Reidsma takes NCCAA title; volleyball team wins CCAC crown
All season long, Andy Reidsma has been in front of his fellow Trinity Christian College runners.
Saturday, he beat the entire field in the biggest race of his season.
Reidsma, a senior from Wyoming, Mich., won the National Christian College Athletic Association title in Cedarville, Ohio. His time of 25 minutes, 13.36 seconds in the 8K race put him a whopping 18 seconds ahead of the runner-up.
Reidsma had already qualified for this Saturday’s NAIA Championship. Now, he goes to that national final as the Trolls’ first individual champion in cross country.
Reidsma led Trinity to a ninth-place team finish at the NCCAA meet. Just over a minute behind him, in 11th place individually, was Cody Velthuizen, who reached the chute in 26:13.89.
The Trolls women placed 12th in a 33-team field. With leader Anna Bos sidelined — she’s expected back for this week’s NAIA meet — fellow NAIA qualifier Jessica Disselkoen was Trinity’s top performer in the 5K race as she took 20th overall in 19:06:26.
Ashley Jourdan also broke 20 minutes as she completed her run in 19:21.44, which was good for 33rd place.
• Men’s top times (8K): Andy Reidsma, 25:01.05, Oct. 26; Cody Velthuizen, 26:13.88, Nov. 16; Michael Potter, 26:28.8, Sept. 13, Tyrell Natewa, 26:39.7, Sept. 13; Chris Koutavas, 27:00.98, Sept. 6; Mark Bohdan, 28:58.23, Nov. 16; Joshua Whitten, 29:00.17, Oct. 26.
• Women’s top times (5K/6K): Anna Bos, 18:16.1, Nov. 9; 24:04.5, Oct. 5; Jessica Disselkoen, 18:43.7, Nov. 9; 24:10.1, Oct. 5; Ashley Jourdan, 19:13.1, Nov. 9; 25:08.3, Oct. 5; Hannah Schwab, 19:44.7, Sept. 13; Justin VanDyk, 19:48.5, Nov. 9; 26:08.1, Oct. 5.
• Schedule: Saturday, NAIA Championship, at Rim Rock Farm, Lawrence, Kan.
It’s off to Nebraska for the Trolls, the first stop in what they hope is a successful run to the NAIA title.
Trinity (36-7) will meet Bellevue (34-8) on Saturday in a first-round tournament match. If the Trolls are successful, they’ll be seeded into the grind of bracket play in the NAIA Championship in Sioux City, Iowa, which begins Dec. 3.
The Bruins survived a five-set match with College of the Ozarks to win their conference tournament and advance to NAIA play for the seventh successive year, somehow getting the home nod over the Trolls, even though Trinity has a better overall record. Like the Trolls, Bellevue also won its regular-season conference crown.
The Trolls go into the NAIA whirl as Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference champion after knocking off Cardinal Stritch University in Saturday’s title match. It was the third battle in five days between the two teams in DeVos Gym and the only one to go more than three sets.
The Wolves took the first game 25-19, but Trinity rallied to win the next three. The scores — 25-20, 25-15, 25-19 — don’t really show how close the margin was, especially in the third set, when the Trolls led 10-8 before a five-point surge opened a seven-point margin.
The fourth game was also a test. Stritch went ahead 6-5 before a nine-point streak gave the locals a 10-point lead. And they needed every bit of that cushion, for the Wolves closed the gap to four before Trinity put the match away.
The victory gave the Trolls the CCAC double as regular-season and playoff champions. Stritch collected the other NAIA Tournament berth, a road trip to Dordt College in Iowa on Saturday.
Trinity beat Calumet College of St. Joseph in the CCAC quarterfinals, then polished off Olivet Nazarene University in the semifinals, both in the three-set minimum. The margins were similar — 25-17, 25-11, 25-13 against the Tigers; 25-14, 25-19, 25-16 over the Crimson Wave — and, as was the case against Stritch, the power in the Trolls’ lineup came from the middle. That included Erynn Schuh doing the setting, and Jessica Wiltjer, Kaitlin Feddema and Kirsten Harms doing the killing.
Schuh was named the CCAC Player of the Week for her effort the week before, when her 34 assists on 41 kills lifted Trinity over the University of St. Francis for the regular-season title. She’s averaged 10.27 assists per set this season, remarkable when most winning sets are captured with 25 points.
That’s the sixth-best mark in NAIA play and first in the CCAC. Schuh is also Trinity’s service ace leader.
• Record entering playoffs: 36-7 overall, 17-1 CCAC, 13-0 home, 8-1 away, 15-6 neutral. Leaders: Kaitlin Feddema 414 kills; Erynn Schuh 45 aces, 10.27 sets per game; Ellie Raebel 545 digs; Jessica Wiltjer 166 blocks.
• Schedule: Saturday, NAIA first round, at Bellevue (Neb.), 2 p.m.
The key to hosting your own basketball invitational is to find a couple of teams you can beat, and one other good team to fill out the bracket.
Trinity got two-thirds of that formula correct over the weekend. St. Xavier University was the “other good team” in the gym for the Troll Classic, while Great Lakes Christian and the University of St. Francis (Ind.) rounded out the four-school field.
The Trolls knocked off Great Lakes in comprehensive fashion, winning 78-45, but dropped a 99-58 decision — more of a knockout, really — to USF.
The defense against Great Lakes was the most impressive part of that victory. Trinity held the Crusaders to 14 points in the second half, expanding a nine-point halftime lead to the 33-point final margin.
Logan Vos led the way with 20 points, while 3-point specialist Jared Jones added 12, all of them coming from beyond the arc. Cody Rhorer and Joe Hehir both had 10 points.
That kind of scoring was harder to come by on Saturday, when USF ran off to a 50-30 lead after 20 minutes and then put another 13 points on the advantage after the break. Trinity was never in the contest, as it shot 38 percent from the field and only 53 percent from the line. Jake Van Den Berg’s 12 points led the Trolls.
The week began with an 84-66 loss at Huntington in Indiana, as Trinity chased the Foresters to no avail from start to finish. Jones scored 17 points on a 5-of-9 performance from 3-point range to pace the Trolls.
Conference play commenced this past Wednesday night at Robert Morris University.
• Record: 2-4 overall, 0-0 CCAC, 2-1 home, 0-2 away, 0-1 neutral. Leaders: Jared Jones 13.2 ppg., 18 assists; Ezekiel Odonkor 8.0 rpg.; Cody Rhorer 5 steals.
• Schedule: Tuesday, vs. Roosevelt University, 7:30 p.m.; Nov. 29, Indiana-East at St. Xavier University Tournament, 4 p.m.; Nov. 30, vs. Madonna at St. Xavier Tournament, 1 p.m.
Spring is always a tonic for the Trolls — Spring Arbor, that is.
Trinity rolled into the small Michigan town and beat Spring Arbor University 52-48 on Saturday for its first win of the season. The outcome, which stopped the Trolls’ season-opening losing streak at five games, came about with a late rally.
The score was 46-46 with two minutes remaining, but Caitlin Cody’s jumper gave Trinity a 48-46 edge. After a Spring Arbor miss, fouls put Allie Paluchniak on the free-throw line twice. She sank four shots in a row to give the Trolls a six-point lead, one that could not be negated by a late basket.
The victory was Trinity’s first since last February and ended a seven-game overall losing streak. More successes may be in store.
The Trolls hosted Moody Bible Institute this past Monday and were set to meet Robert Morris University in their CCAC opener on Wednesday. Trinity hosts Greenville on Saturday, with the two home games both nonconference meetings.
• Record: 1-5 overall, 0-0 CCAC, 0-1 home, 1-3 away, 0-1 neutral. Leaders: Allie Paluchniak 11.8 ppg., 17 assists; Caitlin Cody 5.7 rpg.; Three players with 8 steals.
• Schedule: Saturday, vs. Greenville, 1 p.m.; Tuesday, at Roosevelt University, 5:30 p.m.; Dec. 7, at Trinity International University, 5:30 p.m.
For the Trolls women’s soccer team, it always seems to come down to a match with Judson University.
That was the case this past Wednesday, when Trinity met the Eagles with a berth in the NCCAA Tournament on the line. It would be the Trolls’ first match in 11 days. The winner would advance to the tournament in Kissimmee, Fla., while the loser stayed home.
Trinity beat Judson 2-1 on Nov. 2, and last year stunned the Eagles by that same score in the NCCAA regional playoffs. The latter match was played at Judson, while this latest one was slated for Schaaf Field.
• Record: 14-3-2 overall, 9-1-1 CCAC, 8-2-1 home, 6-1-1 away, 0-0 neutral. Leaders: Rachael Webb 16 goals, 8 assists, 40 points; Becky Gold 1.00 goals-against average, .835 save percentage (81 saves, 16 goals against, 6 shutouts).
• Schedule: TBA, pending result of Wednesday’s match.