DAVID LARKINS, Wesmen Athletics
A pair of volleyball players have been announced as the 2019-20 Wesmen Athletics male and female athletes of the year.
Mikael Clegg of the Wesmen men's volleyball team and Emma Parker of the Wesmen women's team were announced as the top athletes in the department in video presentations released Friday afternoon.
Due to social-distancing measures brought about by COVID-19, Wesmen Athletics was forced to cancel its annual awards banquet scheduled for March and instead unveiled all the award winners in videos on its Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube feeds.
Clegg, a fifth-year setter from St. Andrews, Man., helped lead an offence that resulted in two of his teammates earning season-ending all-star awards. Daniel Thiessen was named first-team all-Canada West and second-team all-Canadian, and Liam Kristjanson was named to the all-conference rookie team.
This season he posted the second-highest total of assists in Wesmen Canada West history and finished his career in the top 10 in Canada West history for assists. He appeared in all 22 conference matches, running his career consecutive conference matches played stretch to 92.
He also had a career-high for kills in a season (74) and was second among all setters in Canada West in blocks (46).
Parker, a third-year left side from St. Norbert Collegiate, established herself as one of the top offensive threats in all of U Sports.
She finished fourth in the conference — and fifth in the country — in kills (290), fifth in kills per set (3.22) and set career-highs for total blocks (23) and points (323). She also set a new career-high for kills in a match with 21, doing that twice.
In addition, Parker was 15th in Canada West in digs with 252, two off her career-high set a season ago.
Among the other major-award winners, Kristjanson and Anna Kernaghan of women's basketball were named the male and female rookies of the year. Kernaghan was named to both the Canada West and U Sports all-rookie teams after leading her team in scoring with 12.5 points per game. Kristjanson, from Brandon, Man., appeared in 21 of 22 conference matches and finished the season with 94 kills, 16 aces, 30 digs and 22 blocks.
Madison Fyvie of women's volleyball and Will Sesay of men's basketball were named the most improved athletes. Fyvie had a breakout season and turned into one of the best defensive players in all of U Sports.
She ranked fourth in the country in digs and surpassed the Canada West record for digs in a match in February with 45. Her 374 digs set a new Wesmen modern-day program record for digs in a season and put in her in the top 10 all-time in conference history.
Sesay started 15 of 20 this past season and upped his points per game to 7.5. He also averaged 6.4 rebounds per conference game, and had a career-high 17 in a non-conference game in October. He also grabbed 16 in a win over Mount Royal in January.
Robyn Boulanger of women's basketball was named the Keith Cooper Award winner for commitment to community service. The third-year guard from U of W Collegiate volunteered extensively in the Indigenous community running camps in the Anishinabe Pride and Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata youth programs.
Rylie Dickson of women's volleyball won the Tom Kendall Award for the athlete with the top GPA. Dickson, a fifth-year senior from Killarney, had a 4.34 GPA in the 2018-19 academic year.
University president Dr. Annette Trimbee and her husband Kevin were honoured as the Dave Anderson Award recipients as outside supporters of the Wesmen. The two were regular fixtures at Wesmen games and were consistent vocal supporters of the athletics department.
Men's Basketball: Narcisse Ambanza
Women's Basketball: Robyn Boulanger and Anna Kernaghan
Men's Volleyball: Mikael Clegg
Women's Volleyball: Rylie Dickson
Women's Soccer: Taryn Raabe