Eight Rams earn OUA honours after historic season
BURLINGTON, Ont. – Ontario University Athletics (OUA) is pleased to announce the women’s volleyball major award winners and all-stars from the East Division.
Player of the Year: Alina Dormann, Toronto Varsity Blues
It’s a three-peat for the standout Varsity Blue, as Toronto’s Alina Dormann (Ottawa, Ont.) has been named the East Division’s Player of the Year for the third straight season.
Also named a First-Team All-Star for the season, Dormann was once again among the conference’s best in both kills and points. For the second straight season, the Toronto standout sat atop the OUA in kill per set with 3.66, while also ranking 2nd in the province in points per set (4.6). Part of what makes Dormann so successful and dangerous at the net is her hitting prowess, ranking in the top ten in the OUA in hitting percentage (0.256) on the year.
Certainly, Dormann’s offensive prowess makes her a leader on the court for her Varsity Blues and she once again led the team to another strong regular season finish. Her dominance doesn’t stop there; however, as the third year outside hitter chips in with 0.48 service aces per set (12th in OUA) and is among Toronto’s leaders in blocks per set (0.56) and digs per set (2.49) as well.
Rookie of the Year: Julia Wiercigroch, Queen’s Gaels
A fantastic first season with the Gaels has helped Julia Wiercigroch (Mississauga, Ont.) bring home the East Division’s Rookie of the Year honours.
The first year outside hitter did well to not only stand out on the talented Queen’s squad, but across the OUA this season. Despite joining the likes of First-Team All-Star Shannon Neville, Wiercigroch was able to sit in and around the top of several key statistical categories for the Gaels, including points per set (3.1), which placed her 16th in the OUA; kills per set (2.65), ranking her 13th in the conference); and hitting percentage (0.204), which was good enough for 14th overall.
Wiercigroch was also a big reason behind the overall team success of the Queen’s Gaels this season, helping them turn in a 13-win campaign (three win improvement over last season), and is the first Gael to win the award in a decade (Elyssa Heller, 2007-08).
Award of Merit: Julie Longman, Ryerson
Having once again earned a First-Team All-Star nod for the Rams, it is evident the Ryerson’s Julie Longman (Newmarket, Ont.) is a force in the sport of volleyball. Her contributions, however, go well beyond the game, which has helped her to receive this year’s Award of Merit, recognizing contributions in the areas of athletics, academics, and community service.
Currently in her second year as team captain, Longman will take with her plenty of individual and team successes from her time on the court. Beyond that, the fifth year senior is also a three-time Academic All-Canadian and has been instrumental in transforming the academic culture of the women’s volleyball program to boost them to the top of Ryerson’s list of team GPAs.
In the community, meanwhile, Longman has been perhaps even more of a difference-maker, taking part in and leading initiatives that have been highlighted by humanitarian missions to Peru and Cambodia, along with more than a dozen other Ryerson women’s volleyball community engagement efforts.
Overall, the Rams veteran will leave a lasting legacy both within and beyond the sport of volleyball.
Coach of the Year: Dustin Reid, Ryerson
For helping to lead the Rams to their most successful regular season ever, head coach Dustin Reid has been named the East Division’s Coach of the Year; the second such selection in his career (2009-10).
Ryerson has dominated their way to an undefeated season, as Reid has guided the club to conference-high marks in several statistical categories. Among those areas wherein the Rams have exceled this year are kills per set (12.87), hitting percentage (0.286), and assists per set (11.88), all of which sees the Rams ranked first in the OUA. Beyond that, the team also sits second in service aces per set (2.33) and blocks per set (2.33) and is the highest scoring team in the conference.
Reid’s efforts in guiding the Rams to their remarkable campaign have also seen several players – both old and new – thrive on the court, as Ryerson boasts a conference-high four all-stars and three all-rookies.
OUA All-Star and All-Rookie Teams
Not only did the Ryerson Rams earn a pair of major award winners, but the team is flooded with all-stars and all-rookies that have propelled them to such lofty standards this season.
With not one, not two, but three representatives, the Rams match their total from a season ago. Longman, along with middle Theanna Vernon (Scarborough, Ont.) will return to their First-Team All-Star posts from a season ago, and will be joined by outside hitter Cailin Wark (Georgetown, Ont.) in her sophomore season. Joining Dormann as Toronto representatives, meanwhile, is left side Anna Feore (Stratford, Ont.); a Second-Team All-Star from a season ago. A pair of Kingston school standouts round out the First-Team All-Star selections, as RMC outside hitter Kara Stephan (Barrie, Ont.) and Queen’s outside hitter Shannon Neville (Cambridge, Ont.) have also earned top selections.
Beyond the division’s top rookie Wiercigroch, the Second-Team All-Star selections are led by a trio of Lions. York sees the likes of outside hitters Sarah Williams (Oakville, Ont.), Heather Setka (Winnipeg, Man.), and Celeste Witzell (Kitchener, Ont.) crack the squad, with the latter earning her second straight all-star nod. Also earning Second-Team selections are Toronto’s middle Jenna Woock (Richmond Hill, Ont.) and one of Ryerson’s reigning All-Rookie Team nods, outside hitter Lauren Veltman (Brampton, Ont.). The final member, now in her third year, is the second Queen’s Second-Team All-Star, setter Sierra Hardy (Oakville, Ont.).
In addition to their Second-Team nods, Wiercigroch and Woock have also secured spots on the 2017-18 All-Rookie Team, which once again is filled with a Ryerson flare. Looking to maintain the Rams’ recent dominance will be the trio of outside hitter Janelle Albert (Brampton, Ont.), middle Lindsay Kleuskens (London, Ont.), and setter Alicia Lam (Oakville, Ont.). Rounding out the All-Rookie roster is middle / outside hitter Lauryne Mvuezolo (Ottawa, Ont.) and libero Maiyah Russell (Ottawa, Ont.), both from the RMC Paladins.
The complete list of the East Division major award winners and all-stars can be found below:
OUA Major Award Winners
Player of the Year (East) – Alina Dormann, Toronto
Rookie of the Year (East) – Julia Wiercigroch, Queen’s
Dale Iwanoczko Award of Merit (East) – Julie Longman, Ryerson
Coach of the Year (East) – Dustin Reid, Ryerson
OUA First-Team All-Stars
Shannon Neville, Queen’s
Kara Stephan, RMC
Theanna Vernon, Ryerson
Julie Longman, Ryerson
Cailin Wark, Ryerson
Alina Dormann, Toronto
Anna Feore, Toronto
OUA Second-Team All-Stars
Julia Wiercigroch, Queen’s
Sierra Hardy, Queen’s
Lauren Veltman, Ryerson
Jenna Woock, Toronto
Sarah Williams, York
Heather Setka, York
Celeste Witzell, York
OUA All-Rookie Team
Julia Wiercigroch, Queen’s
Lauryne Mvuezolo, RMC
Maiyah Russell, RMC
Janelle Albert, Ryerson
Alicia Lam, Ryerson
Lindsay Kleuskens, Ryerson
Jenna Woock, Toronto