Feb. 12, 2015 (FREDERICTON, N.B.) - Atlantic University Sport is pleased to announce the 2014-15 AUS women's volleyball all-stars and major award winners as selected by the conference's seven head coaches following regular season play.
Second-year Saint Mary’s left side and Surrey, B.C. native Rachel Windhorst was named the Atlantic University Sport most valuable player, Thursday night.
Other AUS major award winners announced tonight during the awards banquet held in Fredericton, N.B. were UNB’s Victoria Eadle of Gallagher Ridge, N.B., who was named rookie of the year; Dalhousie’s Marisa Mota of Kitchener, Ont., who was selected as the libero of the year; UNB’s Paige Paulsen of Keswick Ridge, N.B., who received the student-athlete community service award; and Dalhousie head coach Rick Scott, who was named AUS coach of the year for the second time in his career.
MOST VALUABLE PLAYER: Rachel Windhorst, Saint Mary’s
Rachel Windhorst, a 5-foot-11 left side with the Saint Mary’s Huskies wrapped up her second season by leading the conference in scoring (279.0 total points and 4.2 points per set), kills (246 total and 3.73 kills per set) and total attacks (651).
Windhorst also contributed 177 digs for the Huskies this season to go along with 24 total blocks. Her hitting percentage of 0.247 was the highest of any member of the Saint Mary’s squad this season.
The Huskies posted an 11-5 record this season, finishing first in the AUS standings and earning a first-round bye in this year’s Subway AUS women’s volleyball championship.
In addition to being selected as AUS MVP, Windhorst earned a place on the AUS first team all-star squad for the first time in her career. In her first AUS season last year, the Surrey, B.C. native earned both AUS rookie of the year honours and a place on the all-rookie team.
"In only her second season in the AUS, Rachel has emerged as one of the top players in our conference,” said Huskies head coach Darren Russell. “Rachel plays with heart and dedication, and brings a lot of confidence to our team. She is a player who enjoys being put in pressure situations and competes hard every match."
Windhorst will look to become the first AUS player to be named CIS player of the year since 1981-82, when Dalhousie's Karen Maessen won the award.
ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: Victoria Eadle, UNB
Victoria Eadle of Gallagher Ridge, N.B. becomes the first player from the UNB Varsity Reds to claim the AUS rookie of the year award since the 2006-07 season.
Eadle, a 5-foot-11 left side, played in all 16 matches for the Varsity Reds in her freshman season, playing in all 58 sets.
She posted the most service aces in the Atlantic conference this season with 32. She led the Varsity Reds in total points with 208.0 and points per set with 3.6, good for second in the conference behind only AUS MVP Rachel Windhorst.
Eadle also finished fourth in kills with 162 and kills per set with 2.79.
“Vic is a very special athlete and an incredible young woman,” said Varsity Reds head coach Jilliane Goulet. “I'm really proud of what she's accomplished in her first year here at UNB; this is an award that she has worked very hard to deserve.”
No Atlantic conference player has ever won the Mark Tennant Award as the CIS rookie of the year.
LIBERO OF THE YEAR: Marisa Mota, Dalhousie (Kristen Ryan Memorial Award)
Marisa Mota of the Dalhousie Tigers is the 2014-15 recipient of the Kristen Ryan Memorial Award as the conference’s top libero.
A third-year arts student from Kitchener, Ont., Mota led the Dalhousie Tigers in digs per set (4.13) and total digs (215), good for the second and third most in the Atlantic conference, respectively.
“Marisa has been an excellent player for our team this year,” said Tigers head coach Rick Scott. “She has worked extremely hard both on and off the court to improve her game and it has definitely paid off. She has been an anchor in our back court with her strong passing and defence. Most impressively, she has matured and emerged into a real leader for our team and has provided great confidence and competitiveness.”
Lauren Smith (2010-11), Leah MacInnis (2005-06) and Angela Cormier (2002-03) are the other three Dalhousie players to have been named the Atlantic conference's top libero since the award was established in 1999-00.
Two years ago, the award was renamed in honour of former Cape Breton Capers student-athlete Kristen Ryan. Ryan, a native of Port Hastings, N.S. and a five-year member of the CBU women's volleyball team, passed away in October 2012 following a motor-vehicle accident outside of Halifax.
Following the 2012-13 season, Saint Mary’s Anastasia Callaghan became the first AUS women’s volleyball player to take home CIS libero of the year honours.
COACH OF THE YEAR: Rick Scott, Dalhousie
Rick Scott, in his seventh year at the helm of the Tigers program, is the only Dalhousie Tigers women’s volleyball head coach to be selected by his peers as the AUS coach of the year. This is his second time receiving the honour. He was first recognized following the 2012-13 season.
Dalhousie finished in second place in the AUS standings this year with a 10-6 regular season record.
The Tigers enter this year’s Subway AUS women’s volleyball championship riding an eight-game winning streak.
Scott’s Dalhousie squad posted 14.6 points per set this season, good for second in the conference. The Tigers led in blocks per set with 2.59 and service aces per set with 2.27. Their team hitting percentage of 0.186 was good for second in the AUS.
Prior to assuming head coaching duties with the Tigers program, Scott experienced tremendous success in Manitoba, coaching women's volleyball at the high school, club and provincial levels.
“Rick’s work ethic, dedication, passion and commitment to the development of his student-athletes is commendable,” said Dalhousie director of athletics, Tim Maloney. “We are very proud of Rick’s consistent success at Dalhousie and being named coach of the year this season."
Scott will now represent the AUS as the nominee for CIS coach of the year at the CIS awards banquet in Toronto, Ont.
Moncton head coach Monette Boudreau-Carroll is the only AUS coach to ever be named the CIS coach of the year.
STUDENT-ATHLETE COMMUNITY SERVICE AWARD: Paige Paulsen, UNB (Erin Bursey Memorial Award)
UNB Varsity Reds fifth-year setter Paige Paulsen is the 2014-15 recipient of the Erin Bursey Memorial Award, given to the women's volleyball student-athlete who best exhibits outstanding achievements in three areas: volleyball, academics and community involvement.
Paulsen, a biology student from Keswick Ridge, N.B., was an integral part of the Varsity Reds squad this season, posting 47.0 points, 15 blocks, 71 digs, 25 service aces and 42 total attacks. She also led UNB in assists with 480, good for the second most in the Atlantic conference.
In addition to her success on the court, Paulsen boasts an impressive academic record, being named an academic all-Canadian for the past two years and on track to earn the accolade again this year.
Heavily involved in both the UNB community on campus as well as the wider Fredericton community, Paulsen is the current president of the Athletes’ Council. The council is comprised of a group of student-athletes who organize UNB and community initiatives and act as a direct link between the teams and the athletics department.
This year, she co-organized UNB Athletics’ first Movember initiatives and helped lead the campus’s Think Pink fundraising campaign. Paulsen is also a member of Right to Play UNB. As such, she participates in fundraisers and helps raise awareness for Right to Play, an organization that brings sport to children worldwide.
The 5-foot-6 setter also serves as the fundraising chair for UNB Global Water Brigades. Water Brigades' mission is to empower communities to access sufficient, clean water through infrastructural development, water treatment, community leader training and education. Paulsen is in charge of organizing fundraising events to help fund the group’s upcoming trip to Honduras.
This year, she has volunteered with Read with the Reds, travelling to elementary schools to read to kindergarten students. She also served as a volunteer at the local food bank’s open house.
Paulsen is also passionate about coaching. She served as a coach with Volleyball New Brunswick last summer and plans to do so again this upcoming summer. She also coached at UNB’s summer volleyball camps and volunteers as a setter coach in addition to her paid position as head coach with UNB’s training program for high school players. Additionally, she is the head coach of the Bliss Carman Middle School’s Grade 7 girls’ volleyball team.
“Paige is the backbone of our team in many ways, leading with energy, passion, and by her example of hard work on the court, in the classroom, and in the university and Fredericton communities,” said Varsity Reds head coach Jilliane Goulet. “She is an inspiration to everyone around her, and is leaving big shoes to fill on our team when she graduates this year.”
This award was recently renamed in honour of former Memorial Sea-Hawks student-athlete Erin Bursey. Bursey, a two-time CIS Academic all-Canadian and a captain with Sea-Hawks women's volleyball team, passed away two years ago following a pedestrian vehicle accident in St. John's, N.L.
Paulsen will be the AUS nominee for the CIS Therese Quigley Award. Acadia's Lori-Beth MacEwen (2002-03 and 2003-04) and Mount Allison's Megan Toews (2001-02) are the only Atlantic conference recipients of the CIS award.
FIRST AND SECOND TEAM ALL-STARS AND ALL-ROOKIE TEAM
The Atlantic University Sport first and second team all-stars were also announced Thursday evening, along with this year's all-rookie team.
First Team All-Stars:
Anna Dunn-Suen, Dalhousie (2nd year – Halifax, N.S.)
Shelby Michaels, Saint Mary’s (4th year – Mill Bay, B.C.)
Jill Snow, Memorial (3rd year – Bishop’s Falls, N.L.)
Rachel Windhorst, Saint Mary’s (2nd year – Surrey, B.C.)
Abby Czenze, Dalhousie (3rd year – Halifax, N.S.)
Vanja Mitrovic, UNB (4th year – Fredericton, N.B.)
Marisa Mota, Dalhousie (3rd year – Kitchener, Ont.)
Second Team All-Stars:
Victoria Eadle, UNB (1st year – Gallagher Ridge, N.B.)
Erin Smith, Saint Mary’s (2nd year – Moncton, N.B.)
Sarah Ross, Acadia (2nd year – Toronto, Ont.)
Kirsten Sorensen, Memorial (5th year – Red Deer, Alta.)
Jessica Josenhans, Dalhousie (4th year – Lunenburg, N.S.)
Véronique Carroll, Moncton (5th year – Moncton, N.B.)
Tessa Michaels, Saint Mary’s (3rd year – Mill Bay, B.C.)
Christelle Bertin, Moncton (Beresford, N.B.)
Elly Prince, Saint Mary’s (Calgary, Alta.)
Mieke DuMont, Dalhousie (Kamloops, B.C.)
Victoria Eadle, UNB (Gallagher Ridge, N.B.)
Maddie Clarke, Saint Mary’s (Ottawa, Ont.)
Kim Bauder, Memorial (Langley, B.C.)
The 2015 Subway Atlantic University Sport women’s volleyball championship will be hosted by University of New Brunswick, Feb. 13-15, 2015 in Fredericton, N.B.
The championship schedule is as follows: (seeding in brackets)
Friday, Feb. 13
Quarterfinal #1: Memorial (4th) vs. Moncton (5th), 4:30 p.m.
Quarterfinal #2: UNB (3rd) vs. Acadia (6th), 7 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 14
Semifinal #1: Saint Mary’s (1st) vs. winner of quarter-final #1, 4:30 p.m.
Semifinal #2: Dalhousie (2nd) vs. winner of quarter-final #2, 7 p.m.
Sunday, Feb. 15
Championship Game: Semifinal winners, 2 p.m.
The AUS champion will advance to the 2015 CIS women's volleyball championship, Feb. 26 - March 1, 2015, hosted by the University of Toronto.
All matches of the 2015 Subway AUS women’s volleyball championship will be webcast at www.AUStv.ca.
With files from Atlantic University Sport