Three players named Canada West rugby All-Stars

Megan Hamm

VANCOUVER – Three UBC Thunderbirds women’s rugby players have been named Canada West All-Stars for the 2014 season.

St. George, Ont., native Carolyn McEwen, a prop, back row player Gabrielle Hindley of Guelph, Ont., and scrum half Megan Hamm, of Aldergrove, B.C., have all been honoured for their outstanding play this year.

The trio led UBC to a 2-2 regular season and a fourth-place finish at the Canada West playoff tournament in Calgary.

McEwen, the team captain, and Hamm recorded a try each for the Thunderbirds. It is the fourth time that Hamm has earned Canada West All-Star honours for Hamm, while McEwen is now a three-time selection. Hindley is a first-time All-Star.

Alanna Fittes, a fourth-year wing for the University of Alberta Pandas rugby team, claimed the 2014 Canada West Most Valuable Player award.

The selection comes on the heels of the Pandas’ 19-11 conference championship win over the hosts Calgary Dinos at McMahon Stadium where Fittes made the convert on the last Alberta try with less than ten minutes to play, staving off a comeback attempt from the home team.

The fourth-year wing from Rimbey, Alberta had a strong 2014 campaign, as she finished sixth in conference points, with 17, as well as third in the conference in tries, with three. She also captained the Pandas to a 3-1 conference record, and the program’s third consecutive (10th overall) Canada West gold medal.

Fittes is the third straight (11th overall) Panda to win the award, following Miranda Monty (2013) and Chelsea Guthrie (2012).

The runner-up Calgary Dinos’ Elysa Sandron was named the 2014 Canada West Rookie of the Year today.

For the fifth time in his 11-year University of Alberta rugby coaching career, Matt Parrish has been named the Canada West women’s rugby coach of the year. Parrish guided the University of Alberta Pandas to a 3-1 regular season record in 2014-15, as well as the Canada West championship. Parrish, who is originally from Newcastle, England, previously won the conference top coach award in 2012, 2008, 2007 and 2005.

Parrish and the Pandas are now three-time consecutive Canada West champions, and will head to the CIS championship where they will look to win their eighth national championship in program history, and second in-a-row.

This is the eighth year that a Panda coach has won the award. Besides Parrish, Helen Wright also won top conference coach honours, in 1999, 2000 and 2001.

Following is a list of the 2014 Canada West Rugby All-Stars (repeat winners in bold).
Prop: DaLeaka Menin, Calgary
Prop: Carolyn McEwen, UBC
Hooker: Emily Tuttosi, Calgary

Lock: Elizabeth Steele, Alberta
Lock: Jocelyn Berteit, Calgary
Back Row: Natasha Loucks, Calgary
Back Row: Gabrielle Hindley, UBC
Back Row: Laura Crowe-Hutchon, Victoria
Scrum Half: Megan Hamm, UBC
Fly Half: Rebecca Fairbairn, Alberta
Center: Jules Goss, Alberta
Center: Nicole Ronsky, Lethbridge
Back Three: Alanna Fittes, Alberta
Back Three: Elysa Sandron, Calgary
Back Three: Kara Galbraith, Victoria

Complete list of 2014 Canada West Rugby Awards winners:
Most Valuable Player: Alanna Fittes, Alberta
Rookie of the Year: Elysa Sandron, Calgary
Coach of the Year: Matt Parrish, Alberta

The Canada West champion Alberta Pandas now move on to the CIS Championship on October 30 to November 2 at the University of Guelph in Ontario.