(HALIFAX, N.S.) – Atlantic University Sport is pleased to announce the 2015-16 AUS men's volleyball all-stars and major award winners as selected by the conference's three head coaches following regular season play. The awards were handed out following tonight's championship final match at Dalhousie.
For the first time in his AUS career, fourth-year University of New Brunswick outside hitter Eivind Andersen was named the Atlantic University Sport most valuable player.
Other AUS major award winners announced today were Memorial's Jordan Murray of Burlington, Ont., who was named rookie of the year; UNB's Cody Timmons of Lower Sackville, N.S., who received the student-athlete community service award and Dalhousie head coach Dan Ota, who was named the AUS men's volleyball coach of the year.
MOST VALUABLE PLAYER: Eivind Andersen, UNB
Andersen, a fourth-year outside hitter with the UNB Varsity Reds is the Atlantic University Sport men's volleyball most valuable player.
In his fourth season with the Varsity Reds, the Sardnes, Norway helped his team to a 9-8 regular season record.
The 6-foot-4 arts student led the conference in an array of statistical categories this season. He finished first in total points (238), points per set (3.7), total kills (201) and kills per set (3.14). He also boasted a hitting percentage of .249, the highest in the AUS.
Andersen also finished second in digs with 137, and digs per set with 2.14. His 18 service aces were the third most in the Atlantic conference.
"Eivind has had an outstanding season for us, leading the conference in every offensive statistic, while being amongst the top in several others," said Varsity Reds head coach Dan McMorran. "He is an explosive player who continues to elevate his game every year, and has been a threat each time he has stepped on the floor this season."
In addition to taking home MVP honours, Andersen was also named to the AUS all-star team for the second time in his career. He first earned the honour following the 2013-14 season.
Andersen now looks to become the first Atlantic conference player to be named CIS player of the year.
ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: Jordan Murray, Memorial
Jordan Murray, a first-year outside hitter for the Memorial Sea-Hawks, is the 2015-16 AUS men's volleyball rookie of the year.
The behavioural neuroscience student from Burlington, Ont., appeared in all 16 matches and 50 sets for Memorial this season.
Murray finished third overall in the Atlantic conference in kills (142), kills per set (2.84) and points per set (3.2), finishing with 159.5 points on the season.
Murray's season stats also included 81 digs, 13 total blocks, and 10 service aces.
He now becomes the AUS nominee for CIS rookie of the year. The only Atlantic conference player to ever earn the national honour is Dalhousie's Terry Martin who won it in 1994-95.
COACH OF THE YEAR: Dan Ota, Dalhousie
Dan Ota, in his 17th season at the helm of the Tigers program, has been selected by his peers as the AUS coach of the year for the 14th time.
This is his fifth consecutive year taking home the honour.
This season, Ota guided the Tigers to a first-place finish in the Atlantic conference standings with a 9-7 record. He has compiled a career regular season record of 237-45.
Dalhousie has won 33 of the past 36 AUS titles and 14 of the past 16 under Ota's leadership.
A native of Calgary, Alta., Coach Ota is a former executive director of Volleyball Nova Scotia, a former technical director for Alberta Volleyball and was a member of the Team Canada coaching staff at the 2007 Summer Universiade in Bangkok, Thailand that captured a silver medal.
He holds a bachelor of arts and a Master of Kinesiology from the University of Calgary and is a certified NCCP Level 3 coach as well as a Master Learning Facilitator.
Ota now becomes the AUS nominee for CIS coach of the year. The last Atlantic conference head coach to earn the honour was UNB's Dan McMorran following the 2010-11 season.
STUDENT-ATHLETE COMMUNITY SERVICE AWARD: Cody Timmons, UNB
The 2015-16 recipient of the AUS student-athlete community service award and nominee for the CIS Dale Iwanoczko award is Cody Timmons of the UNB Varsity Reds.
The nominee for this award is a player exhibiting outstanding achievement in volleyball, academics and community involvement.
This is the fourth consecutive year a player from the Varsity Reds is taking home the honour. Former UNB standouts Brett LeDrew (2014-15) and Logan Keoughan (2012-13 and 2013-14) have previously received the honour.
Timmons, a 6-foot-5 middle in his fourth year of eligibility, posted the best season of his career. He had a team-best highest hitting percentage of .391, posting 81.5 points this season for an average of 1.9 points per set.
He also added 61 kills to average at 1.42 kills per set, 21 blocks and eight service aces, helping his team to a 9-8 regular season record.
A native of Lower Sackville, N.S., Timmons is currently completing a bachelor of science in kinesiology at UNB. He is a CIS academic all-Canadian with a cumulative GPA of 4.0.
Timmons is active in the community in both his hometown of Lower Sackville, N.S. and in Fredericton, N.B. He is a Fredericton Reds grassroots boys' volleyball coach, coaching players ages 5 to 12, as well as the coach of a U17 volleyball team.
Along with volunteer coaching, Timmons spends his time volunteering at two different physio clinics. He also volunteers his time fundraising for the QEII Health Sciences Centre in Halifax.
"Cody has worked extremely hard to improve in all aspects of his university career over the past five years, becoming an excellent leader in the classroom as an academic all-Canadian, being one of our leaders and having his best season on the volleyball court, and being actively involved as a volunteer in the community," said Varsity Reds head coach Dan McMorran. "He is a truly deserving recipient of this award and we are proud of what he has accomplished as a Varsity Red."
The CIS Dale Iwanoczko award has been awarded to a number of AUS men's volleyball athletes in recent years. UNB's Jacob Kilpatrick (2010-11), 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 prestigious CIS award.
2015-16 AUS MEN'S VOLLEYBALL ALL-STAR TEAM:
Members of the 2015-16 Atlantic University Sport men's volleyball all-star team, as selected by the three head coaches, are as follows:
Setter: Jonathan Macdonald, Dalhousie (5th year – Halifax, N.S.)
Middle: Sam Alves, UNB (4th year – Melbourne, Australia)
Middle: Matthew Donovan, Dalhousie (3rd year – London, Ont.)
Libero: Adam Sandeson, Dalhousie (3rd year – Lower Truro, N.S.)
Outside Hitter: Eivind, Andersen, UNB (4th year – Sardnes, Norway)
Outside Hitter: Kristen O'Brien, Dalhousie (4th year – Truro, N.S.)
Outside Hitter: Pascal McCarthy, UNB (3rd year – New Maryland, N.B.)
The 2016 Subway Atlantic University Sport men's volleyball championship was a best-of-three series between the Dalhousie Tigers (9-7) and UNB Varsity Reds (9-8).
The UNB Varsity Reds claimed the series 2-1 tonight at Dalhousie and will now advance to the 50th CIS Men's Volleyball Championship, presented by Leggat Auto Group, being hosted by McMaster University in Hamilton, Ont. March 10-12.