The Voice: Winter 2003

The Voice

Sports Updates

by Mike Byker, Sports Information Director
Women’s soccer team has turn-around season

The Dordt women, under new coach Bill Elgersma, were undefeated in conference play. The 2002 Dordt Lady Defender soccer team charted new waters this past season in earning the school’s first Great Plains Athletic Conference regular season championship with a 10-0 loop record.

The season started with the Lady Defenders dropping four of their first five games, but they took the next two games by shutout before stumbling against Morningside at the midpoint of the season to drop to 4-5 on September 24. The Lady Defenders did not lose again until the GPAC playoff finals. Along the way they won nine in a row and outscored their opponents 33-3. The season ended with back-to-back 2-1 losses to Hastings in the conference finals and the NAIA Region IV quarterfinals.

The Conference final contest was a tense, double overtime game that ended with less than 30 seconds left in the second overtime on a breakaway goal.The Lady Defenders 13-7 season ended with four players being named to the GPAC all-conference first team. Julie Van Der Kooi, one of two seniors for Dordt College, was named to the first team for her play. Van Der Kooi, from Chino, California, set a single season record for assists with 14 and ended up third on the all-time list in career assists and seventh in career points. Janna Brink, a junior from Holland, Michigan, was also a first team selection with nine goals and eight assists. Heidi Otten and Angie Katsma were picked for their play on defense as a part of the rock-ribbed defense that surrendered just 1.5 goals per game. Both are sophomores from Wisconsin, Otten from Brookfield and Katsma from Sheboygan.

Nicki De Blaey earned second team honors and was a GPAC and NAIA Region IV player-of-the-week. The freshman from Sheboygan scored 12 goals to lead the Lady Defenders this season. Bethany Nishimoto, a sophomore from Aiea, Hawaii, earned GPAC, regional, and national player-of-the-week honors after posting back-to-back hat tricks in wins over Mount Marty and Doane in October.

The other senior on the Dordt roster was Meghan Graham. The forward from Lawrence, Kansas, was awarded honorable mention this year by the GPAC, finishing third in career goals with 39 and fifth in assists with 22.

Stephanie Schippers was also an honorable mention selection after scoring two goals and assisting on another for the Lady Defenders.

Players weren’t the only ones garnering post-season honors. Bill Elgersma, coach of the Lady Defenders, was voted conference coach-of-the-year by his peers. The Lady Defenders matched their second highest win total in the program’s history.

Men’s team reaches quarterfinals

The Dordt men’s soccer team faced the task of replacing many seasoned veterans this season as the Defenders entered their 25th year as an organized sport. This year’s team did not disappoint as they fought their way to a fourth place tie in the Great Plains Athletic Conference race and a 7-9-2 record before bowing out in the quarterfinal round of the Great Plains Athletic Conference post-season tournament.

The Defenders rebounded from a 1-3-1 start to win back-to-back games in mid-September to get back to .500, where they spent most of the year with a team that grew up as the season went along, finishing with a 5-4-1 conference record.

Travis Burgers, a senior from Sioux Falls, South Dakota, left his imprint on the Dordt College record books when he scored his 53rd career goal, putting him in fourth place all-time. Burgers was awarded Great Plains Athletic Conference player-of-the-week honors in September and was also named to GPAC all-conference first team after scoring 16 goals this season. Two other seniors, Josh Visser and Kris Isakson, played their last games for second-year head coach Darryl De Ruiter and Dordt College. Visser earned honorable mention by the GPAC coaches.

Kyle Van Andel, a sophomore from Lynden, Washington, also earned all-conference second team honors. Van Andel was the leading assist man for the Defenders this season with eight. Matt Ruter, Tim Klein, and Craig Ritsema received honorable mention honors by the conference coaches at season’s end. Klein played 14 games in goal while allowing just 20 goals, and Ritsema scored eight goals, including a four-goal outburst against Midland Lutheran. Ruter was a fullback for the Defenders.

Cross Country ends solid season

The Dordt College cross country teams concluded their 2002 season with top ten finishes at the NAIA Region IV meet in Lincoln, Nebraska. The Lady Defenders finished fourth at the meet behind conference rivals Concordia, Doane, and Hastings, with a team total of 130 points.

The Lady Defenders were led by Becky Demarest’s eighth place finish. The senior from Lawrence, Kansas, covered the five-kilometer course in a time of 19:26.51. Tanya Holtrop and Becca Schonewill finished 28th and 29th respectively, and Kate Reinsma wasn’t far behind with a 39th place finish. Rachelle Kroll rounded out the scoring for Dordt with a 46th place finish.

The men’s team ended up in eighth place with their five runners finishing within 23 places of each other. Freshman Nick Groen finished in 39th place on the eight-kilometer course with a time of 28:03.05. Stefan Petersen, Tim Ives, and Travis Patten were 46th, 49th and 50th respectively, while Jeff Taylor placed 62nd.

The highlight of the season for both teams was a twin championship at the Martin Luther Invite in New Ulm, Minnesota. The women’s team outdistanced the field with just 36 team points, holding five of the top 11 spots, with all five runners finishing within 43 seconds of each other. The men had an equally dominating performance with 36 points, but were challenged by host school Martin Luther with 39 points. The Dordt men had five of the top 11 finishers as well and also held eight of the top 20 spots. The twin win was the first time in school history Dordt College has swept both championships at the same meet.

Demarest, who qualified for the NAIA national meet and placed 108th out of 255 runners, is the lone women’s runner to graduate this year, while Colin Attema, Tim Ives, and Stefan Petersen all completed their senior seasons for Coach Ross Goheen.

Volleyball team narrowly loses its first conference championship since 1995

A volleyball game For the fifth season in a row the Dordt Lady Defender volleyball team won at least thirty volleyball matches, but for the first time since 1995 they could not call themselves conference champions.

The Lady Defenders started the season with an impressive nine-match winning streak that ended with a five-game loss to Midland Lutheran at the Graceland Invite. The Lady Defenders promptly started another seven-match winning streak before back-to-back losses to Briar Cliff and Midland Lutheran dropped them to second place in the Great Plains Athletic Conference.

From October 12 to November 13 the Defenders didn’t lose, posting a thirteen-match winning streak that included a 3-0 defeat of Briar Cliff in the post-season tournament semifinals. The Doane Tigers ended the Dordt season in the semifinals of the NAIA Region IV tournament with a 29-31, 29-31, 20-30 win that closed the Lady Defenders season at 30-5.

The Lady Defenders were led by Dre Johnson with 3.5 kills per game and a .250 kill efficiency. The senior from Des Moines was a first team selection at both the conference and the regional level. Tara De Boer, a freshman from Rock Valley, was also selected as a member of the GPAC all-conference first team and was a second team pick in Region IV. Alisa Den Hartog, a junior from Rock Valley, was a second team pick by the conference coaches after putting up nine assists per game and leading the Lady Defenders with 47 ace serves. Jill Bouma, a freshman from Orange City, was an honorable mention selection at the conference level with two kills per game.

Two other seniors exhausted their eligibility. Laura Van Kley, a senior from Sioux Center, Iowa, had 3.1 digs per game while Stacy Vander Tuig, a senior from Visalia, California, led Dordt with 3.3 digs per contest. Both were back row specialists.

Coach Tom Van Den Bosch also reached a milestone this year with his 200th career match win at Dordt College. The win came in Dordt’s Region IV semifinal victory over Bethel College. Van Den Bosch is now 200-49 in six seasons at Dordt College, with five straight years of thirty plus match wins.

Soccer players honored

Six soccer players earned NAIA All American Scholar Athlete awards this fall for combined academic and athletic excellence. Travis Burgers, Matt Ruter, and Travis De Jong received awards from the men’s team. Janna Brink, Jill Erffmeyer, and Kim Vis were honored from the women’s team.