Curtiss Straatsma’s name is inscribed in the Ontario College Athletic Association’s record book as the most prolific scorer in OCAA women’s volleyball history. On January 9, 2016, the Redeemer University College student scored her 1,240th career point during the Redeemer Royals’ game with St. Clair College.
Straatsma, a member of Immanuel Christian Reformed Church in Caledon, Ont., began playing volleyball 11 years ago at John Knox Christian School in Brampton, later playing for Toronto District Christian High School and joining several club teams as well.
Straatsma loves the team aspect of volleyball. “You get to compete at a high level with a group of outstanding teammates. I love the exhilarating feeling of getting the sweet dig, a great hit or block, and then celebrating with those girls around you,” explained Straatsma.
Now in her fifth year of Redeemer’s education program, Straatsma has earned other titles in her volleyball career. Redeemer University College named her female athlete of the year in 2013, 2014, and 2015. OCAA named her first team all-star in 2013 and 2014.
Straatsma’s coach, Brad Douwes, describes Straatsma as a great athlete, a strong, physical volleyball player who is not only an outstanding point scorer but also a great passer and defender.
Going into that Saturday game, the team knew Straatsma just needed 12 points to break the record. “When Curtiss went back to serve, we knew an ace would give her the record. She hit a great serve: flat, low, with plenty of movement on it, and it went sideways off the passer’s arm. Curtiss raised her arms and let out a huge sigh of relief. She had finally accomplished a goal she set for herself five years earlier,” said Douwes.
In between sets, the team had a short ceremony to honor Straatsma’s new record and presented her with the ball she used to score her 1,240th point.
Straatsma pointed out that this achievement was possible because of the support of her team, coach, the community at Redeemer, and her family, always there to cheer her on. “There is absolutely, without a doubt, no way that I could have done this on my own. If it was not for my teammates playing their hearts out, I would not have been able to achieve this.”
Straatsma still has the rest of her final season at Redeemer to add to her total.