GPAC Women's Basketball Honors Announced

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GPAC Women's Basketball Honors Announced--Veerbeek Named Player of the Year

(Wednesday, March 1; Sioux Center, Iowa) The Great Plains Athletic Conference has announced its postseason women’s basketball honors in voting done by the coaches at the conclusion of the regular season.    

Ashtyn Veerbeek (Junior; Sioux Center, Iowa) has been named the Hauff MId-America Sports/Great Plains Athletic Conference Women’s Basketball Player-of-the-Year to headline the honor teams.   Karly Gustafson (Junior; Ethan, South Dakota) is also a first-team selection while Bailey Beckman (Junior; Panora, Iowa) is on the second-team and Janie Schoonhoven (Freshman; Hospers, Iowa) was named to the honorable mention list.  

Veerbeek averaged 18.2 points per game for the Defenders this season with 9.3 rebounds, 2.1 assists per game and 3.2 blocks per outing.  Veerbeek has converted 49 percent of her field goal attempts and 35 percent of her three-point shots.  Veerbeek is the first Dordt women’s basketball player to claim GPAC player-of-the-year honors and her season point total of 583, rebound total of 299 and 101 blocked shots all rank second all-time at Dordt. Veerbeek was a first-team All-GPAC honoree in 2021. 

"Ashtyn has had a tremendous season.  She has shown the ability to change the game with her play in the paint and she presents match-up challenges with her ability to shoot the perimeter shot. Our team has done a great job of finding her in good spots on offense.  I’ve appreciated how she has responded to our coaching and challenges this season," said Dordt basketball coach Bill Harmsen.

Gustafson averaged 12.0 points per game with 7.5 rebounds and has made 51 percent of her field goal attempts. Gustafson was an honorable mention honoree in 2020 and second-team in 2021. 

"Karly has had a great second half to the season.  She’s been a steady scorer and rebounder this season for us and plays with a toughness we need.  When she came back from injury in the first semester we started to click and find our identity.  She continues to grow and add to her game," said Harmsen. 

Beckman leads the team with 58 made three-point baskets and averages 13 points per game.  She’s made 40 percent of her three-point attempts and has averaged 14 points per game in conference contests. Beckman was an honorable mention choice in 2021.  

"When you consider Bailey is less than 12 months out from knee surgery it’s hard to believe the type of season she has had.  Her determination to rehab and get back to the playing level she was at last year before her injury is a testament to her work ethic and dedication to her team.  She’s a consistent outside shooting threat and gives us stability in handling pressure," said Harmsen.

Schoonhoven is averaging 7.9 points per game with 5.6 rebounds, and she has made a team best 63 percent of her field goals.  

"Janie has filled a very valuable role for this team, giving us depth in our post play.  She has learned a great deal in her first collegiate season and continues to develop. I look forward to her building on this season in the years to come," said Harmsen. 

Dordt is currently 24-8 and finished 16-6 in the GPAC for runner-up in the regular season title race.  The Defenders are awaiting a potential at-large invitation to the 64-team field in the 2022 Women’s Basketball NAIA National Championship.