The Voice: Summer 2003

The Voice

Sports Updates

By: Michael Byker

The Dordt Defender men’s golf team completed its 2003 season April 22 with the Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC) golf tournament in Fremont, Nebraska.

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 Bos’s thirty-year career as men’s golf coach at Dordt College.

The Dordt women’s 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 men’s 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 women’s 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 of play.

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 91 innings.

The Dordt College baseball season came to an end April 26 and marked the end of the careers of four seniors. The Defenders ended the year at 9-27.

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, and strikeouts.

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 19 runs.

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 average.

This season also marked the end of coaching for Dr. Tom Visker, who accepted a position at Bethel College in Indiana. Jeff Schouten, Visker’s assistant the last five years, has accepted the coaching job and will welcome back 18 players from this year’s 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 women’s relay team of Katie Hoekstra, Tanya Holtrop, Rebecca Demarest, and Kristi Meendering.

Both the women’s and men’s 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 6’7, and Dan Gudmunson set a new Dordt mark in the triple jump by hopping, skipping, and jumping 43’11. Dan Van Engen broke his own school record in the 3000-meter steeplechase with a time of 9:41.66.