Despite the men’s team coming home from Nationals empty-handed and the women’s season ending at Provincials, Mar. has brought good news to the Mariners.
Shane Hyde, women’s head coach, was named Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association’s (CCAA) Women’s Volleyball Coach of the Year at the awards banquet in Lloydminster, Alberta earlier this month.
“Shane has done a lot with Mariners over the past 12 years,” says convenor, Scott Grey. “He’s obviously a quality coach who’s been able to maintain a team competing at the top level.”
Players Leanna Gildersleeve and Dani Smith were named CCAA All-Canadians, earning Smith her second-career nod in her final season at VIU.
The men’s team also received good news as Lee Hamilton was selected as an All-Canadian for the second year in a row. Hamilton finished second in the conference in blocks and helped the Mariners earn a bronze medal at Provincials, and their best Nationals finish since 2007.
VIU’s men’s basketball team are CCAA national champions! The M’s defeated Holland College 77–70 last weekend, led by a 34-point performance from Brandon Jones.
Jones was named championship MVP, while Tyler Olsen and Ryan Davidson were selected to tournament all-star teams.
Meanwhile, the women lost to Dawsom College and Olds College to miss their opportunity at the medal round. The M’s did defeat Fanshawe College in their second game, and Jocelyn Jones was named a CCAA All-Canadian following the tournament.
Head coach Janice Walker was named PacWest Badminton Coach of the year, after coaching Pat Thompson and Melissa Liew to their first CCAA National Championship appearances.
Liew credits much of her success to Walker saying, “She’s been a great coach for us, and she’s always there for us.”
Walker improved VIU’s national ranking to 12th overall, up from 15th, and continued growing the team from last year’s rebuilding season that saw only four returning players for the M’s.
The women’s soccer team hosted the University of Regina Cougars on Mar. 10 for an exhibition match, and battled to a hard-fought 1–0 loss.
“We played a real strong first half, out-shooting and out-chancing them and could have been up by a couple of goals,” head coach Anup Kang says. “In the second half, we played a lot of new players and, after a tough start, they came together and competed real well. The core group we have played real well and some of the new girls showed they can play at this level.”