by Alan Babbitt
The Hope College volleyball team is 21st in the 2019 American Volleyball Coaches Association NCAA Division III Preseason Coaches Poll.
The Flying Dutch, coached by Becky Schmidt, open the season on Friday-Saturday, August 30-31 with their Inspire Hope Tournament at DeVos Fieldhouse. The four-team tournament features Bluffton (Ohio), Wartburg (Iowa) and Wisconsin Lutheran.
Twelve of Hope's opponents this season received votes in the AVCA preseason poll, including six who appear in the Top 25.
Last season, the Flying Dutch reached the NCAA Tournament for the 15th time in school history and finished with a 25-8 overall record. Hope has won at least 20 matches in 12 of the past 13 seasons.
Schmidt is in her 16th season as head coach of the Flying Dutch and 19th overall. She has a 433-138 overall record, including a 395-105 mark at Hope. She coached her alma mater to an NCAA national championship in 2014.
As a player, Schmidt became the Flying Dutch's first All-American in 1998 and a two-time Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association Most Valuable Player (1997-98).