The Voice: Summer 2003
By: Michael Byker
The Defenders saved their best golf for last in finishing just two strokes
out of a berth in the NAIA Region IV tournament with a two-day,
four-player total of 650 strokes. The Defenders ended the meet just four strokes
out of fourth place, finishing seventh in the ten-team event.
Closing their Dordt golf careers at the GPAC meet were Colin Wielenga and
Jeff Te Slaa. The meet also marked the end of Coach Abe Boss
thirty-year career as mens golf coach at Dordt College.
The Dordt womens tennis team took a step forward this season by advancing to the semifinal round of the GPAC post-season tournament before being eliminated. The Lady Defenders, playing a non-conference schedule filled with NCAA Division II opponents, managed an 8-7 overall record and a 3-2 non-conference record in matches played. Shelli Halbersma had a 10-4 singles record this season while Maria Brasser and Sarah Matherly posted identical 9-5 singles records.
The mens team finished the year at 2-11, with a first-round loss in
the post-season conference tournament to the University of Sioux Falls. The Defenders lone
conference win was an 8-1 win over Doane. They added a 5-4 non-conference
win over Buena Vista University. The Defenders are coached by Len Rhoda, the
Lady Defenders by Rudy Folkerts.
A third place finish at the Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC) post-season softball tournament marked the end of the 2003 softball season for Coach Don Draayer and the womens softball team.
The Lady Defenders entered the tournament as the number five seed in the
eight-team tournament. Before the Lady Defenders were eliminated by Briar Cliff, they defeated
the number two seeded Concordia Bulldogs, the number three seeded Northwestern Red Raiders,
and the fourth seeded Sioux Falls Cougars.
The third place finish lifted Dordt to a 17-20 final mark in a
season where they went 11-10 in the conference. The Lady Defenders got off
to a slow start with a pair of doubleheader losses on their spring
break trip but recovered in time to make a late charge in the
conference standings, winning five conference games in a row at one point to
go from ninth place to fifth place in the matter of one week
Dawn Van Kley and Megan Begeman completed their four-year careers at Dordt College.
Begeman earned all conference honorable mention honors with a .291 batting average and
leaves Dordt as the career leader in sacrifices. Begeman suffered a broken and
dislocated wrist late in the season and was sidelined for the GPAC tournament.
Dordt College was 109-71 in the four years Van Kley and Begeman were
a part of the softball program.
Van Kley was a first team all conference pick as she turned in
an 11-9 record this season with a 1.00 earned run average in 133
2/3 innings while striking out 121 and walking just 27. Van Kley is
the leader in wins at Dordt with 60 for her career and also
struck out 499 batters in her four seasons for the Lady Defenders.
Katie Bleeker also earned first team all conference honors this season after batting
.356 and playing shortstop. The sophomore belted two homeruns, three triples, and 13
doubles while knocking in 16 runs. Fellow sophomore Tami Kaptein was an honorable
mention by the conference coaches with a .239 batting average and 18 runs
scored and Ashley Schuller, a junior pitcher, was 6-10 this season and took
honorable mention honors as well. Schuller had a 3.00 earned run average in
Finishing their careers for Dordt were Mike De Jager, Tim Foreman, Chris Begeman,
and Chad Roskam. Roskam leaves Dordt after putting in four solid years as
a pitcher and finishing in the top five in career innings pitched, starts,
First year student BJ Haan and junior Ryan Lane both earned all conference
honorable mention honors from the Great Plains Athletic Conference. Haan was 2-6 on
the mound with a 3.62 earned run average while pitching 59 2/3 innings.
He also batted .367 while garnering 36 hits, five doubles and knocking in
Lane batted .270 for the year, belting three homeruns and knocking in 14
runs. He was also 2-3 on the mound with a 5.22 earned run
This season also marked the end of coaching for Dr. Tom Visker, who
accepted a position at Bethel College in Indiana. Jeff Schouten, Viskers assistant the
last five years, has accepted the coaching job and will welcome back 18
players from this years team for the 2004 season.
Track and Field
The Defenders had a successful season once again under head coach Syne Altena. Qualifiers for the national meet include Jacque Scoby in the javelin, Kate Reinsma and Travis Patten in the marathon, and a 4 x 800 womens relay team of Katie Hoekstra, Tanya Holtrop, Rebecca Demarest, and Kristi Meendering.
Both the womens and mens teams finished seventh at the Great Plains Athletic
Conference meet on May 3 at De Valois Field in Orange City. The
women totaled 35 points while the men finished in a tie for the
seventh spot with 43 points. At the conference meet three Defender men capped
the season with record setting performances.
Chris Fransman set a record in the high jump by clearing 67, and
Dan Gudmunson set a new Dordt mark in the triple jump by hopping,
skipping, and jumping 4311. Dan Van Engen broke his own school record in
the 3000-meter steeplechase with a time of 9:41.66.