2017-18 AUS women's volleyball major award winners and all-stars announced
Dalhousie's Courtney Baker named MVP
(ST. JOHN'S, N.L.) Atlantic University Sport is pleased to announce the 2017-18 AUS women's volleyball all-stars and major award winners as selected by the conference's six head coaches following regular season play.
Third-year Dalhousie Tigers setter and Bridgewater, N.S. native Courtney Baker was named the AUS most valuable player at Thursday's awards banquet hosted at the Holiday Inn in St. John's, N.L. by Memorial University.
Other AUS major award winners announced were Dalhousie's Julie Moore of Halifax, N.S., who earned the Kristen Ryan Memorial Award as the AUS rookie of the year; Saint Mary's Hannah Stienburg of Halifax, N.S., who received the Erin Bursey Memorial Award for student-athlete community service; and Acadia Axewomen head coach Michelle Wood, who was named AUS coach of the year in her seventh year at the helm of the Acadia program.
MOST VALUABLE PLAYER: Courtney Baker, Dalhousie
Courtney Baker, a setter with the U SPORTS no. 5-ranked Dalhousie Tigers, has been named the AUS most valuable player for the 2017-18 season.
A kinesiology student from Bridgewater, N.S., Baker finished first in the conference and fourth in the country in assists per set with 9.36. She also finished second in the AUS in total assists with 599.
In her third season with the Tigers, she finished with 49 kills, 0.77 kills per set, 24 service aces, 0.38 service aces per set, 95.0 points, and 1.5 points per set.
Baker appeared in all 20 matches for the Tigers this season. The Dalhousie squad finished first in the AUS standings, losing just one match all season for a 19-1 record.
In addition to being selected as the AUS MVP, Baker earned a place on the AUS first team all-star squad for the second consecutive year. Her career accomplishments also include having been named to the 2015-16 AUS all-rookie team in her freshman year with Dalhousie.
Baker is the sixth player from the Dalhousie Tigers to be named the conference's most valuable player. Former Tigers standouts Tara MacIntyre (1991-92, 1992-93), Christine Frail (1995-96), Jennifer Parkes (1997-98), Jilliane Goulet (2002-03, 2004-05), and Maggie Li (2013-14) also earned the honour.
She now looks to become the first AUS player to win the national player of the year award since Dalhousie's Karin Maessen took home the honour in 1981-82.
ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: Julie Moore, Dalhousie (Kristen Ryan Memorial Award)
Dalhousie outside hitter Julie Moore has been selected as the 2017-18 recipient of the Kristen Ryan Memorial Award as AUS rookie of the year.
Starting in 18 matches and playing in 62 of 67 sets for the Tigers this season, Moore led all players in points (270.5), points per set (4.4), kills (228), and kills per set (3.68).
The first-year commerce student also finished fourth in the conference in total attacks with 603, and hitting percentage with .239.
This is the sixth time a player from the Tigers has earned AUS rookie of the year honours. Maggie Li won the award for Dalhousie most recently in 2011-12.
In 2013, this award was renamed in honour of former Cape Breton Capers player Kristen Ryan. A native of Port Hastings, N.S. and a five-year member of the CBU women's volleyball team, Ryan was a two-time Atlantic conference all-star and was named the AUS libero of the year in 2009-10. She passed away in 2012 following a motor vehicle accident.
Moore now becomes the AUS nominee for the Mark Tennant Award as U SPORTS rookie of the year. No Atlantic conference player has ever won the national award.
STUDENT-ATHLETE COMMUNITY SERVICE AWARD: Hannah Stienburg, Saint Mary's (Erin Bursey Memorial Award)
Saint Mary's Huskies third-year libero Hannah Stienburg is the 2017-18 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.
Stienburg, a commerce student from Halifax, N.S., played in 14 matches and 38 sets for the Huskies this season, finishing with 92 digs, 2.42 digs per set, eight assists, and 0.21 assists per set.
In the classroom, she has maintained a cumulative GPA of 4.0 and is on pace to be named an academic all-Canadian for the third time.
Stienburg is heavily involved in the Huskies community. She created the Huskies Move for Inclusion program, a sports program for youth in the community with intellectual and physical exceptionalities.
She has grown the program to have over 25 participants. Both years she has reached out to peers within varsity athletics and has received tremendous support from other student-athletes, drawing athletes from different sports closer together to give back.
She works closely with the national Move for Inclusion program to ensure she is providing the best experience to both volunteers and participants.
This year also marks Stienburg's third as a member of Saint Mary's varsity athletic council. As part of the council, she has dedicated her time to many events, including the Thanksgiving food drive for Feed Nova Scotia, SMU's second Ronald McDonald dodgeball fundraiser, and has organized Ronald McDonald House visits that include putting on game nights for children and families staying at the Ronald McDonald House.
Stienburg is also involved with Here for Peers—a program which partners student-athletes with newcomers to help them adjust to their first year of university and any challenges that may arise when juggling school and academics.
Currently, she is co-organizing the Huskies' first motionballU event raising money for Special Olympics Canada. She has also volunteered with Coldest Night of the Year, Safe @ SMU and SAMHI (the Student Athlete Mental Health Initiative).
Stienburg is the first Saint Mary's volleyball player to earn the student-athlete community service award.
This award was renamed in honour of former Memorial Sea-Hawks student-athlete Erin Bursey. Bursey, a two-time CIS (now U SPORTS) academic all-Canadian and a captain with the Sea-Hawks women's volleyball team, passed away in 2012 following a pedestrian-vehicle accident in St. John's, N.L.
Stienburg now becomes the AUS nominee for the U SPORTS Therese Quigley Award.
Players from the Atlantic conference have received this award six times. Recipients include Acadia's Sarah Ross (2015-16), UNB's Paige Paulsen (2014-15), Memorial's Adrienne Penney (2013-14), Acadia's Lori-Beth MacEwen (2002-03 and 2003-04) and Mount Allison's Megan Toews (2001-02).
COACH OF THE YEAR: Michelle Wood, Acadia
Michelle Wood, in her seventh year at the helm of the Acadia Axewomen program, has been selected by her peers as the AUS coach of the year for the first time in her career.
Under Wood's leadership, the Axewomen finished with a 14-6 record and a third-place finish in the AUS standings.
The successful season marked a turnaround for the Axewomen squad, who in 2016-17 missed the postseason after finishing with a 4-16 record.
Acadia led the Atlantic conference this year in kills with 835, and assists with 804. The Axewomen also finished second in the league in digs (1,278), blocks (137), and points (1116.0).
Wood will now represent the AUS as the nominee for U SPORTS coach of the year.
Dalhousie's Rick Scott earned the U SPORTS coach of the year award last season, becoming the second AUS coach to ever win the national honour. Moncton's Monette Boudreau-Carroll was named CIS (now U SPORTS) coach of the year in 2007-08.
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:
Courtney Baker, Dalhousie (3rd year – Bridgewater, N.S.)
Erin Smith, Saint Mary's (5th year – Moncton, N.B.)
Julie Moore, Dalhousie (1st year – Halifax, N.S.)
Lucy Glen-Carter, Acadia (1st year – Toronto, Ont.)
Kiersten Fey, Memorial (3rd year – Selkirk, Man.)
Victoria Haworth, Dalhousie (3rd year – Waverley, N.S.)
Kailey Evans, Acadia (St. Andrews, Man.)
Second Team All-Stars:
Maddie Clarke, Saint Mary's (4th year – Ottawa, Ont.)
Mieke DuMont, Dalhousie (4th year – Kamloops, B.C.)
Pascale Doiron, Moncton (3rd year – Caraquet, N.B.)
Lauryn Renzella, Acadia (3rd year – Stouffville, Ont.)
Emilla Conlon, Saint Mary's (3rd year – Dartmouth, N.S.)
Sarah Dawe, Memorial (3rd year – Mount Pearl, N.L.)
Sarah Ross, Acadia (5th year – Toronto, Ont.)
Julie Moore, Dalhousie (Halifax, N.S.)
Lucy Glen-Carter, Acadia (Toronto, Ont.)
Catherine Callaghan, Dalhousie (Halifax, N.S.)
Emma Hackett, Memorial (Clarenville, N.L.)
The 2018 Subway AUS Women's Volleyball Championship is being hosted by Memorial University March 2-3 in St. John's, N.L. The schedule is as follows: (seeding in brackets)
Friday, March 2
Semifinal #1: Acadia (3rd) vs. Saint Mary's (2nd), 4:30 p.m.
Semifinal #2: Memorial (4th) vs. Dalhousie (1st), 7 p.m.
Saturday, March 4
Championship Match: 7 p.m.
All games of the AUS championship will be webcast at AUStv.ca.
The AUS champion will advance to the 2018 U Sports Women's Volleyball Championship being hosted by Laval University in Quebec City, Que., March 16-18.