Meridian’s Jolee Sipma, Lynden Christian’s Andrew DeVries and Riley Dykstra, and Lynden’s Liv Tjoelker have signed letters of intent to play college ball after their senior seasons. Here’s where the local standouts will be after this season.
Jolee Sipma, Meridian
Central Washington University (NCAA Div. II)
The Northwest Conference’s premier center is headed for Ellensburg to play for the Central Wildcats next year. The 6-foot senior has been a big reason the Trojans have reached the 1A state tournament the past three seasons. As a junior, she averaged 15 points and 8 rebounds a game to earn first-team all-Northwest Conference honors. She also was a second-team all-conference choice her sophomore year.
Quote: “When I went over to visit (Central), I knew right away. It felt like a family. The coach was amazing, the girls were so welcoming, and all their athletics are over 3.5 (GPA), which was important to me. I visited other colleges, but when I came home, I told my Mom this is it. They’re building a program, and it’s working.”
Andrew DeVries, Lynden Christian
Dordt University (NAIA)
The Lyncs’ sharp-shooting guard will take his game to Sioux Center, Iowa, to play for the Dordt Defenders next year. The senior is closing in on the school’s career 3-point record after setting the single-season record with 86 3-pointers in 2018 when he helped Lynden Christian win the 1A state championship. He came close last season with 77 3-pointers as the Lyncs lost only once all season and finished fourth in state. For his efforts, he was named to the all-Northwest Conference second team.
Quote: “I chose Dordt because I feel at home when I’m on campus. As well, I get the chance to grow as a man of God, basketball player, and person throughout the time there and years after with the relationships I make.”
Liv Tjoelker, Lynden
The Master’s University (NAIA)
The Lions’ point guard will head to Santa Clarita, California, to play for the Lady Mustangs next year. As a freshman, she played on Lynden’s 2A state championship team, and the past two seasons she helped the Lions take sixth (2018) and fourth (2019) at state. As a junior, she earned second-team all-Northwest Conference honors, averaging 10 points and 7 rebounds a game, led the team with nearly 4 assists a game, and was a top-notch defender.
Quote: “I picked Master’s first because my brother encouraged me to go to a school where I felt wanted and comfortable. At Master’s, I felt nothing but that! The coaching staff is so passionate about their jobs, and the girls are so welcoming. Plus it helps that they’re a powerhouse school (in women’s basketball). It would be extremely hard to go from a winning program where I get a lot of playing time to a not-successful school. So I’m very much looking forward to getting a great Christian education, while hopefully winning a national championship, too.”
Riley Dykstra, Lynden Christian
Western Washington University (NCAA Div. II)
The Lyncs’ guard will join her older sister, Avery, playing for the hometown Vikings next year. The three-year letter winner and two-year starter was named first-team all-state tournament in leading Lynden Christian to the Class 1A state title game last year and was a second-team all-state tournament choice for LC’s state championship team in 2018. Last season, she earned second-team all-Northwest Conference honors after averaging 10.4 points on 50 percent shooting from the field, 5 rebounds, 2 assists and 1.3 steals.
Jim Carberry is a former Bellingham Herald sports editor and author of several books on Whatcom County prep basketball. Follow him on Twitter @whatcomhoops and visit the Whatcom Hoops Facebook page.