Long night at the World’s Only Corn Palace in Mitchell, South Dakota.
Women got off to a slow start–down 30-13 when they failed to match up with Wesleyan’s shooters. Got back to within eight at halftime. Dominated early in the second half and were up 5 with about seven minutes left in the game. Wesleyan came back to take the lead and Dordt responded. Got clutch baskets by Amber Soodsma late–the last one with less than :08 left in regulation to tie it. DC had a lead in overtime and couldn’t hold it. Next up–home game with Waldorf on Saturday at 1:00. Non-conference foe that has beaten some GPAC teams this season.
Men started hot and then faltered. Up ten, down ten, down two and that was all in the first half. Got as close as six early in the second half before losing by 95-78. I’ve seen one Dordt men’s team win at the Corn Palace in the last seven years–a nailbiter back in 2003. Back to work and time to prepare for Sioux Falls next Wednesday in the final home game before Christmas.
On a more general note….NAIA volleyball tournament going on this week in Columbia, Missouri. Northwestern represented the GPAC well on Wednesday by going 2-0. Score of note…..Fresno Pacific beat SUNY-Canton 30-3 in a game yesterday. Yes, that’s right, 30-3. That, my friend, is a thrashing.
Work to do…………
Congratulations to Logan Kingma on being named the GPAC men’s basketball player of the week. Helped the Defenders to a 2-1 record against three ranked foes. Had 30 points and 13 rebounds against Bellevue on Saturday and averaged 23 points and nine rebounds in the win. Got me to thinking…when was the last time a Dordt player had 30 or more points. Have to go back to January 2006 when BJ Haan had 31 for Dordt in a win over Concordia and the next game when Luke Ruter had 30 against Dakota Wesleyan. Oddly, Ruter, who is second all-time in scoring at Dordt, only had 30 or more points one time during his career–there’s your nugget for the day.
All-region teams are out for women’s soccer. Kate Du Mez and Lisa Groen were named to the all-region team. We’ll have more on them tomorrow. The all-region team is out for volleyball. Four GPAC players made it, none from Dordt, namely Emily Van Voorst didn’t make the honor squad which I think is a shame. Remember now this is my opinion, but having watched all the teams in the GPAC, there isn’t a setter I’d trade her for in the league, not even close.
Things that make you say hmmmm…..
The two day Defender Gold Club Classic is in the books….Three teams ranked in the pre-season NAIA DivisionII men’s basketball poll took part–Bellevue, William Penn and Sioux Falls.
Dordt went 1-1 with a one point loss to William Penn on Friday and then handed Bellevue their only loss of the season in ten starts by 19 points.
First, the loss. Dordt started slowly on Friday but managed to stay in the game, trailing by six at the half. Shot below 27 percent in the first half. Were playing catch up all night and finally took the lead. Didn’t hit free throws at the end and William Penn hit a three-pointer with less than :10 on the clock. Positives…took care of the ball and hung in there on the boards with a team that had really good leapers. Didn’t start very strong which is a concern, but found ways to stay in the contest and were in a position to win.
Saturday, came out very determined. Scored the first nine points of the game and led from start to finish in beating the 9-0 Bruins. Bellevue wasn’t very big and Dordt handled them on the boards and limited them offensively. Bellevue closed the gap to six in the second half but eight straight points with about seven minutes left restored order. Logan Kingma had 30 points and 13 rebounds. Scott Van Zanten nine points and eight rebounds. Michael Eekhoff fought foul trouble and Kevin Yoder and Mark Rowenhorst filled in for him. Defenders are now 6-3 and play four straight conference games before their next non-conference tilts.
Dakota Wesleyan this Tuesday at the Corn Palace–this is when the season begins to take shape.
Women had the weekend off….they also travel to the Corn Palace on Wednesday and will host Waldorf next Saturday in a non-conference battle.
Back to the Classic–William Penn handled Sioux Falls on Saturday to go to 2-0 for the weekend and 8-1 overall. Bellevue beat Sioux Falls the night before. Cougars were 0-2. I think William Penn is now 8-1 and face the University of South Dakota on Sunday. Sioux Falls is now 2-7.
Checking the GPAC football games…Sioux Falls had no problem advancingto the NAIA semifinals while Morningside’s season came to anend 1000miles from home in Helena, Montana where they lost to perenial power–Carroll on Saturday.
Good grief what a lot of points at the De Witt Gym on Tuesday. Northwestern women beat Dordt 106-62. Close game for the first ten minutes and then the dam broke. Dordt may have lost Erin Savery for the season to a knee injury in the process. The learning curve gets steeper. Amber Soodsma and Kara Karlsgodt each had 12 while Kate Du Mez and Kelsie De Nooy had 11. Northwestern was led by Deb Remmerde’s 33 points on 14-17 shooting from the field. I throw compliments around like manhole covers–not very easily….I blame my Dutch heritage, but here goes. Remmerde is the best shooter, male or female, that I have ever seen or expect to see on a basketball court. I am shocked when she misses.
The men’s game was a tense battle as these games usually are with Dordt using a couple of spurts to pull away and hold off the number two team in the country by a 104-89 final. Dordt made 16-18 free throws in the final two minutes to secure the win. Three players with 20 or more–Logan Kingma with 23, Eric Van Maanen with 21 and Scott Van Zanten with 20. Brian Eekhoff had 12 points and eight rebounds. Michael Eekhoff missed the second half with an ankle injury–questionable for the weekend. We’ll see how a day off or two helps him.
It’s late, I think everything is done for now……..
Congratulations to Jen Kempers on earning NAIA all-American honors at the NAIA national cross country meet in Kenosha, Wisconsin on Saturday. Finished 17th, two seconds out of 13th. Had a time of 18:14.7. NAIA standards hold that the top-30 finishers are All-Americans.
Men’s basketball team turned up the defense in the second half and avenged a 2006 loss to Graceland that was probably the low point of the season last year by. Were tied at 38 at halftime–then held the visitors to 18 points in the first 14 minutes or so of the game when the outcome was decided. Five players in double figures led by Scott Van Zanten’s 15–made 11-13 free throws in the win…Brian Eekhoff had 13 points, all in the second half. Areas of concern? Got outrebounded and allowed 13 offensive rebounds and didn’t shoot free throws very well early on when they could have gotten some breathing room, 7-14 in the first half.
Bright spots–only eight turnovers and 49 points scored in the second half. Also was coach Van Soelen’s 200th win against 148 losses in a little over 12 years on the bench. Oddly, coach VS’s first career win? Came over Graceland in his first game on the bench.
Time to get ready Northwestern on Tuesday, William Penn on Friday and Bellevue on Saturday. Ho hum (sarcasm) just the #2, #23 and #17 teams in the pre-season rankings respectively. If you love basketball it would be a great time to take in a game or three. The only game for the women this week is the Northwestern contest on Tuesday.
Regional volleyball ended up with National American, the defending national champion, winning the title over Northwestern 3-1 on Saturday night. In my opinion it looks doubtful that anyone other than National American and possibly Dickinson State will make the national tournament….we’ll see.
Well, Dordt got a gift last night from Northwestern when the Red Raiders beat Dickinson State to force playoffs Saturday morning at the Regional Tournament. Single games to 30 beginning at 10:00.
Dordt lost 30-27 to DSU on Saturday morning to end their season. Played well–came down to three ace serves by DSU’s jump server Judith Boel. Kristin De Ronde had six kills and Kendra Potgeter had five. DSU is definately a melting pot of a team with players from all over the world, literally. Eight players one each from Peru, Kenya, Russia, Colombia, California, North Dakota and the Netherlands.
Great season for the Defenders–lots of ups and downs–like riding a roller coaster. This weekend was the cherry on top for twists and turns–I’m already thinking about next year.
This is also the last year of the Regionals and the rankings that go along with it. Next year the national tournament will take on a different look, not sure what that will be yet, but a GPAC school will be assured of a berth, something we don’t have right now.
By the way, Northwestern just beat Dickinson State 30-24. Northwestern will now face National American tonight at 7:00.
I’m going home………..
Day one of the NAIA Region III volleyball tournament. Strange, unpredictable….you name it, we’ve had it.
Dordt started the day knocking off Northwestern 3-1 in the first match of the day. Dordt looked dead in the water, lost game one 30-20, down 18-11 in game two. Came roaring back, won game two and then swept games three and four. Balanced Dordt attack offset Megan Meyer’s 28 kills for NW. Kristin De Ronde 16 kills, 14 each for Larissa Veldhuizen and Kendra Potgeter. 48 assists for Emily Van Voorst and Liz Van Voorst filled in for Autumn VandeKamp who was ill most of the week. Dickinson State is next for the Defenders. This simple….if Dordt beats Dickinson State they’ll be in the title match at 7:00. If they lose we become NW fans hoping the Red and White can beat Dickinson and force a three-way tie in the pool and gather everyone together for some tie breakers on Saturday morning.
Second match. Morningside comes in kicks Hastings around for two games, then a strange thing happens–Hastings plays like they have nothing to lose and squeek out a game three win, then win another and then take game five 15-10. That’s the unpredictable part…
Broadcast coming up in about 15 minutes…better run…
On the road with the men’s basketball team as they beat Grace tonight in Omaha, Nebraska. Grace used to go by the name of Grace Bible Institute, now they are simply Grace University. Nice facility–four years old. The Defenders didn’t really have much trouble–scored the first six points of the game and roared to a 54-24 lead at halftime largely due to 71 percent shooting from the floor, and they weren’t all layups as the Defenders were 6-7 on three-pointers.
Dominated in the paint with a 43-22 rebounding edge and shot 61 percent for the game. Eric Van Maanen had 19 to lead the Defenders. Got a nice lift from Chad Huenink with eight poins and game high ten rebounds. Next up, Graceland, a team that beat Dordt right before the Christmas break in Lamoni, Iowa. Definately a game the Defenders remember well. In the words of coach Van Soelen, don’t expect any blowouts from here on out.
Women’s basketball is preparing to play Dakota State on Thursday and the volleyball team has the Regionals coming up this Friday.
Time to head home……..
The waiting game is over for the Defender volleyball team. Took the third at large bid and the #5 seed in the NAIA Region III field that was announced Sunday afternoon. Coach Van Den Bosch has been saying all he wanted was for this team to have a chance and they are in the pool play tournament with a 31-8 record.
Play two matches on Friday and from there we’ll see if they play on Saturday. Nothing easy, mind you, as the Defenders play Northwestern in the rise and shine match on Friday morning at 9:00 and play Dickinson State at 1:00 that afternoon. Champions of each pool play in the championship on Saturday while the runners-up play in the consolation. Power packed field with National American, Morningside and Hastings making up the other pool. Morningside won the GPAC tournament by they way with a 3-0 win over Northwestern on Saturday. The Mustangs are as hot as anyone right now. Champion of the Region gets an automatic berth in the national tournament…..further bid scenarios will be announced later this week.
Men’s basketball got a win over York on Saturday. 15-0 run to start the game. Never challenged after that. Go to Grace in Omaha on Tuesday and host Graceland on Saturday afternoon at 4:00. Women prepare for nationally ranked Dakota State on Thursday at the De Witt.
Notes from the GPAC………Northwestern didn’t make the football playoffs, second team not taken in the rankings.#1-#13 got in with automatic berths and the other three remaining spots went to conference champions that were ranked below #16. Sioux Falls hosts a first round game, Morningside is on the road. 16 team field. Quarterfinals are the Saturday after Thanksgiving with the semifinals one week later and the championship two weeds after the semis.
Congratulations to Tammi VerBeek and the Western Wolfpack volleyball team on another state title–the program’s 10th. Four of the players are coming to Dordt next fall….look forward to seeing how they adjust…….De Stigter, Solsma, Moerman and Schaap. Schaap was the all-tournament team captain this year. Stories about them are up on the volleyball page.
Time to rest up for another busy week………
The waiting game begins for the Dordt College volleyball team as they were eliminated in the Great Plains Athletic Conference semifinal round on Wednesday night in Sioux City against Morningside. Were beaten pretty soundly in almost every aspect of the match. Will find out Sunday if they are in the six-team field for the Region III tournament next weekend. I’m still hopeful but you never know how the winds will be blowing when the raters make their final picks.
I’ll say this about Morningside…with two losses and holding the 5th spot in the Regional Rankings they came out and played like a team that had something to prove. They are dangerous and it looks like they have a cause to rally around. Should be a pretty good match on Saturday between the Mustangs and Northwestern.
Basketball teams got a pair of wins. Women came from 13 down to beat Grand View by nine on Wednesday. Dordt overcame foul trouble and used a defense that Grand View eventually whithered under. Play Dakota State–another nationally ranked team a week from today (Thursday). Men shot the ball well and shut down Grand View from the start for a 91-53 win. Play York on Saturday at 4:00. 13 of the 14 players in uniform on Wednesday scored and everyone got lots of minutes.
A public thanks to John Slegers for his work on the play by play end of some games the past week. Made it possible to keep people up to date on what was happening while we had two events going at the same time. He slid right into it and didn’t sound like he’d taken any time off in between broadcasts–a true professional.
The waiting continues……….