAA title with Hope, came in second place in the preseason poll with 56 points and one first-place vote. Coaches could not vote for their own teams. Albion (50 points) took third.
The Flying Dutch return three starters from a group that posted a 29-2 overall record last season and reached the national quarterfinals of the NCAA Division III Tournament. Hope went 15-1 in MIAA play and won the MIAA Tournament.
Two All-MIAA first-team players return for the Flying Dutch: senior forward Francesca Buchanan of Grant, Michigan (Sparta HS) and sophomore guard Kenedy Schoonveld of Holland, Michigan (Holland Christian).
Buchanan is a two-year starter who has averaged 12.4 points and 6.0 rebounds during her career. She is 13th on Hope's all-time scoring list with 1,057 career points.
Schoonveld, a shooting guard, averaged 11.3 points per game last season on 49.2 percent field-goal shooting as a freshman. She started every game.
Hope's other returning starter is sophomore point guard Lauren Newman of Flushing, Michigan (Flushing).
The Flying Dutch open the 2018-19 season on Friday-Saturday, November 16-17 with its annual Tip-Off Tournament at DeVos Fieldhouse. Hope will play MacMurray (Illinois) and Benedictine University (Illinois).