by Daniel Herrick

January 14, 2014, EDMONTON (ISN) – First Star selections both went to volleyball student-athletes this week, with Brad Gunter of Thompson Rivers and Saskatchewan’s Kayla Tycholiz putting up strong numbers in leading their respective teams to victory.


1st STAR: #1 Kayla Tycholiz, Saskatchewan (volleyball)

  • Home: Prince Albert, SK
  • Height: 6-1
  • Year: 3rd
  • Academic: Business

Third-year University of Saskatchewan middle blocker Kayla Tycholiz recorded a combined 24 kills, nine blocks and two service aces to lead the Huskies to a weekend sweep over the Winnipeg Wesmen to open 2014.

Tycholiz put away a match high 16 kills, blocked six Wesmen attacks and had one service ace to lead the Huskies to a 3-1 victory on Friday. On Saturday, the Business student from Prince Albert, Sask., added another eight kills, three blocks and an ace.

Tycholiz is third in the Canada West and CIS among total block leaders with 71 on the season.

Saskatchewan host provincial rival the Regina Cougars at the PAC this weekend. With the sweep last weekend the Huskies improved to .500 at 7-7 and slid into the sixth playoff spot in the Canada West standings.

2nd STAR: #13 Tatiana Rafter, UBC (hockey)

Tatiana Rafter scored five points and added a shootout goal on the weekend to lead her UBC Thunderbirds women’s team to two victories over the Regina Cougars.

On Friday night, Rafter scored three times in the first 18 minutes to give UBC a 3-1 lead. She added two assists on the Thunderbirds’ final two goals to round out the scoring in a 6-1 victory.

With her five points, Rafter improved her season total to 29 and established a new school standard, breaking the previous mark set by Kelly James during the 2005-06 campaign. Rafter’s performance also set a UBC record for most points in a single game.

Saturday’s game went to a shootout with both teams tied at 1-1 after regulation. Rafter was successful on UBC’s second opportunity to give the No. 5 Thunderbirds their 13th victory in 14 games.

Rafter leads the Canada West in goals (15), assists (14), points (29) and game-winning goals (5). She moved into a tie for first in the CIS in goals and game-winning goals. Rafter stands in a tie for second the CIS points race.

League leaders UBC will travel to Edmonton this weekend to face the Alberta Pandas, who are third in the Canada West conference.

3rd STAR: #11 Nicole Clarke, Regina (basketball)

Nicole Clarke led the University of Regina’s women’s basketball team to a pair of wins over Pacific Division opponents on Thursday and Friday, helping the Cougars improve their Canada West record to 10-2 on the season.

Clarke scored 15 points and added five rebounds in the team’s 99-39 win over Thompson Rivers on Thursday, then hit four three-pointers and led all players with 23 points in an 88-56 victory over UBC Okanagan on Friday.

For the weekend, Clarke accumulated 38 points and was 14-for-30 from the field, including 6-for-11 (54.5%) from three-point land. The fifth-year guard, who’s fifth in Canada West with an average of 16.7 points per game this season, also had seven rebounds, four assists, three steals, and a block in the team’s two wins.

The Cougars are back at home this weekend with games against Winnipeg on Friday and Saturday at the Centre for Kinesiology, Health & Sport.


1st STAR: #5 Brad Gunter, Thompson Rivers (volleyball)

  • Home: Courtenay, B.C.
  • Height: 6-6
  • Year: 3rd
  • Academic: Science

Brad Gunter continues to show why he is the CIS and the Canada West leading scorer. In a battle of two of the top teams in the nation, the #7 Thompson Rivers WolfPack defeated the #5 Brandon Bobcats twice including a five set marathon.

Gunter was the difference with 58 kills in 107 chances with four service aces, 24 digs, one solo block and five block assists.

Thompson Rivers improved to 10-4 on the season, tied for second place in Canada West, while sending Brandon to a 7-7 mark.

The WolfPack visit Winnipeg this coming week (Jan 17-18)

2nd STAR: #23 Torrie Dyck, Alberta (hockey)

Fifth-year Alberta hockey forward Torrie Dyck, a U of A business student, had a stellar weekend as the #2-ranked Golden Bears swept the Saskatchewan Huskies in a two-game conference series at Clare Drake Arena. Dyck got his name down on the scoresheet five times in the two games and was a direct factor on 71% of Alberta’s goals.

He propelled the Bears to a come-from-behind, third-period win on Friday night, scoring all three goals to lead Alberta to a 3-2 win. Alberta trailed the Huskies 1-0 heading into the final frame, but Dyck scored a pair of goals, including an absolute one-timer rocket, 30 seconds apart early in the third, and recorded the natural hat trick just three minutes later.

In Saturday’s rematch, the native of Hudson Bay, Saskatchewan was at it again, this time scoring in the first period, but once again, Alberta’s first goal of the game after the Huskies opened the scoring, and he then drew a power-play assist on Alberta’s third goal as the Bears went on to win 4-3.

He now has nine goals on the season, which is third best in Canada West, and he is tied for the team lead in scoring with 19 points.

3rd STAR: #5 Brylle Kamen, UBC (basketball)

UBC forward Brylle Kamen recorded two double-doubles as his Thunderbirds team split a pair of games against nationally ranked opposition.

On Friday night against #3 Alberta, Kamen scored 25 points and grabbed 13 rebounds, both season highs, in a 77-61 loss. The native of Paris, France hit four three-pointers and was 7-9 from the free throw line.

Kamen recorded a 20-point, 10-rebound performance on Saturday as UBC beat #7 Saskatchewan 93-88 in Vancouver.

The fourth-year forward now stands in ninth place in Canada West rebounding.

UBC (5-7) will travel to Calgary to play Mount Royal (6-6) in a two-game set that has important playoff implications in the Canada West Pacific Division race.