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Spring sports recap: Record setter for women's tennis, track teams continue dominance

Jill and RachelWomen's Tennis Team

Led by head coach Jerry Bergsma, the women’s tennis team had an historic season, compiling an overall record of 19-4, establishing a Calvin singleseason record for victories. During the year, the Knights captured their first MIAA regular season title since 1982, compiling an 8-0 conference record. Calvin then captured its first MIAA tournament title since 1982, defeating Alma in the first round 5-0, Albion 6-3 in the semifinal round and rival Hope 6-3 in the finals to earn its first bid to the NCAA III Tournament.

Junior Melissa Oosterhouse (Grand Rapids, Mich.) was named the MIAA’s Most Valuable Player, becoming the first Calvin MVP in women’s tennis since 1984. Oosterhouse was also named to the All-MIAA first team for the third straight year after going undefeated at No. 1 singles in MIAA dual-match play and in the MIAA tournament. Oosterhouse was joined on the All-MIAA first team by junior Kaitlin Spoelhof (Holland, Mich.) while senior Elisabeth Geenen (Holland, Mich.) was named to the All-MIAA second team. In addition, senior Rachel Strikwerda (Holland, Mich.) was named the recipient of the MIAA’s Karen Caine Scholar–Athlete Award. Strikwerda is the first Calvin player to receive the award.

In NCAA III Tournament play, Calvin defeated Baldwin-Wallace 5-0 in the first round before falling to Washington University (St. Louis, Mo.) 5-2 in a second-round match.

Calvin had five singles players hit the doubledigit mark in victories led by Oosterhouse who finished the 2009–2010 season with an overall singles record of 25-2, including a 23-0 mark in singles play.Oosterhouse is the first Calvin singles player to record 20 or more victories in a season. Geenen was close behind with a 19-3 mark at No. 3 singles while Strikwerda was 18-3 at No. 4 singles. Junior Michelle Busscher (Whitehall, Mich.) was 17-5 at No. 5 singles while Spoelhof was 15-8 at No. 2 singles. In doubles play, senior Rachel DeGroot (Lombard, Ill.) and Geenen were 19-4 at No. 3 doubles, Oosterhouse and Spoelhof 17-7 at No. 1 doubles and Strikwerda, pictured above, right, and senior Jill VanVeen, pictured above, left, (Grand Rapids, Mich.) 14-8 at No. 2 doubles.

Oosterhouse capped the season off by becoming the first player in Calvin women’s tennis history to earn a bid to the NCAA III Singles Tournament. Oosterhouse was later defeated 6-4, 6-2 by defending national champion Lorne McManigle in the first round. At the tournament however, Oosterhouse was named the recipient of the NCAA’s Elite 88 Award, becoming the first individual in Calvin athletics history to receive the honor. She was also named an ESPN The Magazine Academic All-American.

Andrew DeVliegerMen's Tennis Team

The men’s tennis team, under the guidance of head coach John Ross, finished 15-9 overall and in third place in the MIAA standings with a 4-2 conference record. At the MIAA tournament, Calvin finished third, defeating Alma 5-0 in the first round, falling 5-3 to Hope in the semifinals and then defeating Albion 5-4 in the third-place match.Calvin won seven of its final 10 matches and hit the double-digit mark in victories for the eighth straight year.

Calvin had four individuals notch double digits in singles victories as senior Andrew Rescorla (Zionsville, Ind.) was 11-8, freshman Philip Reinken (Morton, Ill.) 13-8, freshman Preston Phillips (Bexley, Ohio) 13-7 and freshman Brian DeMaagd (Grandville, Mich.) 13-9.

Calvin’s top doubles tandem was junior Andrew DeVlieger, pictured above, (Grand Rapids, Mich.) and sophomore Jon Goorhouse (Holland, Mich.) with a 15-5 record while the tandem of DeMaagd and Rescorla was 15-9.

Baseball Team

Under the direction of head coach John Sparks, the baseball team finished fourth in the final MIAA standings with a 15-13 conference record. Calvin’s overall record was 19-20 as the Knights just missed hitting the 20-win plateau for the third consecutive year. Calvin finished the year on a hot streak, winning seven of its last nine games—six of its last seven. Included in the final stretch of the season was a 10-0 victory over nonconference rival Aquinas, marking Calvin’s first victory over the Saints since 2001. In the victory, junior Andrew Bosma (Zeeland, Mich.) belted a grand slam home run off the left field scoreboard.

A designated hitter and first baseman, Bosma finished the season with a team-leading .389 batting average along with 33 runs batted in, tying him for sixth place on the Calvin single-season list for runs batted in. Bosma was named to the All-MIAA second team and was joined on the second team by sophomore outfielder Tyler Berger (Grand Rapids, Mich.) who batted .356 with a teamleading six home runs.

Junior pitcher Keith Spoelstra (Oakland, N.J.) was named to the All-MIAA first team after compiling a win-loss record of 6-3 including 5-2 in league games. Spoelstra also led the MIAA in earned run average (1.99). During the first week of the MIAA season, Spoelstra was named the MIAA Pitcher of the Week after he tossed a complete-game victory over eventual MIAA champion Adrian College.

Softball Team

Led by first-year head coach Sharon DeKleine, the softball team finished 11-24 overall, winning seven more games than it did in 2009. The Knights finished tied for sixth in the final MIAA standings with a 6-10 conference record.

Calvin closed out the season in strong fashion, upsetting eventual MIAA tournament champion Trine University 5-4 in a late-season regular season contest and followed with a 2-1 win over MIAA runner-up Adrian.

Freshman pitcher Shelby Mast (Hudsonville, Mich.) was the anchor of Calvin’s pitching staff, pitching 184.1 innings and fashioning a 10-18 record with a respectable 2.43 earned run average. Mast tossed a no-hitter in her first collegiate game and later tossed five one-hitters during the season. She also struck out 168 batters including 12 in Calvin’s upset win over Trine. For her efforts, Mast was named to the All-MIAA second team.

Calvin’s top two threats at the plate were sophomore Marie Prins (Hudsonville, Mich.) and junior Mallissa Van Rooyen (Beamsville, Ont.). A first baseman, Prins finished with a team-leading .380 batting average and a team-best 21 runs batted in. Calvin centerfielder Mallissa Van Rooyen batted .379 with eight extra-base hits including two home runs.

Elizabeth SmitWomen's Track and Field Team

Led by first-year coach Bret Otte, the women’s track and field team captured its 21st consecutive MIAA title—its league-leading 25th overall—by finishing first at the MIAA jamboree with 974.5 points and first with 282.5 points at the MIAA field day.

At the MIAA field day, Calvin took first place in 10 individual events. Repeating as MIAA champion in the shot put was junior Sarah Reasoner (Cambridge, Minn.) with a throw of 40-4 ¼. Repeating as league champion in the pole vault was senior Joy Leach (Charlottesville, Va.) with a vault of 12-1 ½ while senior Jessica Koster (Grand Rapids, Mich.) repeated as league champion in the 10,000 meters, winning with a time of 38:02.93. Junior Kim Wigboldy (Chandler, Ariz.) picked up her second javelin title in three years with a toss of 118-2 while senior Elizabeth Smit, pictured above, (Kirkland,Wash.) repeated as league champion in the steeplechase with a time of 11:06.56. Other individual winners from Calvin included sophomore Kaitlin Diemer (Caledonia, Mich.) in the 800 meters (2:18.61), sophomore Jodi Hoekstra (Homer Glen, Ill.) in the 1,500 meters (4:42.17), sophomore Jordan Gabrielse (Allendale, Mich.) in the 400-meter hurdles (1:05.29), junior Rachel Boerner (Bergenfield, N.J.) in the 400-meter dash (57.99) and junior Leigha Oberle (Grand Rapids, Mich.) in the discus (136-3).

Calvin’s 4x400-meter relay team of Diemer, sophomore Rebecca Hiemstra (Dusseldorf, Germany), junior Alison Tuuk (Grand Rapids, Mich.) and Gabrielse also took first place in a time of 4:06.39.

Reasoner was named the MIAA’s Most Valuable Field Event Performer for the second straight year while Boerner was named the MIAA’s Most Valuable Track Performer. Reasoner and Boerner were also both named to the All-MIAA team for the second time. Named to the All-MIAA team for the third time were Smit and Koster while Oberle, Leach and Wigboldy were so honored for the second time. Named to the All-MIAA team for the first time were Diemer, Gabrielse, Hoekstra and senior Katie Roelofs (Grand Rapids, Mich.).

Calvin then qualified 13 individuals for the NCAA III Track and Field Championships with Smit and junior Gretchen Braymer (Erie, Pa.) competing in the steeplechase with Smit also running in the 5,000 meters, Leach competing in the pole vault, junior Rebekah VanDyk (Bellflower, Calif.) competing in the high jump, Reasoner in the shot put and discus, Oberle in the discus, Boerner in the 400-meter dash and 400-meter hurdles and Tuuk, Gabrielese, Roelofs and Diemer competing in the 4x400-meter relay.

At the NCAA III Championships, Calvin claimed six All-America berths led by Boerner who captured national titles in the 400- meter dash (54.50) and 400-meter hurdles (59.80), becoming the first individual in NCAA history to win both events on the same day at the national meet. Also claiming All-America berths were Koster for the second straight year in the 10,000 meters with a sixth-place time of 36:28.33, Smit in the steeplechase with a fifth-place time of 10:43.79 and Oberle with a seventh-place throw of 138-1 and Reasoner a third-place throw of 152-1 in the discus. Combined the six All-America performances helped the Knights finish fifth in the final team standings with 35 points.

Joel KlingenbergMen's Track and Field Team

The men’s track and field team, also led by Bret Otte, captured its 16th consecutive MIAA title—its league-leading 35th crown overall.

At the MIAA Jamboree, worth half of the final league title, Calvin edged Hope for first place with 952.50 points, finishing 7.5 points ahead of Hope. Calvin then clinched the league title outright with a first-place total of 254 points at the MIAA field day, 39 points ahead of runner-up Hope.

At the MIAA field day, Calvin had seven individual champions, which included senior Joel Klingenberg, pictured above, (Hamilton, Ont.) in the javelin (186-10), senior Zack Vanderlaan (Lansing, Ill.) in the long jump (22-9), sophomore Nick Kramer (Dyer, Ind.) in the steeplechase (9:09.42), junior Alex Wrobel (Arden Hills, Minn.) in the 1,500 meter (3:58.06), senior Kelby McClelland (Mercer, Pa.) in the 110 high hurdles (15.14), sophomore Carson Sterchi (Crystal Lake, Ill.) in the 800 meters (1:54.69) and junior Jake Christiansen (New Ipswich, N.H.) in the 5,000 meters (15:19.31). McClelland’s title in the 110 high hurdles was his third in the event while Wrobel’s title in the 800 meters was his second in three years. Klingenberg also captured the javelin title for the second straight year. Calvin’s 4x400-meter relay team of sophomore Thad Winkle (Grand Rapids, Mich.), Wrobel, Sterchi and Vanderlaan also took first place (3:22.52).

Calvin landed seven individuals on the All-MIAA team with McClelland and Wrobel earning all-league honors for the third time while Klingenberg was named to the All-MIAA team for the second time. Named to the All-MIAA team for the first time were Kramer, Vanderlaan, Sterchi and senior Caleb Rottman (Fargo, N.D.).

Calvin then qualified four individuals for the NCAA III Track and Field Championships with McClelland qualifying in the 110 high hurdles, Kramer qualifying in the steeplechase and 5,000 meters and senior Aaron Goodman (Milwaukee, Wis.) and junior Ben VanWyk (Sussex, N.J.) qualifying in the steeplechase.

Kramer earned All-America honors in two events, placing fourth in the steeplechase and tying for eighth in the 5,000 meters.