Canada West & U SPORTS Communications
TORONTO - Alberta's Meg Casault is the U SPORTS Women's Volleyball Player of the Year, as announced Thursday night.
The fifth-year outside took home the Mary Lyons Award as the nation's top university women's volleyball player, ahead of this weekend's U SPORTS national championship, which is being held at the Mattamy Athletic Centre in downtown Toronto.
Casault is the first Alberta Panda to claim the award since Tiffany Dodds, who won the award a decade ago. In her final year of eligibility, Casaul enjoyed a tremendous season, recording 327 kills to finish with a record 1,321 Canada West conference kills.
Also announced Thursday at the U SPORTS awards banquet were the national All-Canadian and all-rookie teams. Five Canada West players were named All-Canadians, as Casault, along with Thompson Rivers' Iuliia Pakhomenko (LS), Trinity Western's Sophie Carpentier (LS), and UBC's Danielle Brisebois (LS) earned first team status. Calgary's Kate Pexman (OH), and TWU's Elizabeth Wendel (OH) cracked the second team.
A pair of conference players earned all-rookie status, as Manitoba's Kearley Abbott (RS / Canada West Rookie of the Year) and Alberta's Vanessa Jarman (M) made the team.
MARY LYONS AWARD (Player of the Year): Meg Casault, Alberta
Fifth-year University of Alberta Pandas outside hitter Meg Casault has been awarded the Mary Lyons Award as U SPORTS Women's volleyball Player of the Year.
Casault is the first Panda to win the Player of the Year award since Tiffany Dodds accomplished the feat in 2007, which was also the last time the Pandas won the national championship.
The Edmonton, Alta., native recorded 327 kills in her final year with the Pandas, breaking the all-time Canada West kills record earlier this season with her 1,255th career kill. Her milestone broke an 11-year old conference record which was set by Pandas alumni, and former team MVP Tawana McLeod (nee Wardlaw), ending her career with 1,321 kills to her name.
Casault's 327 kills and 3.94 kills per set were also the six-highest in the nation. The Physical Education and Recreation student also recorded 193 digs and 28 aces this year.
"Meg is an extremely deserving recipient of the Player of the Year Award,” said Alberta head coach Laurie Eisler. “Since her first year with the team she has shown a remarkable improvement in every aspect of the game due to her humility and commitment to continuous improvement. She is not only a leader on the court but serves as one of our team captains, and is an inspiration to all of us who have had the pleasure and honour to work with her."
U SPORTS WOMEN'S VOLLEYBALL AWARD WINNERS
Mary Lyons Award (player of the year): Meg Casault, Alberta
Mark Tennant Award (rookie of the year): Claire Vercheval, McGill
Marilyn Pomfret Award (coach of the year): Rick Scott, Dalhousie
Thérèse Quigley Award (student-athlete community service): Myriam Robitaille, McGill
U SPORTS WOMEN'S VOLLEYBALL ALL-CANADIANS
POS / Name / University / Year / Hometown / Program
LS / Meg Casault / Alberta / 5 / Edmonton, Alta. / Phys. Ed. & Rec.
OPP / Alina Dormann / Toronto / 2 / Ottawa, Ont. / Life Science
LS / Marie-Alex Bélanger / Montréal / 4 / Joliette, Que. / Applied Comm.
LS / Iuliia Pakhomenko / Thompson Rivers / 5 / Donetsk, Ukraine / Business
LS / Sophie Carpentier / Trinity Western / 4 / Ottawa, Ont. / UNDC
LS / Danielle Brisebois / UBC / 5 / Bolton, Ont. / Arts
OH / Jill Snow / Memorial / 5 / Bishops Falls, NL / Education
M / Kelsey Veltman / Western / 3 / Brampton, Ont. / King's College
OH / Kate Pexman / Calgary / 2 / Calgary, Alta. / Engineering
OPP / Emilie Germain Russell / UQAM / 4 / Rouyn-Noranda, Que. / Tourism & Hosp. Mgmt.
M / Alyssa Field / Laval / 4 / Chibougamau, Que. / Cultural & Social Anthro.
OH / Elizabeth Wendel / Trinity Western / 5 / Caronport, Sask. / International Business
L / Marisa Mota / Dalhousie / 5 / Kitchener, Ont. / Arts
OH / Joanna Jedrzejewska / McMaster / 4 / Hamilton, Ont. / Nursing
OH / Claire Vercheval / McGill / 1 / Sainte-Julie, Que. / Education (Phys. & Health)
RS / Kearley Abbott / Manitoba / 1 / Winnipeg, Man. / University 1
S / Emie Gaboury / Laval / 1 / Québec City, Que. / Biology
M / Vanessa Jarman / Alberta / 1 / Edmonton, Alta. / Arts
OH / Melissa Langegger / Western / 1 / Oakville, Ont. / Kinesiology
MH / Kristen Burns / UNB / 1 / Mississauga, Ont. / Engineering
S / Stephanie Armstrong / Nipissing / 1 / Pickering, Ont. / Phys. & Health Ed.