Trolls runners qualify for NAIA meet
Two are in, and one more may join them.
All season long, Anna Bos and Andy Reidsma have been the respective ringleaders of Trinity Christian College’s cross country teams, and their pace-setting ways continued last Saturday at Sunset Hills Farm in Valparaiso, Ind.
Not only did Bos and Reidsma both log top-10 finishes at the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference meet, but their efforts qualified them for the NAIA Championship, which will be held Nov. 23 in Lawrence, Kan. Bos covered a 5K distance in 18 minutes, 16.1 seconds, which earned her the No. 7 position among 107 female finishers. She wound up five spots in front of Trolls teammate Jessica Disselkoen, who clocked a season-best 18:43.7 and put herself on the NAIA-qualifying bubble.
Disselkoen was to learn later this week if she had gained entry into the national meet. If not, she still had a shot at being invited to the National Christian College Athletic Association meet, which will take place on Saturday in Cedarville, Ohio.
As for Reidsma, his 8K time of 25:59.8 was good for eighth place overall in the men’s race. Next across the line for Trinity was Cody Velthuizen, who finished 19th after completing his run in 26:50.9.
Although there were a dearth of personal or season bests among the men, the Trolls still took fourth in the team standings. That matched the women’s performance. Five of Trinity’s females, however, recorded their lowest times of the year while helping the Trolls amass 97 total points, which were only five more than third-place Judson University.
• Men’s top times (8K): Andy Reidsma, 25:01.05, Oct. 26; Michael Potter, 26:28.8, Sept. 13, Tyrell Natewa, 26:39.7, Sept. 13; Cody Velthuizen, 26:40.88, Oct. 26; Chris Koutavas, 27:00.98, Sept. 6; Joshua Whitten, 29:00.17, Oct. 26; Mark Bohdan, 29:10.9, Nov. 9.
• 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, NCCAA Championship, at Cederville, Ohio; NAIA Championship, Nov. 23, at Lawrence, Kan.
Consistency success pays off, and the Trolls are proof of that.
By winning the CCAC regular-season title, Trinity claimed one of the conference’s two automatic bids to NAIA championship tournament. And now the Trolls are going for the double, attempting to capture the CCAC playoff title as well. If they do so, the playoff runner-up will get the other NAIA bid.
Top-seeded Trinity began the playoff quest this past Tuesday night, when it hosted a match against eighth-seeded Calumet College of St. Joseph. If the Trolls prevailed — and that was the way to bet, given the matchup and their 10-0 home record — the next opponent would visit DeVos Gym tonight, with either fourth-seeded Indiana University-South Bend or fifth-seeded Olivet Nazarene providing the opposition.
The championship match is slated for Saturday night at 7 p.m. Trinity would host if involved.
The Trolls’ regular season concluded with a three-set victory in Joliet against the University of St. Francis, as they overcame the Fighting Saints by scores of 25-17, 25-16, 25-23. A raucous first set found Trinity leading 18-10, then coasting to the finish. Game 2 was tighter, but the Trolls racked up the last seven points, climaxed by Kaitlin Feddema’s kill, one of a dozen she had in the match.
The Saints threw their best punch late, staying within two points almost all the way through the third set. Trinity finished them off and locked up the conference title when a USF kill attempt landed out of bounds.
Strength in all areas showed in the statistics, with Erynn Schuh assisting on 34 of the Trolls’ points and keeping 17 points alive via digs. Lauren Macadlo’s 10 kills complemented Feddema’s 12.
• Record entering playoffs: 33-7 overall, 17-1 CCAC, 10-0 home, 8-1 away, 15-6 neutral. Leaders: Kaitlin Feddema 383 kills; Erynn Schuh 45 aces; Ellie Raebel 499 digs; Jessica Wiltjer 150 blocks.
• Schedule: Today, CCAC playoffs, TBA; Saturday, CCAC playoffs, TBA.
One and done.
That was the surprising outcome Saturday at Schaaf Field, where the third-seeded Trolls were rudely ousted from the CCAC playoffs. Trinity dropped a 3-1 decision to sixth-seeded Cardinal Stritch, an outcome that ended the Trolls’ seven-match winning streak.
It was 2-0 before Trinity got on a board, Kayla Diemer’s goal cutting the Wolves’ lead in half. She scored from the slot, off an assist from Rachael Webb.
Before and after, it was largely Stritch’s day. Unassisted goals by Lourdes Gil and Anna Stadler in the first 30 minutes put the Trolls at a huge disadvantage. After Diemer’s score at 72:35, which capped a big Trinity push, the Wolves finished the scoring on Cassie Braam’s unassisted marker with 3:38 to play.
The loss was only the third of the season for the Trolls, who now must wait to see who they’ll play in the NCCAA playoffs. They’ll have 13 days off before the North Central Regional begins on Nov. 22.
• 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: Nov. 22-23, NCCAA playoffs, TBA.
Trolls coach Brandon Nicol was right when he said his schedule was tough.
Witness last weekend’s scores: Trinity lost 80-48 to Northwestern College, the 15th-ranked team in NAIA Division II, and followed that up with a 100-71 defeat at the hands of Dordt College. The two contests, at the Northwestern College Classic in Orange City, Iowa, left the Trolls with a 1-2 record going into this past Tuesday’s game at Huntington in Indiana.
Northwestern had only three players in double figures, but shot 49 percent from the floor while holding Trinity to 32 percent shooting. That included an 8-of-30 reading in the first half, after which the Trolls were trailing 43-20.
That was the game, and a 47-30 disadvantage on the boards for the 40 minutes kept it that way. Cody Rhorer’s 12 points led Trinity.
Saturday against Dordt, a school in Sioux Center, Iowa, whose hoopsters qualified for the NAIA Division II Elite Eight the last two seasons, brought more of the same. The Defenders, led by high-flying Kyle Lindbergh’s 32 points, hit triple digits for the third time in five starts, and the Trolls were the road kill.
Trinity shot better against Dordt, managing 47 percent from the floor, but the Defenders connected 50 percent of the time, out-rebounded the Trolls 46-32, and forced 12 turnovers while committing only five. It was 48-36 at intermission, and while Trinity closed the gap to eight points early in the second half, an 18-2 splurge by Dordt settled the matter.
• Record: 1-2 overall, 0-0 CCAC, 1-0 home, 0-1 away, 0-1 neutral. Leaders: Jared Jones 14.0 ppg.; Jake Van Den Berg 11.3 rpg.; Jones 10 assists; Cody Rhorer 2 steals.
• Schedule: Friday, vs. Great Lakes Christian, 8 p.m.; Saturday, vs. University of St. Francis (Ind.), 2 p.m.; Wednesday, at Robert Morris University, 7:30 p.m.; Nov. 26, vs. Roosevelt, 7:30 p.m.
Trinity’s women have had an even more difficult schedule than the men, and it shows in their record.
The Trolls lost 75-49 to top-ranked Indiana Wesleyan University and 67-52 to 11th-ranked Shawnee State last weekend, extending their season-starting losing streak to five games. They had dropped a 102-74 decision to 25th-ranked St. Ambrose in their home opener.
Trinity led the latter contest by seven points in the early going, but when the Queen Bees began to buzz, the Trolls felt the sting. A 9-2 outburst tied the game at 26, and after a see-saw stretch, St. Ambrose held a 41-39 halftime advantage.
The second half was a nightmare for Trinity. The Trolls were outscored 61-35, shot only 40 percent from the floor while the Queen Bees shot 58 percent after intermission, and ended up on the short end of a 48-35 rebounding margin for the game. Brooke Bambrick (17) and Rebecca DeHahn (12) were the only Trinity players with more than eight points.
The Trolls trailed Indiana Wesleyan 38-20 at the half and didn’t catch up, with DeHaan’s 18 points on 7-of-14 shooting the bright spot. It wasn’t much different against Shawnee State, which pulled away after a pair of early ties, led 34-23 at the half, and stayed comfortably ahead until the finish. Allie Paluchniak’s 20 points paced Trinity.
The Trolls have two more nonconference contests before CCAC play begins against Robert Morris on Nov. 20.
• Record: 0-5 overall, 0-0 CCAC, 0-1 home, 0-3 away, 0-1 neutral. Leaders: Allie Paluchniak 11.8 ppg.; Cosy Caitlin 4.8 rpg.; Paluchniak 11 assists; Paluchniak 8 steals.
• Schedule: Saturday, at Spring Arbor, 1 p.m.; Monday, vs. Moody Bible Institute, 6 p.m.; Wednesday, at Robert Morris, 5:30 p.m.; Nov. 23, vs. Greenville, 1 p.m.; Nov. 26, at Roosevelt University, 5:30 p.m.