Caleb Pollema — Staff Writer
The most exciting weekend of the fall semester for Defender sports is here—Defender Days.
The weekend full of athletic events, alumni games, and exciting action is a must see for all the returning alumni, friends, and family who will be on campus.
“I love the environment on campus during Defender Days,” head Dordt football coach Joel Penner said. “It’s energizing as a current employee to see alumni come back with such enthusiasm for the school that help shaped them. It offers perspective regarding the significance of the work we are doing at Dordt.”
Coach Penner and the Defender football team welcome the extra energy in their upcoming matchup against rival Northwestern College.
The Red Raiders are coming off a bye week and hold a 4-0 record overall with a 3-0 record in conference play.
The Defenders are ready for the challenge after a bye week and a huge offensive explosion in their victory over Dakota Wesleyan. The Defenders recorded almost 700 yards of offense and put up 57 points in the victory.
For volleyball, the Defenders face Dakota Wesleyan on Saturday evening.
The Defenders are looking forward to continuing the moment they built in a huge 5-set victory over 12th ranked Grand View.
Both the men’s and women’s cross-country teams will host a home meet in the Dordt Prairie beginning at 10am. Both teams are ranked in the top 15 in the country and have had successful seasons so far.
The men’s and women’s soccer teams will take on Briar Cliff after midweek games at Northwestern.
The women’s team has gone 5-0-1 in their last six games dating back to September 4th and will look to continue that momentum headed into the weekend. The Defenders are led by midfielder Alaina Van Zalen, with a team high 18 goals on the year.
The men’s team is coming off a loss to Bellevue and will look to rebound over the weekend.
Dordt’s men’s and women’s basketball teams will also host “Late Night with Defenders” in a first look at the teams for the year.
“For me as a member of the basketball team, the best part is our crowd and seeing the DeWitt packed again,” senior forward Josh Van Lingen said. “There’s nothing like playing in front of a big crowd of students and adults from the community, and it’s a rush seeing the stands full even just for our intrasquad scrimmage! We have the best fans and they make playing so fun.”
Both basketball teams will scrimmage during the evening, which will also include a three-point contest, dunk contest, prizes, and a dance competition with the Defender dance team.
The basketball season is set to open on Friday, October 25th in the DeWitt Gym. Both teams will play host to Waldorf. The women’s game will start at 6pm, followed by the men’s game around 8pm.
The weekend will also feature the season opener for the Defender hockey team. Formerly known as the Blades, the Defenders will open their first season with the name of their school mascot as they open against Nebraska in the All-Seasons Center. The puck drops at 7:30pm.
The men’s volleyball team will also be featured in an open-gym scrimmage on Friday night at 7pm.
The weekend includes several alumni games. There will be alumni events in golf, baseball, volleyball, soccer, men’s basketball, and lacrosse throughout the day on Saturday.
Defender Days promises to be an exciting and busy weekend for Dordt athletics.