Monthly Archive for October, 2008

Not Dead Yet

Kudos to the men’s soccer team on keeping their post-season playoff hopes alive with a 1-1 double overtime tie on Thursday night as darkness descended on the field in Sioux Center.

The tie allows Dordt to still have a shot at earning the eighth spot in the GPAC playoffs which begin next week. The scenario is very simple–Dordt must beat Midland Lutheran and must have Dana beat Dakota Wesleyan. That’s the only combination that gets the Defenders into the playoffs.

Till later this weekend…

Plugging Along

Here we are, Wednesday again. A few odds and ends for you.

Congratulations to the Dordt Defender women’s soccer team and coaching staff on clinching the Great Plains Athletic Conference regular season title with a 3-2 win yesterday over the Morningside Mustangs. Rindy De Nooy sent Dordt into celebration with a goal off an assist by Kate Du Mez about :20 into the overtime. Dordt fought through a day where they weren’t their sharpest but still found a way to prevail. First time ever Dordt has qualified for the National Tournament. Dordt now finishes the regular season with a game at home against Sioux Falls on Thursday and then go on the road to face Midland Lutheran on Saturday. GPAC post-season tournament opens on Tuesday, November 4 with Dordt at home against the number 8 seed–too early to guess on that foe yet. Semifinals are scheduled for November eight and the finals are November 13.

The National Tournament opens with 16 first round games at sites across the country. The 16 winners then advance to play the final four rounds of the tournament at Daytona Beach, Florida. Second time in history the Dordt women’s soccer program has won the GPAC regular season title. The other one came in 2002 when the Defenders were 10-0 in league play and were beaten in the quarterfinals of the Region IV tournament by Hastings College.

The Dordt men’s basketball team scrimmages Iowa Lakes this evening and open their season November 4 in Bellevue, Nebraska against the Bellevue Bruins. The Dordt women’s team scrimmaged Augustana in Sioux Falls last Friday.Coach Stiemsma commented that the team found out quite abit about physical play in the scrimmage. The Defenders open the season this Friday and Saturday in the Black Hills. Preview is up.

Hockey hosts a game late Friday night against South Dakota State. Injuries have hit the Blades hard. Played two-lines last weekend against St. Thomas.

Football is getting ready for Briar Cliff this Saturday. Looks like a great day weather wise in Sioux City. Here’s hoping the penalties that reared their ugly head this past Saturday after several weeks of being a non-factor go back to being just that–a non factor. Was brought to my attention by several people across the country that Dordt’s unique name caught the attention of an ESPN columnist scroll down to the bottom by the picture of the Revolutionary War General under the heading of Obscure College Score of the Week.

Volleyball’s still at #16 in the NAIA national rankings…..I don’t think they’ll move a whole lot from there unless something really strange happens. Home finale with Mount Marty on Friday night and regular season finale with Northwestern on Tuesday. Have a game lead on Doane and Hastings for third place and have the head to head tie-breaker with both so it’s a two-game lead in effect. Can wrap up at least third with a win on Friday night.

There, I think I’ve done enough damage for today……………

I’ve Been Meaning to Do This All Week

And it just keeps getting pushed to the bottom of the list.

Here goes. After an extended break–or what seems like an extended break, we get back to competitions today. The soccer games Wednesday were postponed because of miserable conditions. Now, let me begin by saying, we were ready to go outside. Had the rain gear and parka and sheets of plastic and tents ready to go, but, I was not disappointed when Coach Schenk said we were postponing to next Thursday. Temps in the low 40’s with wind and rain would have made for a miserable day. Anyhow, I got that same feeling that a third grader gets when school is called for for snow–euphoria!! Makes for a busy week this coming week but if it’s dry I won’t complain.

Hockey plays tonight in the Twin Cities and again tomorrow against St. Thomas. Talked with one of the players this morning and he commented on the fact that St. Thomas is an ACHA Division II team and will provide the best competition so far for the Blades.

Soccer is on the road to Nebraska Wesleyan for night games on Saturday. Women are very much in the hunt for the regular season title with four games to go. Two game lead in the loss column with four games to go in eight days time. This will test their endurance. Men need a couple wins in the next four to have a shot at the post-season, eight team tournament.

Volleyball takes their last road swing into Nebraska with matches against Dana and Midland Lutheran on Friday and Saturday. Take care of business in the next two weeks and at least a third place finish in the GPAC is their’s. Stub your toe and it gets dicey with tiebreakers coming into play. A little suprised at how Doane beat Hastings on the road this past week. Morningside and Northwestern are playing tonight and the Red Raiders host Doane tomorrow as well. Things will definately shake at in the next week I think and we’ll have a pretty clear playoff picture a week from today.

Cross county–looking to peak for the GPAC title race in two weeks. Defenders dropped out of the rankings after spending a week at #22. Didn’t run a race in the following week and got dropped for it. Race tomorrow is in Vermillion, South Dakota and is hosted by Mount Marty.

Football plays a young Doane team that was in much the same situation as Dordt is now, last year. A complete rebuilding chore was in front of coach Franzen when he took over from the Tommie Frazier regime. Almost had to start the program over from scratch last year. Two teams that are pretty similar in record and stats face off at 1:00. Hard to believe we’re into the final third of the season.

Men’s basketball scrimmaged Augustana in Sioux Falls yesterday. Sounds like the coaches were pretty happy with the play overall. Will scrimmage Iowa Lakes next week before opening the season on November 4 at Bellevue.

Women’s basketball opens their season one week from today in the Black Hills. Scrimmage Augustana tonight–a team that is picked to finish second in the Northern Sun Conference–the league they jumped to with the dispansion of the North Central Conference.

Meet the team info is up for basketball with pictures and bios. Thanks to webmaster Brady Fopma for taking care of that.

Now, off to Blair, Nebraska I go……

Closing In

A few notable achievements on the horizon.

Dordt College volleyball has put together another fine season under head coach Tom Van Den Bosch. With a 25-5 record this season, the Defenders have Van Den Bosch on the brink of 400 career wins. A win on Tuesday night over Sioux Falls does the trick.

Dordt College women’s soccer is off to their best start ever. 8-0 in the GPAC and 11-1 overall, the Defenders are in control of their own destiny with two weeks and four games left to play in the GPAC. Nearest competitor is Midland Lutheran with a 7-2 record. Who does Dordt play for their season finale? You guessed it, Midland Lutheran in Fremont, Nebraska on November 1.

From this past weekend. Lots to tell you. Enough to write a book, though I won’t bore you.

Women’s soccer beat Hastings 4-1. A more convincing win than I had hoped for. I should have learned by now not to underestimate this group of women. The defense has been strong so far and the offense keeps finding the goal with different players providing the goals. Saturday it was Rindy De Nooy near the end of the first half and Noelle Kreyekes got two in the second half. Lexi Elgersma provided a goal and an assist as well. Sioux Falls and Nebraska Wesleyan coming up this week.

The men’s soccer team hung with Hastings for a half but a penalty kick in the second half got Hastings on the board and they went on to win 3-0. The men have a challenging week this week against second place Sioux Falls on Wednesday and on the road with Nebraska Wesleyan on Saturday night in a late one at Lincoln.

The volleyball team was convincing in a 3-0 win over Briar Cliff. Dordt trimmed the Chargers in set one and then rolled in sets two and three. Key match in that Dordt took another step towards a top-four finish in the conference with the win. The Defenders currently have two losses and are in third place. Northwestern leads the GPAC with no losses and Morningside is second with a loss. Dordt and Hastings both have two losses but the Defenders hold the head to head tie-breaker and the two teams will play once this season. Sioux Falls on Tuesday at home before going to Dana and Midland LUtheran on Friday and Saturday. The season is rapidly winding down with conference tournament play on the horizon.

The football team played at Midland Lutheran. Fast moving game with Midland Lutheran staying with the game plan that had them in the top-25 for a few weeks. Run, run, run some more. Stayed between the tackles and chewed up yardage. Positives for Dordt, few penalties, forced a couple turnovers– a fumble and an interception. Here’s hoping they are able to get healthy in the next days for this week’s game with Doane at home.

Hockey ran their record to 5-0. 9-7 on Friday night, 4-2 on Saturday–a pair of wins. A double major penalty near the end of the first period sealed the Cyclones fate as the Blades went on a scoring spree up two men on the ice. Off to Minneapolis this weekend to face St. Thomas in a pair of games.

Men’s basketball hosted Midnight Madness 14. Team made it through with no injuries. Will scrimmage Augustana this week and Iowa Lakes next week in prepping for their season opener on November 4 at Bellevue.

Women’s basketball is less than two weeks out from their season opener–a pair of games in the Black Hills against old SDIC rivals South Dakota Tech and Black Hills State. I can’t believe it’s that time of the year already!!

Baseball schedule has been updated. Dordt opens the season February 6 and 7 at Minnesota-Duluth…………….just kidding. Will play a pair of doubleheaders at the Metrodome in Minneapolis against Viterbo (Wisconsin) and Northwestern.

A few more picture galleries are up for your viewing pleasure at Hockey, volleyball, men’s and women’s soccer have all been added recently.

Fremont on a Saturday

On the road with football this afternoon. In Fremont, Nebraska to play the Midland Lutheran Warriors. Typical mid-October day, cold and blustery. Midland’s been playing pretty well, coach is concerned about Midland’s defense–pretty aggressive group the way it sounds. Kickoff is about 30 minutes away.

Hockey played in front of a full house last night. Wild game with Dordt winning 9-7. 16 goals in a game will make the hockey purists cringe, but, a win is a win. Dave Schenk had the call of the game for a webcast. If all goes according to plans we will have a webcast again this afternoon. Here’s hoping everything works correctly.

By the way, a thanks goes out to Brady Fopma for making sure the webcast got on and happened last night. It takes a small army to get some of these things accomplished and I truly appreciate the people on campus who are willing to go above and beyond for the benefit of others.

When this game is over–around 4:00 or so, I’ll load up and head back to Sioux Center for volleyball with Briar Cliff. Should be a good sized crowd on hand for the Parent’s Weekend match against a good Charger team.

Time to get back to work. Live from Fremont, it’s Saturday afternoon!

As Promised

earlier this morning-more thoughts on the past week.

Let’s start at the beginning, a very good place to start.

Tuesday volleyball with Northwestern at Sioux Center. Had the talented Red Raiders on the ropes when Dordt came back to tie it at 13-13 in set five but the Raiders got off the hook and won 15-13. The volleyball in set four and five were as good as you are going to see at this level. End of discussion. Dordt needed to comeback from a 22-20 deficit in set four to set up the decisive set five. Great fun, great crowd. We’ll do it again in a few weeks for the regular season finale in Orange City.

Women’s soccer team earned their second win of the season over Briar Cliff that same night–a 2-0 win with Kate Du Mez and Rindy De Nooy accounting for the goals. The win was Dordt’s ninth in a row and their seventh to start the GPAC season.

Men’s soccer got a much needed win in the conference over the Chargers to get them to 2-5 in the conference. Yet another one goal game with Phil Nywening scoring the game winner late in the game.

Friday, on the road to Hastings. Took the four and half hour trip to provide play by play of the Dordt-Hastings volleyball match. For the Defenders it was their fifth match against a ranked opponent in a span of 12 days and seven matches. The two opponents not in the top-25 were no slouches either–Doane and Nebraska Wesleyan. Back to the match. Dordt won set one 25-23 and probably didn’t deserve to win, scraping out a come from behind win. Set two was all Hastings as they ripped off 11 points in a row to go up 21-8 on the way to a 25-12 win. Set three was the turning point as Dordt finally started to look a little sharper and won set four 25-23 and led start to finish in set four for the win. Kendra Potgeter, Larissa Veldhuizen and Kelsey Van Dyke all had big matches at the net. Kristin De Ronde some key blocks. Dorinda Hibma some amazing digs and Jessica De Stigter and Cassie Huizenga were solid at setter.

After that I climbed back into my car for the trip back home. First had to wait 15 minutes to get out of the parking lot at Hastings because of a high school football game that had just ended at the Hastings College field. Got on the road at about 9:45 and cruised on home a little after two o’clock.

Saturday–busiest day of the week.

Cross country women beat Morningside and Concordia at the Briar Cliff Invite….look for the Defenders to get back into the national rankings. Jen Kempers–another win–her fourth in five races as she blew the field away by some forty seconds. Men took second to Concordia. Brent Van Schepen had the men’s best finish with an eighth place time.

Women’s soccer beat Jamestown in cold, winter like conditions to our north. Rindy De Nooy knocked another won in as Dordt outshot the hosts 13-2 (unofficial) for their tenth win in a row.

Meanwhile, the men’s game was delayed by lightning, thunder and rain.

The football game with Concordia in Sioux Center kicked off at 1:00. Dordt moved the ball immediately but a turnover stopped their drive. It was the only turnover Dordt would commit.

I won’t recap the whole game you can read that on our website. Just a few observations. Defense was good in the second half. Forced some turnovers. Made stops and only had to play six minutes in the second half because the offense was on the field controlling the ball. Speaking of the offense. Joey Vander Schaaf did it all–ran, caught and even passed. Offensive line gave Scotty Walden time and the Defenders moved the ball consistently. A great win for a young program that is still in its’ infancy but seems to be making positive steps. Congratulations to the entire coaching staff and players on getting rewarded for their continued hard work. Next up, Midland Lutheran in Fremont, Nebraska on October 18. It was a good day to have the football campers from this summer in attendance and those who stuck out the 40 minute lightning and rain delay were rewarded with an entertaining second half.

Meanwhile, back in Jamestown, the men’s soccer team lost a 3-0 decision to the Jimmies. A disappointing outcome in a non-conference game with few highlights the way it sounds. Time to re-group and get ready for Hastings in one week.

Volleyball claimed a 3-0 win over Concordia. From the sounds of it this one won’t be filed away to the archives but the Defenders played well enough to win the match, battling to a 27-25 win in set three for the win. Kill totals were way down–just 28 for the match. Return home to face College of Saint Mary on Tuesday and Briar Cliff on Saturday night.

Hockey went 3-0 this weekend at the South Dakota State University Invite. Outscored their opponents by a 22-4 margin. Play Iowa State this weekend. Complete recaps can be found on the hockey page of the Dordt College website. A very good start to the season for a team that was in the ACHA Division III national tournament last week.

Pictures of various Dordt events can be found at: this includes volleyball from Northwestern and football with Concordia.

There, I think that does it. Now, how crazy am I? After all of this I’m beginning to look forward to next week…….must still be giddy from the short night Friday…………

First Win

I’ll write more later. Church is coming up and I don’t want the front bench, but, here’s a link to an article written by Tim Gallegher in the Sioux City Journal. Enjoy……

Here’s the version cut and pasted if the link doesn’t work……..

Defenders earn first football victory

SIOUX CENTER, Iowa — Coach John Heavner gathered his Dordt Defenders seconds after a dramatic 17-14 victory over Concordia University in Sioux Center on Saturday.

He asked his players to exercise judgment in celebrating. He reminded them of their academic tasks and noted a breakfast check at 7:30 a.m. Monday.

And then he prayed for the health of Concordia players and asked God to watch them home safely.


Heavner then dismissed his bunch to a spot beneath the scoreboard. “We’re going to get a team picture right under that board,” he said.

This game was special. It was Dordt’s first college football victory. As in ever. The program, after all, began only two years ago. Dordt played junior varsity ball last fall. The Defenders were 0-5 coming into Saturday’s contest.

“It feels great, I can hardly describe what it feels like,” said Morgan Halpert a reserve linebacker who drove 900 miles from his home near Fort Worth, Texas, to attend the small college in Sioux Center.

“I take a lot of pride in being a Defender. It’s a unique experience to be part of the literal foundation of a program,” he added.

There are thousands of young men and women like Halpert participating in college sports across the nation. To me, they represent the meaning of collegiate athletics.

Halpert, a sophomore, recently lost his starting job. Did he pout? No way. He sang the praises of his replacement and kept encouraging all 11 defensive starters from his spot on the sidelines.

“I might see my playing time diminish, but that’s because my replacement, Phillip Sears, is really playing well,” said Halpert. “I’m not real upset about it; it’s a team game.”

I couldn’t help but think of Iowa State quarterback Phillip Bates as Halpert spoke to me. Bates quit the Cyclones team this week, upset over lost playing time. Rather than stick it out and help the team, he vanished.

Both Sears and Halpert hail from Texas, part of the 25-player contingent that comes from the “Lone Star State” to Dordt.

An admissions director with Dordt told me there are 31 native Texans on campus this fall, 25 of them football players. Until football began here two years ago, Dordt generally welcomed three to five Texans into the student body.

So, how has a player from just outside Fort Worth, Texas, found Sioux Center to his liking?

“You make your own fun here,” Halpert said. “Generally, we go see movies or do a bonfire.”

You also study. Halpert has compared notes with his older sister, a student at Texas Tech University. He contends Dordt is more “academically rigorous” than Tech.

When is the last time you heard a football player say, “academically rigorous?”

This business major has rigors outside the classroom as well. Besides tackling his football assignments, Halpert is a third baseman for the Defenders in baseball.

He’d like to marry those interests someday by working for a minor league baseball team in the front office. His dream job? “I’d like to be general manager for the Texas Rangers baseball team,” he said.

With his attitude, and the positive environment he’s enjoying at Dordt, I could see him doing it. After all, who could see a kid from Texas helping put Dordt football on the map?

A couple of years ago, he’d never heard of Dordt. He’d never heard of Sioux Center.

On Saturday, he and his Defender teammates — Texans and non-Texans alike — couldn’t have been happier. They were all smiles after registering Victory No. 1.

“I couldn’t imagine myself being anywhere else,” said the backup linebacker.

And with that, Morgan Halpert and his Defenders raced off the field. They had autographs to sign.

A New Week

Before we head into the new week, a look back..

Big news out of the Athletic Department with Rick Vander Berg’s announced retirement at the end of the school year. Whether he wants to admit it or not, Rick was the face of Dordt College athletics for many years. I can still remember the first Dordt basketball game I went to in 1980 and he was on the bench, stomping his foot at what he perceived to be a missed call. Hard to believe that then-ten-year old would have the privilege of working beside that man for nearly eight years. It has been an honor.

The Dordt volleyballers bounced back nicely after a loss to Morningside with wins over Nebraska Wesleyan and Doane. Remained #1 in the conference ratings submitted to the national pollsters after the weekend. National rankings come out late Tuesday. Team will host arch-rival Northwestern on Tuesday night.

Women’s soccer….rollin’ rollin’ rollin’ right now. Eight straight wins. 2-1 win over Dana. 6-0 in the GPAC at the halfway mark. Tough games remaining beginning with Briar Cliff on the road tomorrow night. A team Dordt beat earlier this season 2-1 in double overtime. Kate Du Mez made a strong bid for player of the week in the conference with a pair of goals in a win on Wednesday and then followed it with a goal and an assist in the win over Dana on Saturday. Du Mez continues to climb on the all-time scoring charts. I want to do some doublechecking, but, I think she’s in the top seven or eight now for both career goals and assists.

Men lost a one goal game on Saturday to a team that is in the hunt for the GPAC title. They are close, oh, so close….let’s see if they can get one tomorrow night at Briar Cliff. Seven losses with five by one goal and two by two goals.

Football. Looked a lot better on Saturday despite a 35-0 score. Down 14-0 near the end of the third quarter. Two quick touchdowns, one on a pickoff returned for touchdown, took the wind out of their sails. Moved the ball well on two straight possessions. Missed a long field goal attempt and turned the ball over inside the five yard line. Areas of improvement? Didn’t have many procedure penalties which allowed them to mix up the pass and the run. Got out of the huddle and managed the game well. Defense contained Hastings for much of the first 40 minutes. Concerns? Banged up running backs is one of the main areas I see.

Hockey opens their season this weekend with three games in Brookings, South Dakota.

Basketball teams both opened official practice today.

GPAC pre-season polls are out. Dakota Wesleyan is the clear favorite in men’s play. Women? More of the same it looks. Stop me if you’ve heard it before…..Morningside, Hastings, Concordia…..everyone else fighting to get in that top tier.

Friday Afternoon

And I ‘m finishing things up in preparing for tonight’s volleyball match with Nebraska Wesleyan. These are two pretty meaningful matches for the volleyball team as they face Wesleyan tonight and Doane on Saturday–both teams that beat Dordt last season. Dordt’s played Doane once already and squeaked one out at the Northwestern Classic. Wesleyan stunned Dordt last year in Lincoln. After Tuesday’s outing at Morningside I doubt the Defenders are looking past anyone at this point, especially these two dangerous teams. Wesleyan and Doane played earlier this week with Doane beating the Prairie Wolves in Lincoln. This is a tough stretch, to say the least… week, if we dare look that far holds Northwestern on Tuesday and Hastings on the road Friday night.

Football team has loaded up and headed out for Hastings. I’ll be driving up early Saturday morning for the call of the game and returning late Saturday night….Hastings by the way is our longest road trip in the conference–right at 300 miles deep into the heart of Nebraska. Hastings is a team that passes first and runs second on offense. Have one very talented player that they try to get the ball to on almost every occasion. They will line him up at wide receiver, tailback and he’ll return kicks. The name is Maurice Mansfield. Coach Heavner said the team had a great week of practice. Game five of the building process tomorrow at 1:00.

Soccer is at home on Saturday. Women are riding a seven game winning streak and play a team that is right in the thick of the conference race. We’re five games into the 11 game schedule at this point and the women are alone in first place at 5-0. The men need to find a way to generate some offense. It’s been a tough stretch and they’ve been really close but have been unable to break through. Games start at 1:00. Next week the teams are back on the road at Briar Cliff and then a non-conference doubleheader on Saturday at Jamestown, North Dakota.

By the way, here’s the broadcast breakdown for the weekend:

Football at Hastings on KDCR 88.5 FM and click the listen live link

Volleyball with Doane–video and audio webcast available at follow the video webcast link found on the schedule page by the game. John Slegers on the mic.

Soccer with Dana–audio webcast available at follow the audio webcast link found on the schedule page by the game. Sam Wetselaar on the mic.

Fingers are crossed that everything goes smoothly.

Meet the team for the Blades hockey team is up….they start their season next week Thursday, October 9 at the South Dakota State University Early Bird Tournament in Brookings, South Dakota.

Now, off to the De Witt!!