TRU’s Brad Gunter claims men’s volleyball MVP Award

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February 21, 2014, EDMONTON (ISN) – Brad Gunter from the Thompson Rivers WolfPack has been voted the 2013-14 Canada West men’s volleyball Most Valuable Player.

Gunter was the Canada West’s leading scorer (6.04 points per game) and kills leader (5.31 per game). He was third in service aces (0.40 per game) and had the top kills percent in a single match (5.31 points). He is seventh in the all-time single season record for kills (356) in only 22 matches.

“Brad has been our security blanket this year,” said WolfPack head coach Pat Hennelly. “As a third-year guy to put up six points a game and hit .299 kill efficiency for the year, being in the top 10 in aces and digs. It is great for Brad to be named MVP. It is an ongoing improvement process for Brad and I think the ceiling is still higher for him.”

Trinity Western’s Adam Schriemer has won Rookie of the Year.

The 6-7 setter not only quarterbacked the Spartans to a league-leading and program first 20-win season this year, but the Winnipeg product also helped direct the TWU offence to a Canada West best .313 hitting percentage.

After splitting duties with fellow setter Scott Plocktis for the first few weekends of the year, Schriemer took over the reins on the final weekend of the fall semester and hasn’t looked back. Over that span, he helped the Spartans to an 11-1 record while averaging 9.35 assists per set. Over the course of the entire season, Schriemer started 18 matches and averaged 8.61 assists per set. On Feb. 1, he had a season-high 57-assist performance in a five-set win over Brandon.

“Adam’s season is arguably the best freshman setting season in Canada West history,” said Spartans coach Ben Josephson. “He helped guide our team to a conference best in wins and attack efficiency, which are the two most relevant statistics in judging a setter. He still has a long way to go, but to have as much poise and understanding of the position at his age is a rare quality. We are so very excited to continue to work toward him becoming a truly elite setter.”

Libero of the Year is Jordan Or from the Mount Royal Cougars.

The Burnaby, B.C. product had a stellar debut campaign with the Cougars this season. Or transferred from Douglas College to play CIS volleyball and right away he made an impact. The fourth year Libero led the conference in digs with 2.67 digs per set. Jordan was also noted nationally as he ranked fifth in digs across the CIS. Another of Coach Sky’s workhorses, Jordan played every single set for the Cougars this season.

“Jordan Or had a terrific first season in Canada West. He’s such an intelligent player, it’s like having an assistant coach on the floor,” said Cougars head coach Shawn Sky. “He changes the way we play our system and impacts the way teams play us. He’s a special talent and we are thrilled he was recognized for his efforts and his quality of play.”

Earning a CIS nomination for the Dale Iwanoczko Student-Athlete Award is Colin Carson of Thompson Rivers.

Carson led the Canada West in assists in 2013-14 (10.93 per set) on way to becoming the Canada West second all-time leader in set assists (3350), ninth in career digs (620) and 14th in career set assists (8.54).

He not only will graduate with a Business degree this April, but he also coordinated the team’s community events which included: Raise a Reader (where the WolfPack team was the top money generator for Children’s literacy programs in Kamloops for a third straight year) but also Wendy’s Dreamlift.

He returned to his hometown of Prince George, B.C. to help with summer time volleyball clinics, took the ‘adopt a school’ program to a new level by spending at least once a week at Pacific Way Elementary. He also helped with the PACE program which is designed to help student/athletes cope with school and sports, is on the WolfPack’s “Captain’s Council” and for the second year in a row, is mc’ing and coordinating the WolfPack Athletic Awards banquet. He also pitched in this year when the WolfPack had a shortage of athletes going to elementary schools for Terry Fox Runs.

“We have an expectation for guys to put in 20 hours of volunteer service outside of what we ask them to do as a member of our team,” said Coach Hennelly. “Colin has gone beyond that. He has been a team captain for the last four years, a member of the Junior National team and now a Canada West all-star. He epitomizes what this award is all about. I am thrilled for him that he is being looked at as the Canada West nominee.”

Taking Coach of the Year honours for the second time in his career is Ben Josephson of the Trinity Western Spartans.

In his seventh year as the Spartans head coach, Josephson led the men’s volleyball team to its first ever 20-win season, guiding TWU to a 20-2 regular season record. In doing so, the Spartans bench boss helped the Spartans capture the Canada West regular season title for the second time in three years, while posting a perfect 11-0 record on home court.

This is the second time in three years, Josephson has been named Canada West Coach of the Year as he earned the honour in 2011-12 following the Spartans conference-leading 19-1 season

“It’s a great honour for Ben to be selected by his peers for this prestigious award,” said TWU athletic director Murray Hall. “Ben is a student of the game and has set the standard for coaching excellence at TWU in a number of areas under our Complete Champion Approach™. Ben is an innovator and has built an expert-based staff around him. He recruits the very best student-athletes who fit the high performance and high character culture he demands.”

Since taking over the head coaching duties at TWU in 2007, Josephson has guided the Spartans to four CIS national tournaments, winning gold in 2011 and 2012 and silver in 2010. He has also led the Spartans to four Canada West medals, including gold in 2012.

AWARDS

  • MVP: Brad Gunter, Thompson Rivers
  • Rookie of the Year: Adam Schriemer, Trinity Western
  • Libero of the Year: Jordan Or, Mount Royal
  • Dale Iwanoczko Student-Athlete Award nominee: Colin Carson, Thompson Rivers
  • Coach of the Year: Ben Josephson, Trinity Western

ALL-STARS (alphabetically by surname)

First Team                                     Second Team

Ryley Barnes, AB                              Dan Boutwell, Bran

Ben Chow, UBC                                Colin Carson, TRU

Nick Del Bianco, TWU                        Colton deMan, MRU

Brad Gunter, TRU                             Tom Douglas-Powell, Wpg

Milan Nikic, UBC                               Bryan Fraser, Sask

Lucas Van Berkel, TWU                     Greg Mann, Cgy 

All-Rookie Team

David Bommersbach, Winnipeg

Lars Bornemann, UBC Okanagan

Adam DeJonckheere, Manitoba

Riley Friesen, Mount Royal

Adam Schriemer, Trinity Western

Keith West, Calgary  

Previous selections / awards by this year’s winners…

Ben Chow, UBC                    2011 CIS All-Rookie

Nick Del Bianco, TWU            2013 1st CIS All Cdn   2011 CIS All-Rookie

Colton deMan, MRU               2013 2nd All-Star

Bryan Fraser, Sask                2013 2nd All-Star

Milan Nikic, UBC                    2013 2nd All-Star

Ben Josephson                      2012 CIS Coach of the Year

Award winners are now finalists for national awards, to be handed out by Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) at the 2014 national championship, hosted February 27 to March 1 at Jack Simpson Gym on the University of Calgary campus: http://english.cis-sic.ca/championships/mvball/index

The Canada West Final Four goes Friday and Saturday night at Trinity Western University in Langley, B.C., where the two finalists qualify for CIS Nationals. Host Calgary receives an automatic entry to the tournament. Thompson Rivers and Alberta tangle in one Friday semifinal, while Brandon faces Trinity Western in the other.

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