(ISN) – (HALIFAX, N.S.) – Atlantic University Sport is pleased to announce the 2014-15 AUS men’s volleyball all-stars and major award winners as selected by the conference’s three head coaches following regular season play.
For the first time in his AUS career, fifth-year Dalhousie outside hitter Bryan Duquette was named the Atlantic University Sport most valuable player.
Other AUS major award winners announced today were Memorial’s Jordan Smith of Clarenville, N.L., who was named rookie of the year; Dalhousie’s Adam Sandeson of Lower Truro, N.S., who was selected as the libero of the year; UNB’s Brett LeDrew of Clarenville, N.L., who received the student-athlete community service award and Dalhousie head coach Dan Ota, who was named the AUS men’s volleyball coach of the year.
MOST VALUABLE PLAYER: Bryan Duquette, Dalhousie
Duquette, a fifth-year outside hitter with the Dalhousie Tigers is the Atlantic University Sport men’s volleyball most valuable player.
In his fifth and final year with the Tigers, the St. Thomas, Ont. native helped his team to a 16-1 regular season record and a first-place finish in the AUS standings.
A 6-foot-4 kinesiology student, Duquette led the conference in an array of statistical categories this season. He finished first in total points (223), points per set (4.0), total attacks (438), total kills (196) and kills per set (3.38). He also boasted the highest hitting percentage (.354).
Duquette also finished second in digs with 142 and second in digs per set with 2.45. His 12 service aces were good for third best in the Atlantic conference.
In addition to taking home MVP honours, Duquette was also named to the AUS all-star team for the second time in his career. Following the 2012-13 season, he was named both an AUS all-star and a CIS second team all-Canadian.
“Bryan has been a consistent performer at the highest level this season,” said Tigers head coach Dan Ota. “He has always been a reliable serve receiver and defender, but this season he has also become the best scoring attacker in our conference. This is Bryan’s third year as team captain and he has helped lead our group to one of the best records in Dal history (21-2 overall record, 16-1 conference).”
Duquette’s selection marks the first time since the 2009-10 season that a Dalhousie player has been selected as AUS most valuable player.
No Atlantic conference player has ever been named CIS player of the year.
ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: Jordan Smith, Memorial
Jordan Smith is the first Memorial player in four seasons to be named AUS rookie of the year. Former Sea-Hawks standout Jalen Blackmore took home the honour following the 2010-11 season.
Smith, a Clarenville, N.L. native, started in all 17 regular season matches for Memorial this season, appearing in 55 of their 56 sets played.
The six-foot-two right side finished third overall in the Atlantic conference in total assists (339) and assists per set (6.16).
Smith’s season stats also included 23 kills, 76 total attacks, nine service aces, 58 digs, 15 total blocks (two solo and 13 assisted) and 40.5 points.
“Jordan Smith had a fantastic rookie season for the Memorial Sea-Hawks,” said head coach Brad Pitcher. “He started all 17 matches for the team this year at setter. For a first-year player, his knowledge of the game is definitely beyond his years. I believe that Jordan has all of the tools to be a future all-star in this league.”
The only Atlantic University Sport player to ever be named CIS rookie of the year was Dalhousie’s Terry Martin in 1994-95.
LIBERO OF THE YEAR: Adam Sandeson, Dalhousie
Adam Sandeson, a second-year science student from Lower Truro, N.S., is the first Dalhousie player since the 2009-10 season to be named AUS libero of the year.
Sandeson was third in the conference in digs per set this season with 2.44 and fourth in total digs with 127. He also contributed 20 assists for the Tigers.
“Adam is emerging as one of the top liberos in the CIS,” said Dalhousie head coach Dan Ota. “After assuming the starter role late last season, he has steadily elevated his game and, along with Bryan Duquette, forms one of the top passing duos in the nation. He still has a lot of room to grow, but has the talent to be the best libero I have seen since Jeff Weiler.”
Former Dalhousie Tigers libero Jeff Weiler is the only Atlantic University Sport player to have been named the CIS libero of the year, taking home the nation’s top prize four years in a row, from 2003-04 to 2006-07.
COACH OF THE YEAR: Dan Ota, Dalhousie
Dan Ota, in his 16th year as head coach of the Tigers program, has now been selected by his peers as the AUS coach of the year for the 13th time. This is also his fourth consecutive year taking home the honour.
This year, Ota guided the Tigers to a first-place finish in the Atlantic conference standings with a record of 16-1. His has compiled a career regular season record of 228-38.
The Tigers will look to reclaim the AUS championship banner when the playoffs resume this weekend. Dalhousie has won 32 of the past 35 AUS titles and 13 of the past 15 under Ota’s leadership.
A native of Calgary, Alta., Coach Ota is a former executive director of Volleyball Nova Scotia, a former technical director for Alberta Volleyball and was a member of the Team Canada coaching staff at the 2007 Summer Universiade in Bangkok, Thailand that captured a silver medal.
He holds a bachelor of arts and a Master of Kinesiology from the University of Calgary and is a certified NCCP Level 3 coach as well as a Master Learning Facilitator.
“This award is recognition of Dan’s work ethic, dedication and commitment to the development of his student-athletes,” said Dalhousie director of athletics, Tim Maloney. “We are very proud of Dan’s consistent success at Dalhousie and being named coach of the year this season.”
The last Atlantic conference head coach to be named CIS coach of the year was UNB’s Dan McMorran following the 2010-11 season.
STUDENT-ATHLETE COMMUNITY SERVICE AWARD: Brett LeDrew, UNB
The 2014-15 recipient of the AUS student-athlete community service award and nominee for the CIS Dale Iwanoczko award is Brett LeDrew of the UNB Varsity Reds.
The nominee for this award is a player exhibiting outstanding achievement in volleyball, academics and community involvement.
This is the third consecutive year a player from the Varsity Reds squad is taking home the honour. Former UNB standout Logan Keoughan received the award in the 2012-13 and 2013-14 seasons.
LeDrew, a 6-foot-6 middle in his fifth year of eligibility, led the conference in total blocks with 62, including a league-leading 49 block assists. He also led UNB and was second in the conference in blocks per set with 1.15.
LeDrew led the Varsity Reds in service aces (12) and service aces per set (0.22). He also contributed 73 kills, 144 total attacks and 122.5 points for UNB over the course of the regular season.
A native of Clarenville, N.L., LeDrew is currently completing a bachelor of science in chemical engineering at UNB. He is a two-time CIS academic all-Canadian with a cumulative GPA of 3.6 and is on pace to receive the same recognition this year.
LeDrew is active in the community in both his hometown of Clarenville, N.L. and in Fredericton, N.B. He is a Fredericton Reds grassroots boys volleyball coach, coaching boys ages 5 to 10 on Sundays each fall. LeDrew has been a part of this program for all of his five years at UNB.
In Clarenville, he has been involved in literacy promotion efforts for the past two years, reading to Grade 2 students in his hometown as well as in St. John’s.
“Brett has been an excellent student-athlete over his five years with the Varsity Reds, being a consistent leader in each of the three categories that define this award,” said UNB head coach Dan McMorran. “More importantly, he has also been an excellent person, both on and off the court, and a great teammate. We are very proud of him, as he is a very worthy recipient of this prestigious award.”
The CIS Dale Iwanoczko award has been awarded to a number of AUS men’s volleyball athletes in recent years. UNB’s Jacob Kilpatrick (2010-11), Dalhousie’s Nik Rademacher (2007-08), Jeff Weiler (2005-06), Chris Geddes (2002-03) and Paul Villeneuve (1993-94) are all previous recipients of the prestigious CIS award.
2014-15 AUS MEN’S VOLLEYBALL ALL-STAR TEAM:
Members of the 2014-15 Atlantic University Sport men’s volleyball all-star team, as selected by the three head coaches, are as follows:
Bryan Duquette, Dalhousie (5th year – St. Thomas, Ont.)
Jonathan MacDonald, Dalhousie (4th year – Halifax, N.S.)
Craig Toonders, UNB (5th year – Navan, Ont.)
Kristen O’Brien, Dalhousie (3rd year, – Truro, N.S.)
Marc White, UNB (5th year, New Maryland, N.B.)
Ryan Colpitts, UNB (2nd year, Fredericton, N.B.)
The 2015 Subway Atlantic University Sport men’s volleyball championship is a best two-of-three series between the Dalhousie Tigers (16-1) and UNB Varsity Reds (8-9).
The championship schedule is as follows:
Saturday, Feb. 7
Match #1: UNB at Dalhousie, 6 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 14
Match #2: Dalhousie at UNB 2 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 21
Match #3 (*if necessary): UNB at Dalhousie, 7:30 p.m.
All matches of the AUS championship series will be webcast at www.AUStv.ca.
The AUS champion will advance to the 2015 CIS men’s volleyball championship, Feb. 26-28, 2015, hosted by the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, Sask.