Ketrzynski wins U SPORTS Rookie of the Year award
QUEBEC CITY, Que. – Brandon outside hitter Elliott Viles was honoured as U SPORTS men’s volleyball Player of the Year Thursday morning, as the national award winners were celebrated at the annual All-Canadian breakfast.
Past Award Winners
Ryerson outside hitter Xander Ketrzynski captured Rookie of the Year honours, while McMaster outside hitter Andrew Richards took home the Dale Iwanoczko Award for Student-Athlete Community Service for his outstanding contribution both on and off the court. Brandon Bench boss Grant Wilson is the Fox 40 Coach of the Year.
PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Elliott Viles, Brandon
Australian outside hitter Elliott Viles is the U SPORTS Player of the Year, after a dominant campaign, which saw his Brandon Bobcats post a 20-win regular season.
The third-year started all 22 games for Brandon, playing 73 sets for the Bobcats, who earned straight set wins 16 times this season.
Viles finished fourth in the nation in hitting percentage at .366, while posting 4.1 points per set and 3.37 kills per set, which were both good for eighth in Canada West.
The First Team All-Canadian was essential to the best season in program history, as Brandon reached No. 1 in the national top 10 for the first time ever.
“Based on his physical talent, his devotion to the game, and his mind for the game, Elliott is an extremely talented player who understands what it takes to succeed at a high level. He’s really committed himself to be the best volleyball player he can be,” said Brandon head coach Grant Wilson.
“He’s an extremely humble young man. I think it serves him well and it serves our team well. He understands you put a lot of work into things as an athlete, but you also need the support of your coaches and teammates. Everybody on our team certainly rallies around Elliott and supports him. We all appreciate what he does for us, and I know he's appreciative of the support the team gives him.”
OUA: Xander Ketrzynski, Ryerson
RSEQ: Vicente Iganacio Parraguirre Villalobos, Laval
ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: Xander Ketrzynski, Ryerson
It’s one thing to contribute to a team in your first season, but another to step into a national-leading role right away, but that is exactly what Xander Ketrzynski (Toronto, Ont.) did for Ryerson this year. In his debut campaign with the Rams, Ketrzynski earned Rookie of the Year honours while also being a nominee for Player of the Year, in leading his team to a 12-6 record.
In his first season, Ketrzynski found his name in and around the top of several offensive statistics. He was far and away the U SPORTS leader in kills per set (4.84), while ranking second in total kills (329). He was also lethal from the service line, pacing the country in aces per set as well (0.59).
When all of that top-tier offensive production is taken into account, it’s no surprise that the Toronto native led U SPORTS in points per set as well. The First Team All-Canadian and All-Rookie picked up a total of 392 on the year. This impressive campaign, which included four matches in which he eclipsed the 30-point plateau, was highlighted by a 33-kill, 35.5-point performance in the team’s penultimate game against Guelph.
CW: Robin Baghdady, Brandon
RSEQ: Eduardo Luchese, UNB
DALE IWANOCZKO AWARD (Student-Athlete Community Service): Andrew Richards, McMaster
Andrew Richards (London, Ont.) capped his Marauders career as a two-time All-Canadian, and was an All-Rookie Team member in 2015. Taking on the role of McMaster's high-usage player on the left, Richards tallied a team high 185 kills over 16 matches, and enjoyed a .312 hitting percentage that ranked eighth in the nation.
While a great deal can be said about Richards’ on-court ability – wherein he averaged 4.2 points, 3.36 kills, and 0.51 service aces per set – the fifth-year senior put just as much work in around his school and community as well.
A member of McMaster’s leadership council and designated captain during matches, Richards’ ability to lead is prominent to say the least; a trait that he was also recognized for with the Wilson Scholar Leadership Award. He is a two-time Academic All-Canadian and beyond the classroom, has also dedicated his time and efforts into initiatives like the Dress for Success campaign, which recycles business-wear for underprivileged men to re-enter the work force, and Motion Ball, which allows youth with physical disabilities to participate in sport.
“I’m really happy for Andrew to be recognized by coaches across the country for his outstanding commitment to excellence on and off the court,” said McMaster head coach Dave Preston. “The Dale Iwanoczko Award is one of the greatest honours for a student-athlete to receive and is consistent with the values that embody our program here at McMaster: Excellence in all we do.”
CW: Seth Friesen, Brandon
RSEQ: Philippe Carrier, Montreal
FOX 40 COACH OF THE YEAR: Grant Wilson, Brandon
Now in his seventh season at the helm of the Brandon Bobcats, Grant Wilson guided his team to the best season in program history, as the 'Cats went 20-2 this season to top the Canada West standings.
Wilson has been with the Bobcats since the program's inception, first as an assistant coach between 2005 and 2012 before taking over as head coach.
During his tenure, Brandon has enjoyed great success on the court, including Canada West gold and national bronze during the 2012-13 season.
“Grant has done a fantastic job building the volleyball program at Brandon University,” said Brandon Athletic Director Russ Paddock. “He’s worked hard to grow an excellent culture within our men’s volleyball team of dedicated student-athletes striving for success on the court and in the classroom. He's very deserving of this recognition from his peers.”
RSEQ: Pascal Clément, Laval
OUA: Gabriel deGroot, Queen's
2019 U SPORTS MEN'S VOLLEYBALL ALL-CANADIANS
Elliott Viles - Brandon - OH - 3rd - Adelaide, Australia
Xander Ketrzynski - Ryerson - OH - 1st - Toronto, Ont.
Vicente Ignacio Parraguirre Villalobos - Laval - 5th - OH - Santiago, Chile
Eric Loeppky - Trinity Western - OH - 3rd - Steinbach, Man.
Tyler Schmidt - Mount Royal - OH - 5th - Calgary, Alta.
Matt Passalent - McMaster - OH - 4th - Hamilton, Ont.
Tim Dobbert - Thompson Rivers - OH - 5th - Aichelberg, Germany
Andrew Richards - McMaster - OH - 5th - London, Ont.
Gabriel Chancy - Montreal - S - 4th - Montreal, Que.
Pierce Johnson - Windsor - OH - 3rd - Chatham, Ont.
Alex McMullin - Alberta - OH - 5th - Brisbane, Australia
Eduardo Luchese - UNB - OH - 1st - Bento Goncalves, Brazil
Jacob Kern - Trinity Western - OH - 4th - Edmonton, Alta.
Zane Grossinger - Queen's - S - 2nd - Richmond Hill, Ont.
Xander Ketrzysnki - Ryerson - OH - 1st - Toronto, Ont.
Robin Baghdady - Brandon - OH - 1st - Geneva, Switzerland
Michael Dowhaniuk - UBC - OH - 1st - White Rock, B.C.
Jackson Bere - Western - MB - 1st - Toronto, Ont.
Eduardo Luchese - UNB - OH - 1st - Bento Goncalves, Brazil
Luis Lange - Mount Royal - MB - 1st - Calgary, Alta.
Evan Falardeau - Toronto - OH - 1st - Stratford, Ont.