Tigers honoured at AUS women's volleyball award dinner

Courtesy of Atlantic University Sport - February 14, 2014

Tigers player, Maggie Li is named MVP of the AUS women's volleyball league.

(HALIFAX, N.S.) - Atlantic University Sport is pleased to announce the 2013-14 AUS women's volleyball all-stars and major award winners as selected by the conference's seven head coaches following regular season play.

Third-year Dalhousie middle Maggie Li was named the Atlantic University Sport most valuable player, Thursday night.

Other AUS major award winners announced tonight during the awards banquet held in Halifax, N.S. were Saint Mary's left side Rachel Windhorst who was named rookie of the year; SMU's Anastasia Callaghan of Truro, N.S., who was selected as the libero of the year for the third year in a row; Memorial's Adrienne Penney of St. John's, N.L., who received the student-athlete community service award; and UNB head coach Jilliane Goulet, who was named the AUS coach of the year for the first time in her career.

MOST VALUABLE PLAYER: Maggie Li, Dalhousie

Maggie Li, a 6-foot-1 middle with the defending AUS champion and first-place Dalhousie Tigers, wrapped up her third season by leading the conference in scoring (3.9 points per set) and boasting the highest hitting percentage with 0.347.

Li also ranked second in blocks per set with 1.12, third in total blocks with 60 (including ranking third in block assists with 38 and third in solo blocks with 22), and fourth in kills with 145.

The Tigers were 12-4 this season, finishing first in the AUS standings and earning a first round bye in this year's Subway AUS women's volleyball championship.

This is the first time in nine seasons that a player from Dalhousie has taken home the conference's top award. This year's AUS coach of the year, UNB's Jilliane Goulet, last took home the award in 2004-05 for Dalhousie when she played for the Tigers.

In addition to being selected as AUS MVP, Li earned a place on the AUS first team all-star squad for the third time in as many seasons. In her 2011-12 rookie season, Li took home AUS rookie of the year honours and was named to the all-rookie team. Last season, she was also named a second team all-Canadian.

"Maggie has had an outstanding year for our team. She has played in every match and been a strong and consistent performer for our team night in and night out," said Tigers head coach Rick Scott. "One of Maggie's greatest strengths is her volleyball IQ as she is one of the most intelligent players that I have had the privilege of coaching. She is an extremely coachable athlete and a pleasure to have on the team."

Li 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: Rachel Windhorst, Saint Mary's

Rachel Windhorst of Surrey, B.C. becomes the fourth player from the Saint Mary's program to claim the AUS rookie of the year award. She is also the second consecutive winner from the Huskies squad as teammate Josie LeDuc took home the honour last season.

Windhorst, a 5-foot-11 left side, started all 16 matches for the Huskies in her freshman season, playing in 61 of 67 sets.

She tallied 170 total kills, good for second in the conference. Her average of 2.79 kills per set ranked fourth overall. Windhorst also finished third in total attacks with 496.

"It is nice to see Rachel recognized for her impressive play this year," said Huskies head coach Darren Russell. "She is a very gifted athlete who competes hard every chance she gets. Her combination of composure, creativity and tenacity has enabled her to have a significant impact in each game."

No Atlantic conference player has ever won the Mark Tennant Award as the CIS rookie of the year.

LIBERO OF THE YEAR: Anastasia Callaghan, Saint Mary's (Kristen Ryan Memorial Award)

Callaghan is the 2013-14 recipient of the Kristen Ryan Memorial Award as the conference's top libero, and is also the first player to win this award in three consecutive seasons.

A fourth-year student-athlete from Truro, N.S., Callaghan led both the conference and the CIS in total digs with 380 and in digs per set with 5.59.

"Anastasia has been a great leader both on and off the court this year," said Saint Mary's head coach Darren Russell. "She is an amazing athlete who trains hard each and every day. This award is a credit to all the hard work she puts into her game."

Callaghan (2012-13, 2011-12), Christena MacRae (2007-08) and Catherine MacFarlane (2003-04) are the only Saint Mary's players to be named the Atlantic conference's top libero since the award was established in 1999-00.

Last year, 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.

Last season, Callaghan became the first AUS women's volleyball player to take home CIS libero of the year honours.

COACH OF THE YEAR: Jilliane Goulet, UNB

Jilliane Goulet, in her second year at the helm of the Varsity Reds program, becomes just the second UNB women's volleyball coach to be selected by her peers as the AUS coach of the year.

Current Varsity Reds athletic director John Richard last took home the honour for UNB when he coached the team in 2006-07.

UNB finishes in third place this season with a 7-9 record. Goulet's Varsity Reds squad led the conference in total service aces this season with 124 and services aces per set with 2.18.

The team also led in block assists (189), was second in total blocks (145) and second in blocks per set (2.54).

Prior to accepting the UNB head coach position, Goulet played professionally in Europe for six years. She is a graduate of Dalhousie University in Halifax where she competed herself as an AUS student-athlete with the Tigers for four years.

She was 2002 AUS rookie of the year and was named AUS MVP twice during her time at Dalhousie. She was also a three-time CIS all-Canadian.

"Jilliane continues to grow as a coach and has worked tremendously hard since taking this position eighteen short months ago," said UNB athletic director John Richard. "She was an exceptional CIS student-athlete and seeing her pass that knowledge and experience onto our V-Reds has been exciting. We look forward to Coach Goulet leading our program towards many more successful seasons."

Goulet will represent the AUS as the nominee for CIS coach of the year. 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: Adrienne Penney, Memorial (Erin Bursey Memorial Award)

Memorial fourth-year power Adrienne Penney is the 2013-14 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.

Penney, a pharmacy student from St. John's, N.L., is currently serving as past president of the MUN Pharmacy Society and has led and taken part in many pharmacy advancement events such as Pharmacy Awareness Week.

She has been a pharmacy yearbook committee member and editor for the past four years and is serving as a grad committee member for 2014.

Penney has taken part in numerous fundraising events for charity including the AIDS Walk for Life, CIBC Run for the Cure and the Canadian Cancer Society's Relay for Life. She led and coordinated the 'Home for Dinner' program for the Ronald McDonald House this past February and sold bracelets to raise money for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation at Memorial's 'Go Pink' event this past January.

She has led the 'Christmas Families' fundraising event for her class since 2010. Pharmacy students fundraise to buy toys and other items for underprivileged families in St. John's at Christmas time.

Further to her fundraising activities, Penney has been involved in the local community through coaching and participating in development camps for junior high and high school students with the Memorial volleyball team each summer.

On the court, Penney played in all 16 of Memorial's games this season and all 60 of their sets. She was fourth overall in the conference in block assists with 36, seventh in total blocks (50) and seventh in blocks per set (0.83).

"Adrienne is an outstanding student who's just completing her pharmacy degree and will start her career in New Brunswick in May," said Sea-Hawks head coach Bill Thistle. "She has been an outstanding leader for the Sea-Hawks and the pharmacy school. She has a beautiful heart, a mature mind and has a positive impact on all she's touched. We will miss her, but we know that our loss will be someone else's gain."

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 last year following a pedestrian vehicle accident in St. John's.

Penney 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:
Maggie Li, Dalhousie (3rd year – Beijing, China)
Rebecca Glancy, UNB (5th year – Toronto, Ont.)
Shelby Michaels, Saint Mary's (3rd year – Mill Bay, B.C.)
Desiree Nouwen, Dalhousie (1st year – Weert, Netherlands)
Angela Peddle, Memorial (5th year – St. John's, N.L.)
Meg Rector, Acadia (5th year – Milton, Ont.)
Libero - Anastasia Callaghan, Saint Mary's (4th year – Truro, N.S.)

Second Team All-Stars:
Jane Pegg, Saint Mary's (5th year – Weyburn, Sask.)
Joline Richard, Moncton (5th year – St. Charles de Kent, N.B.)
Kristen Bolduc, Acadia (5th year – Sudbury, Ont.)
Kirsten Sorensen, Memorial (4th year – Red Deer, Alta.)
Celina Abba, UNB (4th year – Fredericton, N.B.)
Tara Gowan, Dalhousie (3rd year – Sydney, N.S.)
Libero - Paige Nelmes, UNB (2nd year – Poole, UK)

ALL-ROOKIE TEAM:
Rachel Windhorst, Saint Mary's (1st year – Surrey, B.C.)
Sarah Ross, Acadia (1st year – Toronto, Ont.)
Alyssa Turenne, Moncton (1st year – La Broquerie, Man.)
Erin Smith, Saint Mary's (1st year – Moncton, N.B.)
Anna Dunn, Dalhousie (1st year – Halifax, N.S.)
Tessa Bulmer, Acadia (1st year – Halifax, N.S.)

The 2014 Subway Atlantic University Sport women's volleyball championship will be hosted by Dalhousie University, Feb. 14-16, 2014 in Halifax, N.S.

The championship schedule is as follows: (seeding in brackets)

Friday, Feb. 14
Quarter-final #1: Moncton (4th) vs. Memorial (5th), 5 p.m.
Quarter-final #2: UNB (3rd) vs. Acadia (6th), 7 p.m.

Saturday, Feb. 15
Semifinal #1: Dalhousie (1st) vs. winner of quarter-final #1, 4:30 p.m.
Semifinal #2: Saint Mary's (2nd) vs. winner of quarter-final #2, 7 p.m.

Sunday, Feb. 16
Championship Game: Semifinal winners, 2 p.m.

The AUS champion will advance to the 2014 CIS women's volleyball championship, Feb. 28 - March 2, 2014, hosted by the University of Regina.

All matches of the 2014 Subway AUS women's volleyball championship will be webcast at www.AUStv.ca.


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