Redeemer fete’s its top athletes, coaches

Curtiss Straatsma (Photo: Redeemer Athletics)

Curtiss Straatsma (Photo: Redeemer Athletics)

Women’s volleyball player Curtiss Straatsma was named the Female Athlete of the Year and men’s volleyball standout David Klomps was named the Male Athlete of the Year as Redeemer University College honoured its varsity athletes and coaches Saturday evening at the 26th Annual Athletic Awards Ceremony.

The evening recognized outstanding performances and team accomplishments as well as academic success. In total, 20 Rookie of the Year (ROY) or MVP awards, five major awards (coach, scholars, and Athletes of the Year), 16 Ontario Colleges Athletic Association sport awards, 30 OCAA academic awards, and six Canadian Colleges Athletic Association sport awards were handed out. Two new members were also inducted into the Royal Road to Victory.

Straatsma led her team in points and points per game, and set a Redeemer record for points in a game and in a season. She also ranked highly in both the OCAA and CCAA individual statistical rankings this year. She was named a Redeemer Athlete of the Month, an OCAA First Team All-Star as well as her team’s MVP.

Straatsma also set new standards for kills and kills per game in a season, was named an OCAA women’s volleyball player of the week, finished second in the OCAA in points, blocks, and kills. She led her team to a first round upset over the No. 1 team in the East Division in the OCAA championships, helping the Royals achieve Redeemer’s highest placing in Division I OCAA women’s volleyball.

Redeemer’s athletic director, Dave Mantel, praised Straatsma for her impressive season.

“She is no stranger to strong performances”, said Mantel. “The team quickly became dependent upon her for strong performances in each and every competition of the year. Although always an extremely talented athlete, over the course of this season, her competitive edge seemed to grow and develop.”

David Klomps (Photo: Redeemer Athletics)

David Klomps (Photo: Redeemer Athletics)

On the men’s side, Klomps led his team on offence, on defense, and off the court. He was named a Redeemer Athlete of the Month, his team’s MVP, an OCAA First Team All-Star, and an OCAA championship tournament All-Star.

He helped his team to 14-4 regular season record, a national ranking as high as No. 2, and an OCAA bronze medal. He had the second most digs in a season for a Redeemer player, the third most points in a season, and the fourth most kills in a season. He is a reliable passer with exceptional ball control and defensive presence.

Dave Mantel was thrilled to present the award to Klomps saying, “The most significant aspect of Dave is his focus and his vision for the team. Every day throughout the year, he continues to not allow the team’s goals, or his personal goals to drop at all. The intensity of focus and work ethic make him a special athlete.”

The men’s volleyball coaching staff of Wayne Harris and Brad Douwes were co-recipients of the Coach of the Year award for their impressive season. Harris was also honored for being named the Canadian Colleges Men’s Volleyball Coach of the Year.

Harris and Douwes posted one of the highest winning percentages in Redeemer history, competed in the most competitive division in the CCAA, achieved the highest national ranking in Redeemer history, and earned another league medal (bronze). They developed a team that arguably had an all-star at every single position on the floor. Their excellence was recognized by teams across the province and again by teams from across the country.

Observed Mantel: “Our men’s volleyball coaches are two individuals with high knowledge for the game, and an even higher level of passion for it. They have a well defined approach to how to compete and win that is built on a solid team culture that is unflappable. They have trained the athletes in fundamental skills, team tactics, mental toughness, and Christian values.”

A record five Royals were named CCAA Academic All-Canadians. Rachel Passchier and Carly Voortman (women’s soccer), Klomps, Taylor Kraayenbrink (cross country), and Joel Zondervan (men’s soccer) were all recognized for being named to the Dean’s Honours list as well as being named OCAA All-Stars in their respective sport.

Kraayenbrink was named the Male Scholar Athlete of the Year while double sport athlete April Passchier was named the Female Scholar Athlete of the Year. Both athletes were honoured for their tremendous successes in their sport and in the classroom. Kraayenbrink was also named the cross country MVP while Passchier took home the same honours for indoor soccer.

Two new members were inducted into the Royal Road to Victory (Hall of Fame).

Carlena Schipper (1999-2003) was inducted for her stellar career as a women’s volleyball player. Since the introduction of the rally point scoring system in OCAA volleyball, Carlena dominated in almost all statistical categories. When she concluded her career in 2003 she was at the top of many of Redeemer’s and the OCAA’s career and season statistic records. Ten years later, her name is still etched in the record books in many of those same categories.

Allan Brown was inducted as Redeemer’s first ever coach into the hall. He was also inducted in the builder category for his role as Redeemer’s athletic director from 1991-2005.

Brown’s coaching career began in 1989-90 when he assumed the women’s soccer program. Although the team struggled in its first season, it was the beginning of one of the most successful periods of varsity competition for Redeemer. In 1990-91, he led the women through an undefeated regular season, delivering a silver medal, the first silver league medal earner at Redeemer. That same year, the women would enter indoor soccer competition and earned the first provincial championship, taking home the gold medal.

Brown would be named Coach of the Year in outdoor soccer’s West Division in four of the next five seasons. His indoor teams would also earn a bronze medal and twice finish fourth overall.

He retired from coaching after the 1996-97 season as the most decorated coach in Redeemer history.

Below is the full list of awards handed out.


Women’s Outdoor Soccer
ROY – Monica Loewen
MVP – Carly Voortman

Men’s Outdoor Soccer
ROY – Craig De Boer
MVP – Dirk Van Soelen

Cross Country
ROY – Jillian Marquardt
MVP – Taylor Kraayenbrink

Women’s Volleyball
ROY – Kimberly Stewart
MVP – Curtiss Straatsma

Men’s Volleyball
ROY – Max Woodley
MVP – David Klomps

ROY – Carla Hogan
MVP – Blair Hogan

Women’s Basketball
ROY – Jesseca Brown
MVP – Jesseca Brown

Men’s Basketball
ROY – Josh DeSchiffert
MVP – Calvin Turnbull

Women’s Indoor Soccer
ROY – Sierra O’Connell
MVP – April Passchier

Men’s Indoor Soccer
ROY – Craig De Boer
MVP – Josh Elgeti

Coaching Staff of the Year
Wayne Harris & Brad Douwes – Men’s Volleyball

Female Scholar Athlete of the Year
April Passchier – Women’s Soccer/Women’s Volleyball

Male Scholar Athlete of the Year
Taylor Kraayenbrink – Cross Country

Female Athlete of the Year
Curtiss Straatsma – Women’s Volleyball

Male Athlete of the Year
David Klomps – Men’s Volleyball

Royal Road to Victory
Carlena Schipper (Van Driel) – Women’s Volleyball
Allan Brown – Women’s Soccer & Athletic Department Staff

OCAA Academic Awards
Bethany DeHaan – Women’s Soccer
Monica Loewen – Women’s Soccer
Grace Berkel – Women’s Soccer
Leesha DeWeerd – Women’s Soccer
Alison denBok – Women’s Soccer
Rachel Passchier – Women’s Soccer
Carly Voortman – Women’s Soccer
Angela Goodwin – Women’s Soccer

Gerrit VanAndel – Men’s Soccer
Josh DeGroot – Men’s Soccer
Joel Zondervan – Men’s Soccer
Sydney de Schiffert – Men’s Soccer
Matt Koning – Men’s Soccer

Nathan Verbaan – Cross Country
Gina Van Haren – Cross Country
Annie Stollery – Cross Country
Danica Thomsen – Cross Country
Taylor Kraayenbrink – Cross Country
Adrianna So – Cross Country
Zachary Duguay – Cross Country
Janae Vlaar-Philbrick – Cross Country

Elise Kollenhoven – Women’s Volleyball
Rebekah Wright – Women’s Volleyball
Mary Christiaanse – Women’s Volleyball
April Passchier – Women’s Volleyball

David Klomps – Men’s Volleyball
Timon Moolman – Men’s Volleyball
Cameron Groenendijk – Men’s Volleyball
Max Woodley – Men’s Volleyball

Stephen Bowler – Badminton
Janelle Koopmans – Badminton

CCAA Academic All-Canadians
Rachel Passchier – Women’s Soccer
Carly Voortman – Women’s Soccer
Joel Zondervan – Men’s Soccer
Taylor Kraayenbrink – Cross Country
David Klomps – Men’s Volleyball

CCAA Men’s Volleyball Coach of the Year
Wayne Harris – Men’s Volleyball