Calvin University has announced the 2020 recipients of its highest athletic honors: the Beré Memorial Award and the Kay Tiemersma Athletic Award.
Calvin has presented the Beré Memorial Award annually since 1951. The Beré honors the top senior male student-athlete, based on athletic ability, scholastic rank, character, and leadership. It is given in memory of Joe Beré, a Calvin student who was killed in a 1949 auto accident on his way to watch a Calvin basketball game. The winner is selected by the coaches of the school’s men’s sports and an Athletics Committee made up of students and non-physical education department faculty members.
This is the 47th year that Calvin has given the Tiemersma award—presented annually to the top senior female student-athlete. The award honors Kay Tiemersma, a pioneer in women’s sports and the first female physical education teacher in the member schools of the Christian Schools International organization. Its presentation is based on athletic ability, scholastic standing, character, and leadership. The winner is selected by the coaches of the school’s women’s sports and an Athletics Committee made up of students and nonphysical education department faculty members.
Sarah DeVries is from Grand Rapids. She is a graduate of Grand Rapids Northpointe Christian High School. She is the daughter of Mike and Betsy Wilgenburg DeVries. She joins her mother as a Tiemersma Award recipient, with Betsy Wilgenburg DeVries receiving the honor in 1993 after a three-sport career in volleyball, basketball, and track and field.
At Calvin, Sarah DeVries recently completed a standout four-year career with the Calvin women’s volleyball team. During her tenure with the Knights, she helped the Calvin women’s volleyball program post an overall win-loss record of 123-10 that included four MIAA regular-season championships, three MIAA tournament titles, three trips to the national semifinals, two trips to the national final, and one national championship.
A middle hitter and setter in Calvin’s 6-2 attack, DeVries completed her career with 1,493 kills, ranking eighth on the Calvin career list. She also amassed 463 career blocks, which ranks sixth on the all-time Calvin list. In addition, she accumulated 1,278 assists, which rests eighth on the Calvin career list.
DeVries was a three-time First Team All-MIAA selection and the MIAA’s Most Valuable Player in 2019 and the MIAA’s Defensive Player of the Year in 2018. In 2018 and 2019 she was named the AVCA (American Volleyball Coaches Association) Division III National Player of the Year and to the AVCA Division III All-America First Team. In 2017, she was named to the AVCA Division III All-America Second Team.
As a freshman in 2016, she was named to the NCAA III Finals All-Tournament Team after helping Calvin capture its third national championship in women’s volleyball. She sparked Calvin to four consecutive NCAA III Regional crowns and was named the NCAA III Regional Tournament Most Outstanding Player in both 2018 and 2019. In the 2019 NCAA III Regional Finals, she produced an incredible quadruple-double (20 kills, 16 assists, 12 digs, 10 blocks) in a four-set win over Hope College. She concluded her career with a triple-double (25 kills, 28 assists, 12 digs) in a national quarterfinal loss to Trinity (Texas) this past November.
In the classroom, DeVries recently graduated with a degree in nursing. This past December, she was named the 2019 CoSIDA Academic All-American of the Year. in women’s volleyball. She was named a First Team CoSIDA Academic All-America selection in 2018 and 2019. She was a dean’s list student at Calvin as well as a regular member of the MIAA Academic Honor Roll.