2010-11 AUS major awards and all-stars announced
HALIFAX, N.S. - Atlantic University Sport is pleased to announce the 2010-11 AUS men's volleyball all-stars and major award winners as selected by the conference's three head coaches following regular season play.
Fifth-year UNB middle blocker Jacob Kilpatrick was named the Atlantic University Sport most valuable player as well as the recipient of the AUS student-athlete community service award, Thursday.
Other AUS major award winners announced today were Memorial's Jalen Blackmore Clarenville, Nfld., who was named rookie of the year; UNB's Kyle Blanchard of Saint John, N.B., who was selected as the libero of the year and UNB head coach Dan McMorran, who was named the AUS men's volleyball coach of the year.
MOST VALUABLE PLAYER: Jacob Kilpatrick, UNB
Kilpatrick, a fifth-year middle with the first place UNB Varsity Reds is the Atlantic University Sport men's volleyball most valuable player.
A native of Saint John, N.B., Jacob has been named to the AUS all-star team three times, and has been the recipient of the AUS student-athlete community service award in each of the past three seasons.
Kilpatrick had another stellar season for the V-Reds, leading the Atlantic conference in hitting percentage (.439), blocks (1.35 per game), aces (0.37 per game) and was second in AUS scoring with an average of 4.28 points per game.
His .439 hitting percentage, 1.35 blocks per game and 0.37 aces per game also rank in the top five of those categories in the country this year
"Jacob has had a tremendous year for our team and has made a significant impact in the AUS," said UNB head coach Dan McMorran. "He is at the top of several statistical categories in both the AUS and CIS, and has shown he is one of the best middles in the country. He is both a great athlete and person, and is very deserving of this award."
This the first time since 1997-98 that a UNB player has been named most valuable player of the AUS men's volleyball conference. Former V-Reds star Darcy Harris was a co-MVP that year with Dalhousie's Terry Martin.
No Atlantic conference player has ever been named CIS player of the year.
ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: Jalen Blackmore, Memorial
Blackmore is the fourth consecutive member of the Sea-Hawks to be named the AUS rookie of the year. Memorial's Nathan Tilley, Scott Hickman and Paul Easton were the previous three recipients.
Jalen appeared in 15 of 17 regular season matches this season, appearing in 47 of Memorial's 55 sets played.
The 6-foot-4 middle tallied 62 kills, 29.0 total blocks and four aces in his freshman season with the Sea-Hawks. Blackmore ranked seventh in AUS hitting percentage (.234) and his 0.60 blocks per game led the Sea-Hawks and were the ninth highest average in the Atlantic conference.
"Jalen brought skill, energy and leadership to the floor every game was a crucial part of our team this year," said Memorial head coach Luke Harris. "He was a pleasure to coach and will definitely a player to watch out for in the future. I look forward to seeing what he brings again next year."
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: Kyle Blanchard, UNB
Blanchard, a fourth-year student-athlete from Saint John, N.B., is the first UNB Player to be named the conference's top libero since the award was established in 1999-00.
Kyle led the Varsity Reds this season with 2.86 digs per game and was a key member of a UNB defence that held opponents to a league-low .162 hitting percentage.
"This was a new position for Kyle, as we had to transform him from an outside hitter to libero this season," said UNB head coach Dan McMorran. "He made an immediate impact in this capacity, and his defense and passing has stabilized our back court to allow our team to compete at a higher level."
Former Dalhousie Tigers libero Jeff Weiler is also 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 McMorran, UNB
Dan McMorran, in his seventh year as head coach of the V-Reds program, has been selected by his peers as the AUS coach of the year for the third time in the past five seasons. This year, Dan guided the V-Reds to a first place finish in the Atlantic conference standings with a record of 11-6.
McMorran, a former UNB player (1987-93) and captain of the team for two years, is the only Varsity Reds coach to win this award more than once. He is a former CIS academic all-Canadian and has previously coached at St. Thomas University as well as with the New Brunswick Canada Games program.
"Dan being recognized as the AUS coach of the year validates his outstanding effort and the significant growth of our men's volleyball program within the CIS," said Kevin Dickie, Director of Athletics at UNB. "He is one of the country's top coaches and an even better person. UNB couldn't be prouder of him and our team."
The only other UNB coach to be named AUS coach of the year was Mark Thibault, following the 1997-98 season, and the last Atlantic conference head coach to be named CIS men's volleyball coach of the year was Al Scott of Dalhousie in 1988-89.
STUDENT-ATHLETE COMMUNITY SERVICE AWARD: Jacob Kilpatrick, UNB
For the third year in a row, the recipient of the AUS student-athlete community service award and nominee for the CIS Dale Iwanoczko award is Jacob Kilpatrick of the UNB Varsity Reds. The nominee for this award is a player exhibiting outstanding achievement in volleyball, academics and community involvement.
Kilpatrick, a middle blocker in his fifth and final year of eligibility, is a three-time Atlantic conference all-star and this season was named the AUS most valuable player.
On the court, Jacob had perhaps his best season to date as a member of the V-Reds program, leading the AUS in hitting percentage (.439), blocks (1.35 per game), aces (0.37 per game) and was second in scoring with an average of 4.28 points per game.
A native of Saint John, N.B., Kilpatrick has already graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from UNB, but returned this season to continue his studies by taking a Diploma in Technology Management Entrepreneur.
He is a four-time academic all-Canadian, a two-time Dean's List student and is in his third year as president of the UNB Student-Athletes' Council. He is also the UNB nominee for the prestegious James Bayer Memorial Scholarship Award which will be handed out in March.
Jabob is a leader with a number of UNB initiatives, including UNB's "Heads Up with the Reds" program where student-athletes visit local area schools and talk to children each year about Respect, Esteem, Dedication and Strategy. He also participates in the school's "Read with the Reds" program, reading to over 1,100 kindergarten children each year.
"Jacob is a natural leader not just as captain of our team, but within the entire athletic department here at UNB," said UNB head coach Dan McMorran. "Jacob has been, and continues to be, an exceptional individual who encompasses all that we want from our student-athletes. He is a special young man who is a very worthy recipient of this award."
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 CIS award.
AUS MEN'S VOLLEYBALL ALL-STAR TEAM
The Atlantic University Sport men's volleyball all-stars were also announced Thursday.
Jacob Kilpatrick, UNB (5th year - Saint John, N.B.)
Sander Ratsep, Dalhousie (5th year - London, Ont.)
Graeme Higgins, Dalhousie (4th year - Scarborough, Ont.)
Matt Sweet, UNB (3rd year - O'Leary, P.E.I.)
Tyler Veenhuis, UNB (5th year - South Branch, N.S.)
Max Burt, Dalhousie (5th year - Gander, Nfld.)
The 2011 Subway Atlantic University Sport men's volleyball championship is a best two-of-three series between the UNB Varsity Reds (11-6) and the Dalhousie Tigers (10-7), and begins this Friday at the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton, N.B.
Note: All three championship matches will be available via webcast at www.ssncanada.ca/games/.
The championship schedule is as follows:
Friday, February 18th
- Game 1: Dalhousie at UNB, 7:00pm
Sunday, February 20th
- Game 2: UNB at Dalhousie, 3:00pm
Saturday, February 26th
- Game 3: Dalhousie at UNB, 2:00pm*