CALGARY (ISN) – Hannah Sunley-Paisley, a fifth-year post from the University of Ottawa, was named the CIS player of the year in women’s basketball, Friday night.

The native of Toronto received the Nan Copp Award, making her the first player in Gee-Gees history to claim a CIS major award in women’s hoops.

Championship website: 

Other winners announced during the All-Canadian Gala held at the Sheraton Suites Eau Claire in downtown Calgary were Windsor point guard Miah-Marie Langlois, who was named the defensive player of the year; St. Francis Xavier point guard Vanessa Pickard, who captured the Kathy Shields Award as the nation’s top freshman; Regina head coach Dave Taylor, who received the Peter Ennis Award, presented by Coaches of Canada; Lakehead forward Lindsay Druery, honoured with the Sylvia Sweeney Award which recognizes excellence in basketball, academics and community service; as well as Windsor guard Laura Mullins, who merited the Tracy MacLeod Award for her determination and perseverance.

The CIS Final 8 gets under way on Saturday at the University of Calgary’s Jack Simpson Gym and culminates on Monday evening with the gold medal final, live on Shaw TV at 7 p.m. Mountain. Shaw TV and NBA TV Canada will also carry the two Sunday semifinals live, while SSN Canada will have live webcasts of all 11 contests, including the main and consolation brackets.

NAN COPP AWARD (player of the year): Hannah Sunley-Paisley, Ottawa

Sunley-Paisley is the first player from the OUA East division to claim the Nan Copp Award since Toronto’s Justine Ellison in 1996.

In her fifth and final season with uOttawa, the six-foot-one senior led the OUA and finished fifth in the country in scoring with an average of 18.5 points per game. She was equally dominant under the boards, placing seventh in the nation with 9.5 rebounds per contest, including a CIS-best 4.3 at the offensive end of the court. The arts student also finished in the CIS top 10 in blocks (1.2 per game) and field goal percentage (50.1), recorded 12 double-doubles in 22 league games, and guided the Gee-Gees to first place in the OUA East standings thanks to a stellar 19-3 record.

Sunley-Paisley was voted to the first all-Canadian squad for the first time in her career, following second-team nods each of the past two campaigns. The three-time OUA East MVP is the all-time uOttawa leader in scoring and rebounding. At the OUA level, she ranks second for career rebounds and sixth in points.

“Hannah is an outstanding athlete who is able to control a game on both the offensive and defensive ends of the floor,” said Ottawa head coach Andy Sparks. “She has brought a tremendous amount to the program at the University of Ottawa and was instrumental in the success of the team over the past five years.”

The other finalists for the Nan Copp Award were guards Cassie Cooke of Cape Breton, Kaylah Barrett of Concordia and Joanna Zalesiak of Regina.

DEFENSIVE MVP: Miah-Marie Langlois, Windsor

Langlois is the first Windsor player to receive defensive-MVP honours since the award debuted in 2001.

The Windsor native took her game to another level this season, after being named MVP of the CIS championship a year ago when the Lancers captured the first national title in program history. The five-foot-eight junior was voted to the second all-Canadian team after she led the country with 3.5 steals per game and finished first in the nation amongst point guards with 5.2 defensive rebounds per contest. Thanks in large part to her fierce defending, the Lancers ranked second in CIS allowing only 51.7 points on average in conference play.

The business economics student also chipped in offensively this season with an OUA-best 4.9 assists per game and an 11.6-point average, good for second on her team. Her all-around play helped the defending national champions take first place in the OUA West for the fourth straight campaign with a 20-2 mark and achieve No. 2 status in 12 of 14 weekly coaches’ polls.

Langlois represented Canada at the 2011 Summer Universiade in Shenzhen, China.

“I am extremely proud of Miah’s development this year because of the commitment she made to become a top defensive player in the OUA,” said Windsor head coach Chantal Vallée. “We always knew what a tremendous offensive player she was but this year she grew into a force in all facets of the game. Her defensive stats in CIS speak for themselves and I believe her play this year was a big factor in our team’s overall success.”

The other nominees for defensive-MVP honours were Dalhousie post Anna von Maltzahn as well as guards Jessy Roy of Bishop’s and Katie Miyazaki of Saskatchewan.

KATHY SHIELDS AWARD (rookie of the year): Vanessa Pickard, St. Francis Xavier

Pickard, who hails from Riverview, N.B., became the second StFX player to claim the Kathy Shields Award. Former X-Women standout Theresa McCuish was honoured in 1991-92.

To say the graduate of Riverview High School had an immediate impact on the StFX roster would be an understatement. The five-foot-11 point guard led the team in scoring in her university debut with 17.2 points per game, an average that ranked first amongst CIS freshmen, fourth overall in the Atlantic conference and tenth in the country.

The third most utilized player in the Maritimes with 34.1 minutes of court time per contest, the human kinetics student was also third in the league in steals (50), fourth in free throw percentage (82.3) and ninth in assists (73) en route to a selection as a second-team AUS all-star.

“Vanessa has been a truly outstanding addition to the team since she arrived on campus. Our program definitely expected big things from her coming out of high school, but she has surpassed our expectations,” said X-Women head coach Matt Skinn. “Off the court, she is a fantastic student, and is a prime example of an all-around student-athlete. Her transition to the CIS level has been a smooth one, and I am excited to see what she is going to continue to bring to our program in the future.”

Also in the running for the Kathy Shields Award were McGill guard Dianna Ros, Ottawa guard Kellie Ring and Saskatchewan forward Dalyce Emmerson.

PETER ENNIS AWARD (presented by Coaches of Canada): Dave Taylor, Regina

Taylor, the 11th head coach in program history, became only the second U of R bench boss to receive the Peter Ennis Award, joining Christine Stapleton (1997).

In his sixth year at the helm, Taylor led Regina to its first-ever undefeated conference season thanks to a 20-0 mark. The Cougars were the highest-scoring team in the country in league play with an average of 84.2 points per game, led all 14 national polls during the season and head into the CIS championship with a remarkable 35-2 overall record against CIS opponents.

Taylor, who guided his troops to back-to-back CIS finals in 2008 and 2009, ranks second in the school’s all-time record book in both conference wins (99) and postseason victories (23). He joined the Cougars as an assistant coach under Stapleton in 1993-94 and helped the program win its lone Bronze Baby title in 2001.

“Dave’s success is directly attributable to his exceptional work ethic and his commitment to excellence in every aspect of the Cougar women’s basketball program,” said Regina athletics director Dick White.

The other finalists for the Peter Ennis Award were Acadia’s Bev Greenlaw, McGill’s Ryan Thorne and Ottawa’s Andy Sparks.

SYLVIA SWEENEY AWARD: Lindsay Druery, Lakehead

Druery, a native of Smithville, Ont., is the first Lakehead player to receive the Sweeney Award for excellence in basketball, academics and community service.

In her fifth and final university season, the Thunderwolves’ captain was selected as a second-team OUA all-star for the third straight year. The six-foot-1 forward finished tenth in the nation with 9.1 rebounds per game and ranked in the OUA top 10 in points (13.9 per game), field goal percentage (45.0) and offensive boards (3.7 per game). She finished her career with 828 rebounds, good for sixth place all-time in the Ontario conference, and also scored over 1,000 points for Lakehead.

The 2011-12 recipient of the OUA’s Joy Bellinger Award, Druery maintains her honours distinction in kinesiology and is also very active in the community. She volunteers with the Children’s Aid Society as a recreation buddy, with the Thunder Bay Boys and Girls Club, and also gives back to local basketball, helping the Thunder Bay Wolves club.

“Lindsay is an OUA all-star calibre athlete, maintains her honours degree average of over 70% each year and volunteers in Thunder Bay. She has managed to do this in her professional year where she is in her teaching practical’s and she also trains 3-4 hours a day for basketball,” said Lakehead head coach Jon Kreiner. “Lindsay has done a remarkable job representing the OUA and CIS as a positive role model in our community. She is a remarkable, selfless young lady that has embraced the richness of being a student-athlete and she appreciates every bit of the privileges an OUA and CIS athlete receives. She is a true Champion.”

Melissa Foster of UNB, Michelle Auger-Bellemare of UQAM and Lauren Taal of Lethbridge were also nominated for the Sylvia Sweeney Award.

TRACY MacLEOD AWARD: Laura Mullins, Windsor

Mullins, a Windsor native, is the first Lancer to receive the Tracy MacLeod Award.

After being named to the OUA West All-Rookie team in 2007-08, the five-foot-10 guard continued to help the Lancers in her sophomore season until tearing her ACL and MCL in January of 2009. She had to observe from the bench while her team won its first OUA championship and finished fourth at Nationals.

The human kinetics student was determined to return to the roster for the following campaign after fully rehabilitating her knee during the summer. Showing no signs of injury, she averaged 50 per cent from the field that season until she partially tore the same ACL again in January of 2010. She still battled to play with a deficient knee and helped the Lancers win their second OUA title and claim the silver medal at the CIS championship in Hamilton.

However, in July of 2010, Mullins suffered a full ACL and Meniscus tear and ended up missing the entire 2010-11 schedule as she had to get a second surgery on the same knee, one again forcing her to watch from the sidelines last winter as the Lancers claimed their first Bronze Baby Trophy. After more rehab, she intended to play this season, but had another setback in the summer when she was diagnosed with a blood clot behind that same knee and had to remain inactive for months with a possibility of not being able to return to play. However, in mid-September, she received the green light to start training again and has ended up making an impact on the court all season for the Lancers.

“It’s been hard to see Laura battle back-to-back injuries but also rewarding as she has shown her determination and has been an example of relentless hard work to her teammate,” said Windsor head coach Chantal Vallée. “We feel privileged she is still playing with us!”

Dalhousie’s Rachael Harrison, McGill’s Anneth Him-Lazarenko and Fraser Valley’s Nicole Wierks were also in the running for the Tracy MacLeod Award.


The all-Canadian teams were also announced on Friday.

Joining Sunley-Paisley on the first squad were Cape Breton guard Cassie Cooke of Westminster, Md., Concordia guard Kaylah Barrett of Brampton, Ont., Regina guard Joanna Zalesiak of Gorzow, Poland, as well as Windsor forward Jessica Clemençon of Saint-Rambert, France.

Clemençon was also a first-team member a year ago, when she claimed the Nan Copp Award. This season, she averaged 17.6 points and 7.2 points per game.

Cooke, the AUS MVP, finished second in CIS scoring with 23.6 points per contest. Barrett, the RSEQ player of the year, placed second in Quebec with 16.4 points per outing. Zalesiak, the Canada West MVP, averaged a CIS-best 5.8 assists per game while running the highest scoring offence in the nation.

In addition to Langlois, the second CIS dream team is comprised of Saint Mary’s guard Justine Colley of East Preston, N.S., Saskatchewan guard Katie Miyazaki of Richmond, B.C., Acadia guard-forward Emma Duinker of Cambridge, N.S., and Thompson Rivers post Diane Schuetze of Vernon, B.C.

Colley, who was voted to the first unit a year ago, led the country in scoring for the second straight season with an average of 24.4 points per contest. Miyazaki is a two-time CIS defensive player of the year.

Joining Pickard on the CIS all-rookie squad are Saskatchewan forward Dalyce Emmerson of Prince Albert, Sask., Ottawa guard Kellie Ring of Ottawa, McGill guard Dianna Ros of Montreal, and Dalhousie forward Tessa Stammberger of Kensington, P.E.I.


Nan Copp Award (player of the year): Hannah Sunley-Paisley, Ottawa

Defensive player of the year: Miah-Marie Langlois, Windsor

Kathy Shields Award (rookie of the year): Vanessa Pickard, St. Francis Xavier

Peter Ennis Award (presented by Coaches of Canada): Dave Taylor, Regina

Sylvia Sweeney Award (basketball, academics & community service): Lindsay Druery, Lakehead

Tracy MacLeod Award: Laura Mullins, Windsor