The Voice: Winter 2001

The Voice

Volleyball ends season in NAIA "Elite Eight"

by Corey Westra
Sports Information Director

The Dordt College volleyball team recently ended the 2000 season by advancing to the quarterfinal round of the NAIA National Volleyball Tournament in West Palm Beach, Florida. It was the second trip to the "Elite Eight” for the Dordt women, coached by fourth-year head coach Tom Van Den Bosch. Dordt also advanced to the “Elite Eight” in 1998.

With a final record of 34-9, the Lady Defenders were champions of the inaugural season in the Great Plains Athletic Conference. Dordt ended in a three-way tie for the regular season crown with a 9-1 record, and won the post-season league title in front of a large home crowd in De Witt Gymnasium on Saturday, November 11. Dordt won the GPAC title by defeating Doane College 3-1, by game scores of 9-15, 15-3, 15-9, and 15-11. Dordt then advanced to the NAIA Region IV Championships November 16-18 in North Newton, Kansas, at Bethel College. Dordt finished second in NAIA Region IV and earned an at-large berth to the 21st Annual NAIA National Volleyball Tournament.

Dordt was the seventh seed in this year's national tournament and played in Pool B with Dickinson State (North Dakota), Azusa Pacific (California), Houghton (New York), and host Palm Beach Atlantic (Florida). Dordt won their tourney opener on Wednesday, November 29, 3- 1 over Azusa Pacific. Game scores were 15-8, 15-5, 8-15, and 15-8. Dordt next played on Thursday, November 30, versus Houghton of New York. The Lady Defenders defeated the Highlanders in three with game scores of 15-3, 15-3, 15-5. Dordt next played that same night against host Palm Beach Atlantic College Sailfish. Dordt won the match in three games to secure a spot in the quarterfinal round. Game scores were 15-6, 15-13, and 15-7.

It would be hard to top the tough schedule that faced Dordt on Friday, December 1, at the national tournament. Dordt ended their pool play schedule by losing to the number two ranked and eventual champion Dickinson State University of North Dakota. Dordt took the Blue Hawks to four games, before falling to 3-1 in the pool. In the national quarterfinal round Dordt was matched up with two-time defending national champion and top-ranked Columbia of Missouri.

Dordt took game one from the Cougars, before ending the season by losing in four to the eventual national runner-up.

At the conclusion of the tournament Dordt was awarded the NAIA National Sportsmanship Award for its conduct at the tournament, and Karen Netz was named to the All- Tournament team for the second time in her career. A senior from Pella, Iowa, Netz was also named to that elite group in 1998. Junior Darci Bouma from Orange City, Iowa, was named the Great Plains Athletic Conference player-of-the-year, while Netz and A.J. Poppema, a junior from Hospers, Iowa, joined her on the first team. Sophomore Andrea Johnson from Des Moines, Iowa, was named to the second team all-league for her efforts at outside hitter. Bouma and Netz were named to the first team in Region IV, while Poppema earned second team honors. Head coach Van Den Bosch was named the GPAC coach-of-the-year. Bouma became Dordt's fifth All- American in volleyball when she was named to the nation's second team as a junior. Netz was an honorable mention All-American this season. Netz and senior Laura (Vander Pol) Beckering, along with Bouma, were named NAIA Academic All-Americans for their work in the classroom and on the playing floor.

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