Ella de Jong- Staff Writer
This season for the Dordt women’s varsity volleyball team has been quite a different trip than past seasons. The end of their season should have been before Christmas break, but instead, their season has been prolonged because of COVID-19. This is due to the NAIA National Tournament being moved to the spring. The volleyball players will not let it hold them back from competing for a spot at nationals, even if they may have a different team than before.
“Most of the girls are back,” Emma Bousema, a defensive specialist on the volleyball team, said. “besides Karsyn Winterfeld—she is in chiropractic school, Mckenna Vroom transferred, and Lydia Smits is not playing this spring, but mostly everyone is back. But Karsyn is a big role to fill.”
There will be different dynamics with the new team competing for a spot at nationals from the team who played in the fall of 2020. Bousema has confidence that even though they lost talent from their team, all the girls are great with adapting to change and can fill the gaps. The Dordt team will bring back 13 girls from this season for a chance at nationals.
The NAIA National Tournament will be held once again close to home. It will take place in the Tyson Events Center in Sioux City, Iowa for the thirteenth year in a row. The tournament will begin on April 27, 2021, and the championship will be played on May 1.
“I’m just grateful that we got to play and got through a season,” Makenna Kooima, a defensive specialist on the team, said.
The women’s volleyball team has had opportunities that other colleges and universities have not. They were able to have their first game on September 5, 2020 and started their season with a win. The winning did not stop there. The volleyball team finished their season with a 12-5 record. Their last game was on November 9, 2020, but all the girls knew that the NAIA National Tournament was still a few months in the future.
“If we can get there and work hard in the offseason,” Kooima said. “We’ll see what the spring has to offer.”
After Christmas break, the team returned to the gym on January 19. They kicked off their first day back with lifting and an open gym. They will not have their first real practice until February 8. Bousema and Kooima explained that they do not have a schedule yet, but they know that the GPAC tournament is their major concern as of now. Their performance at every tournament will determine whether they make it to nationals or not. Both players are excited and ready to continue their team’s journey to nationals, even if it is a little different this year.