Caleb Pollema – Staff Writer
The Dordt men’s volleyball season came to a close on Saturday with a 0-3 loss to Park Pirates in the American Midwest/Great Plains/Kansas Tournament Quarterfinals. Senior Ben Tiemersma led the Defenders with 11 kills and five digs that day. Garrett Vander Zee added seven kills.
The Defenders finishED the season with a 5-16 record and a 1-10 record in conference play—their best record in program history. They will look to build off that performance in future seasons.
“We wrapped up our season today against a strong Park team that played hard and executed well,” head coach Chad Hanson said. “Some successes at points in this match were exciting for us, yet challenging to sustain. We will miss our senior men who helped lead us through our most successful men’s season to date.”
Dordt’s two seniors, Ben Tiemersma and Austen Scammon, have been with the program from the very beginning and have seen successes grow throughout their four years on the team.
“Ben played a powerful role and led our conference in kills per set through much of the year,” Hanson said. “Austen led our conference in digs per set through much of the year. That kind of production from these two men was phenomenal, and we relied on them each time we took the floor. Further, their heart to serve God and their teammates is what will leave a tremendous legacy for the future of this young program.”
The team grew tremendously off-court, as well. For the team, this really began on their spring break trip that took them to Missouri and Wisconsin for matches.
“The best part about getting to travel over spring break,” sophomore defensive specialist and opposite hitter Jeremy Van Belle said. “was the amount of time we could spend as a team, just hanging around in the hotels or in the cities that we were in. It brought us together as a team, as we did lots of things other than play volleyball, such as spending an afternoon with some kids in an after-school program and spending time at Camp Summit.”
These activities translated into better communication and teamwork on the court for the Defenders. The returning players are proud of what they were able to put together on the court this year and are looking forward to what next year has in store.
“We have established ourselves as a strong and up-and-coming program,” sophomore outside hitter Gideon Brandsma said. “Our coaching staff has done a great job recruiting, and I’m excited to see new players added to the program.”
With another season in the books, possibilities of what the future has to offer as the men’s volleyball program continues to grow.