March 4, 2014, EDMONTON (ISN) – University of Manitoba volleyball star Rachel Cockrell and Alberta Golden Bears wrestler Mike Asselstine have been selected Canada West 1st Stars of the Week.
Cockrell was named Tournament MVP as Manitoba claimed gold in CIS women’s volleyball, while Asselstine won the 61 kg class at wrestling Nationals and was honoured as CIS Wrestler of the Year.
1st STAR: #6 Rachel Cockrell, Manitoba (volleyball)
Home: Winnipeg, MB
The #2 seed Manitoba Bisons (14-8 record, playoffs: 6-1) captured the 2014 CIS women’s volleyball championship with a perfect run during the CIS championships, Feb. 28-Mar. 2 at the University of Regina.
Manitoba produced consecutive three-set sweeps (a first during the rally point era at CIS WVB Championship) of Ottawa in the quarter-final, Dalhousie in the semifinals, plus #1 seed and defending six-time CIS champion UBC in the final.
Leading the way for the Bisons was third year right side hitter Rachel Cockrell as she was selected as CIS championship MVP for her outstanding play during the three matches. The Winnipeg native smashed 43 kills, ten digs, eight total blocks along with 49.5 points in three matches and was at her best in the championship final when she blasted a match-high 18 kills in a 3-0 win over the favourite T-Birds.
In the quarterfinal match, the Bisons won 3-0 (25-17, 25-23, 25-16) over #7 seed Ottawa and were led by Cockrell as she had a match-high 16 kills (on .324 hitting percentage) and match-high 18 points with five digs, two total blocks and one assist and service ace on Fri., Feb. 28. On the next day, Manitoba defeated #6 seed Dalhousie in the semi-final by another 3-0 (25-222, 25-13, 25-21) sweep and the 5’9″ hitter added nine kills, three digs, one block and 9.5 points.
Cockrell was spectacular in the championship final as she was named Manitoba’s Player of the Match after a game-high 18 kills on .500 hitting percentage plus registered five total blocks, two digs, one service ace and a match-high 22 points in a 3-0 victory (25-22, 25-22, 25-20) on Sun. Mar. 2.
With the championship win, the Bisons have now earned their seventh CIS championship in the program’s history (1970-71, 1989-90, 1990-91, 1991-92, 2000-01, 2001-02 and 2013-14) and first since the 2001-02 season. Manitoba is now tied with Winnipeg and Alberta for second place all-time for CIS WVB championship titles with seven, three behind UBC.
2nd STAR: #1 Cassidy Hendricks, Saskatchewan (hockey)
Second-year University of Saskatchewan goaltender Cassidy Hendricks allowed just four goals on 124 shots to lead the Huskies to their first-ever Canada West Championship with a 2-1 series win over the Regina Cougars.
Hendricks was brilliant on Friday night making 46 saves, including 13 in overtime, to post a shutout as Saskatchewan won 1-0 to take an early series lead.
In Saturday night’s quadruple overtime affair, the 5-8 netminder from Vancouver, stopped 40 more Cougar shots and kept the Huskies in the game making big saves in each of the overtime periods in the longest Canada West game ever played.
With a 39 save performance Sunday’s 2-1 double overtime win, including a nine save performance in the extra sessions, Hendricks helped the Huskies to their first conference title and a berth in CIS Nationals March 14-16 in Fredericton, New Brunswick.
3rd STAR: #12 Kelsey Trulsrud, Saskatchewan (basketball)
Third-year University of Saskatchewan guard Kelsey Trulsrud recorded back-to-back double-doubles to lead the Huskies to a 2-1 come-from-behind series win over the UBC Thunderbirds in the Canada West quarter-final.
After recording four rebounds and a steal in a Game 1 loss, Trulsrud stepped up her play in a must win Game 2 recording a double-double of 10 points and 13 rebounds. The 5-9 forward was a force on the defensive end with four steals to go with her nine defensive boards. Trulsrud was 6-of-8 from the free throw line in the win.
In Sunday’s series clinching win, the Saskatoon, Sask. native notched her second straight double-double with 23 points and 10 rebounds. Trulsrud amassed 38 minutes of floor time leading the Huskies to an 85-75 victory.
With a 2-1 series win, Saskatchewan advances to the Canada West Final Four for the fifth time in six years. The Huskies take on the Regina Cougars in the semifinal Friday night at 6 p.m. in Edmonton.
1st STAR: Mike Asselstine, Alberta (wrestling)
Home: Edmonton, AB
University of Alberta Golden Bears wrestler Mike Asselstine is the Canada West star of the week for the week ending March 2.
The third-year grappler from Edmonton helped the Golden Bears to a second place finish at the national championship, held this past weekend in Fredericton, New Brunswick, and won a gold medal in the 61 kg weight class and was named the outstanding wrestler of the CIS championship meet.
A silver medalist in 2013, when the Golden Bears won the national team championship, Asselstine recorded a thrilling last second comeback victory in his opening match of the CIS tournament, defeating former CIS MVP Vince Cormier. Asselstine then defeated Concordia’s Vincent De Marinis in the title bout.
Asselstine, winner of the CIS student-athlete community service award last year as well as the U of A’s Athlete of the Year award, was one of six Golden Bears medalists at the national championship meet this year, as the Golden Bears finished with the team silver medal, one year after winning the CIS trophy.
2nd STAR: #12 Ryley Barnes, Alberta (volleyball)
Ryley Barnes was named Tournament MVP as the Alberta Golden Bears won their first CIS men’s volleyball title since 2009 with three straight victories at Nationals, hosted by the University of Calgary.
Barnes, a third-year left side hitter out of St. Paul, Alberta, combined for 38 kills and 20 digs and the Golden Bears as a team won nine of 10 sets against Montreal (25-19,25-18,25-12), Laval (5-19,23-25,25-23,25-23) and tournament upset specialist Western (25-19,25-17,25-16).
3rd STAR: #37 Jacob DeSerres, Calgary (hockey)
Calgary Dinos men’s hockey goaltender Jacob DeSerres posted a miniscule 0.95 goals against average in two semifinal victories over the Manitoba Bisons on Friday and Sunday night.
Allowing just two goals in 125:41 of action, the third-year Arts student blocked 50 of 52 shots overall in leading Calgary to a spot in the best-of-three conference final and a chance to qualify for the 2014 University Cup tournament, hosted by the University of Saskatchewan, March 20-23 in Saskatoon.
On Friday, DeSerres, who was WHL Graduate of the Month back in November, stopped 26 of 27 shots in a decisive 5-1 win. He did not play in net on Saturday, a 3-2 overtime loss, and in Sunday’s deciding Game 3 at Father David Bauer Arena, DeSerres allowed just one goal on 25 shots as the home side needed overtime to clinch the series, 2-1.
DeSerres and the Dinos now travel to Edmonton for the best-of-three Canada West final starting on Friday, March 7th.
Next 3 Stars of the Week: Tuesday, March 11, 2014
Canada West Online Publication: www.azbycx1928.com/cw78hjfdbje/