Dalhousie Tigers menÕs volleyball head coach, Dan Ota, will kick off the new season with three more additions to his squad. London, Ont.Õs Sander Ratsep and Langley, B.C.Õs Steve Berkenpas will be added to the roster along with returning player, Geoff Daniels, from Lunenburg, N.S.
Sander Ratsep is an outside hitter standing at six-foot-five and a three-time provincial champ with his Saunders High School team. With the Forest City Volleyball Club, he captured back-to-back provincial under-18 championships and finished second at this yearÕs national championship where he was named a tournament all-star. Ratsep was also the recipient of the 2006 Ken Davies Memorial Award from Ontario Volleyball for determination, leadership, athletic ability and sportsmanship.
His other national team experiences include the past two seasons with the national youth team that competed at the world championship in Algeria last summer and he was recently selected to the national junior team that will compete at North, Central America and Caribbean Volleyball Confederation (NORCECA) zone championships in Mexico later this summer. Ratsep intends to enroll in DalhousieÕs Commerce program.
Joining Ratsep is six-foot-six right side player, Steve Berkenpas, who comes to the Tigers after playing his first year of eligibility with Columbia Bible College in Abbotsford, B.C. Berkenpas has attended the past two national youth team tryouts and the future Arts student will be called upon to fill a big hole on the right side of the Tigers court.
Returning player Geoff Daniels will complete his eligibility this year after taking last season off. At six-foot-three, the Kinesiology student will divide his time between the right side and middle blocker positions.
Dalhousie recently capped another successful varsity season. Kicking off 2005-06, 73 student-athletes were recognized as academic all-Canadians. Throughout the season, outstanding efforts by all of our 14 varsity teams resulted in six Atlantic University Sport (AUS) championship wins with top athletes being recognized as AUS most valuable players and Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) first team all-Canadians. Four of our coaches were named AUS coach of the year with one taking the honour at the CIS level. Also at the national level, Dalhousie collected one CIS rookie of the year win, one CIS libero of the year nod and two outstanding student-athletes were recognized with the CIS student-athlete community service award. Most recently Janice Ashworth was the conference nominee for CIS female athlete of the year at the annual BLG awards in Calgary, Alta.
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