Photo by Alex D'Addese

Hardware handed out at 71st annual awards banquet

By Andrea Elliott

TORONTO - After both earning conference most valuable player and U SPORTS First-Team All-Canadian status this year, women’s volleyball middle Theanna Vernon and men’s hockey forward Matt Mistele were named the Ryerson Athletes of the Year to cap the 71st annual Athletic Awards Celebration on April 6th.

Opening Video

Closing Video

H.H. Kerr Female Athlete of the Year - Theanna Vernon, Volleyball
Vernon received the H.H. Kerr Award for the second year in a row after another dominant performance on the volleyball court this season. In her final year in Ryerson’s blue and gold, Vernon led the OUA in blocks and hitting percentage and was named the OUA East Player of the Year and an OUA First-Team All-Star. She then became the first women’s volleyball player at Ryerson to be named a U SPORTS First-Team All-Canadian. Vernon’s strong season helped lead the Rams back to the national championship title game and to silver medals on both the provincial and national level.

Hockey player Kryshanda Green and basketball player Sofia Paska were the other finalists for the award.

Ryersonian Male Athlete of the Year - Matt Mistele, Hockey
Mistele earned the Ryersonian Athlete of the Year award after a record-setting season. The third year forward set a new Ryerson single-season record by notching 50 points this season to lead all U SPORTS players. His 30 assists led the OUA while his 20 goals were good for fourth in the conference. Mistele’s dominant offensive talents earned him the OUA West Player of the Year honour and U SPORTS First-Team All-Canadian status.

Figure skater Christopher Berneck, volleyball player Xander Ketrzynski, basketball player JV Mukama, and soccer player Raheem Rose were also finalists for the award.

RSU Female Rookie of the Year - Erika Crouse, Hockey
Crouse was named the top female rookie this season after bursting onto the hockey scene and taking home the OUA and U SPORTS Rookie of the Year honours. Crouse racked up 22 points in her first season in the blue and gold, ranking her 7th in the OUA. Her 11 goals were also good for sixth in the league. Crouse set a new Rams single-game record with five assists on February 2nd and was crucial to helping Ryerson win their first playoff series in program history.

Fencer Natasha Kis-Toth and volleyball player Lauren Wong were also up for the award.

Eyeopener Male Rookie of the Year - Xander Ketrzynski, Volleyball
Ketrzynski won the Eyeopener Male Rookie of the Year award after a season of making his presence known throughout the OUA. Ketrzynski led the country with his 5.8 points and 4.84 kills per set averages and he was recognized as the OUA and U SPORTS Rookie of the Year. Ketrzynski was so dominant within the OUA he also won the OUA East Player of the Year award.

Soccer player Kai Martin and hockey player Hayden McCool were also finalists for the award.

G.L. Dobson Female Community Contribution - Gillian Rossi, Soccer
Rossi took home the award this year after continuing to leave her mark in the community this season. At the conclusion of the soccer season Rossi was named the OUA’s Community Service Award winner for her contributions that now include initiating an intramural and homework club at the Boys and Girls Club, visiting local schools as a Rams Care leader, and volunteering at the MLSE LaunchPad and the Regent Park skate event. Rossi was a lead organizer for last year’s humanitarian trip to Ghana and is involved again in this year’s upcoming trip to First Nations communities in the James Bay Region.

Figure skater Rebecca Bourgeois and volleyball player Demetra Maragos were also up for the award.

D.H. Craighead Male Community Contribution - Daniel Poliziani, Hockey
Poliziani earned the award this year after putting forward an impressive workload in the community this season. Poliziani was a regular volunteer in the hockey team’s elementary school tutoring program and is involved in the Variety Village Volt Hockey event that helps kids with varied mobility learn the game of hockey using their motorized vehicles. He is also a volunteer at the MLSE LaunchPad and personally fundraised over $1,000 for the Rams Care kids-to-camp program.

Hockey player Brandon Hughes and volleyball player Greg Vukets were the other finalists for the award.

See below for the full list of this year’s award winners.

H.H. Kerr Female Athlete of the Year
Theanna Vernon, Volleyball

Ryersonian Male Athlete of the Year
Matt Mistele, Hockey

RSU Female Rookie of the Year
Erika Crouse, Hockey

Eyeopener Male Rookie of the Year
Xander Ketrzynski, Volleyball

G.L. Dobson Community Contribution
Gillian Rossi, Soccer

D.H. Craighead Community Contribution
Daniel Poliziani, Hockey

Claude LaJeunesse Award (Academics)
Greg Vukets, Volleyball

Gold ‘R’ Recipients
Christopher Berneck, Figure Skating
Myles Charvis, Basketball
Kryshanda Green, Hockey
JV Mukama, Basketball
Raheem Rose, Soccer
Cara Tiemens, Basketball
Theanna Vernon, Volleyball
Filip Vujadinovic, Basketball

U SPORTS President’s Team Award
Women’s Volleyball

OUA President’s Team Award
Women’s Fencing

Jim Peffers Award (Staff)
Amanda Cohen

Team MVPs
Badminton: Oscar Thompson and Bernita Ng
Women’s Basketball: Cara Tiemens
Men’s Basketball: Myles Charvis
Fencing: Alexander Zwegers and Natasha Kis-Toth
Figure Skating: Rebecca Bourgeois
Women’s Hockey: Kryshanda Green
Men’s Hockey: Matt Mistele
Women’s Soccer: Elisa Lapadula
Men’s Soccer: Raheem Rose
Women’s Volleyball: Theanna Vernon
Men’s Volleyball: Xander Ketrzynski

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