(HALIFAX, N.S.) - Atlantic University Sport is pleased to announce the 2016-17 AUS women's volleyball all-stars and major award winners as selected by the conference's six head coaches following regular season play.
Fifth-year Memorial Sea-Hawks outside hitter and Bishop's Fall's, N.L. native Jill Snow was named the AUS most valuable player for the second consecutive year at Thursday's awards luncheon hosted by Saint Mary's University at the Lord Nelson Hotel in Halifax, N.S.
Other AUS major award winners announced were UNB's Kristen Burns of Mississauga, Ont., who earned the Kristen Ryan Memorial Award as the AUS rookie of the year; the Aigles Bleues' Rachelle Lemoine of Moncton, N.B., who received the Erin Bursey Memorial Award for student-athlete community service; and Dalhousie Tigers head coach Rick Scott, who was named AUS coach of the year in his ninth year at the helm of the Dalhousie program.
MOST VALUABLE PLAYER: Jill Snow, Memorial
Jill Snow, an outside hitter with the Memorial Sea-Hawks, has been named the AUS most valuable player for the second consecutive year.
An education student from Bishop's Falls, N.L., Snow wrapped up her fifth season leading the Atlantic conference in multiple statistical categories.
She led the league in kills (273), kills per set (3.69), service aces (32), points (322.5) and points per set (4.4). She finished second in service aces per set, averaging 0.43.
Snow appeared in all 20 matches and 74 sets for the Sea-Hawks this season. The Memorial University squad finished second in the AUS regular season standings with a 14-6 record.
"Jill Snow is an incredible student-athlete," said Sea-Hawks head coach John Slauenwhite. "Jill has been working towards her Master of Education while substitute teaching and training with the team every day. She is a very humble athlete who believes in our team's philosophy of team first. Jill always puts her team before herself and helps lift up everyone around her to another level. As her coach, it has been a pleasure to see her commitment and competitiveness turn her into one of the premier players in the AUS and U Sports over the past three years."
In addition to being selected as the AUS MVP, Snow earned a place on the AUS first team all-star squad for the third consecutive year. Her career accomplishments also include having been named to the 2012-13 AUS all-rookie team in her freshman year with Memorial.
Snow is the second player from the Memorial Sea-Hawks to be named the conference's most valuable player and the first from the team to ever earn the award twice. Former Sea-Hawks standout Susan Mosher was named MVP in 1999-00.
She now looks to become the first AUS player to win the national player of the year award since Dalhousie's Karen Maessen took home the honour in 1981-82.
ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: Kristen Burns, UNB Varsity Reds (Kristen Ryan Memorial Award)
UNB middle hitter Kristen Burns has been selected as the 2016-17 recipient of the Kristen Ryan Memorial Award as AUS rookie of the year.
Starting in all 20 matches and playing in 74 of 76 sets for the Varsity Reds this season, Burns led all first-year players—and finished third in the conference—in blocks with 63 on the season.
"Kristen is well deserving of this award," said UNB interim head coach James Cress. "As a first-year student-athlete she was asked not only to start every match but to play multiple positions. In the end, her commitment and abilities established her one as of the best blockers in the conference."
This is the sixth time a player from the Varsity Reds has earned AUS rookie of the year honours. Victoria Eadle won the award for UNB most recently in 2014-15.
In 2013, this award was renamed in honour of former Cape Breton Capers player Kristen Ryan. A native of Port Hastings, N.S. and a five-year member of the CBU women's volleyball team, Ryan was a two-time Atlantic conference all-star and was named the AUS libero of the year in 2009-10. She passed away in 2012 following a motor vehicle accident.
Burns now becomes the AUS nominee for the Mark Tennant Award as U Sports rookie of the year. No Atlantic conference player has ever won the national award.
STUDENT-ATHLETE COMMUNITY SERVICE AWARD: Rachelle Lemoine, Moncton Aigles Bleues (Erin Bursey Memorial Award)
Université de Moncton Aigles Bleues fifth-year middle Rachelle Lemoine is the 2016-17 recipient of the Erin Bursey Memorial Award, given to the women's volleyball student-athlete who best exhibits outstanding achievements in three areas: volleyball, academics and community involvement.
Lemoine, a kinesiology student from St. Boniface, Winnipeg, Man., was also named an AUS first team all-star today. Her hitting percentage of .284 was the second highest in the Atlantic conference this season and she had the third most solo blocks with 27.
Lemoine averaged 2.33 kills per set, 0.63 blocks per set and 3.1 points per set for the Aigles Bleues.
Last season, she earned AUS second team all-star nods. She was also a member of the AUS all-rookie team in 2012-13.
In the classroom, Lemoine has maintained a 3.43 GPA. She is also heavily involved in an array of community initiatives.
She volunteers her time with Lire et bouger ('read and play')—a program brought in to elementary schools which combines reading and exercise—as well as with the Aigles Bleues' Skating with Santa program. She also participates in team visits to local hospitals.
Lemoine is a volunteer coach for a youth volleyball group. She lends her time to the Heart Health Clinic—evaluating patients and recommending programs. She also volunteers at a senior's home, organizing a physical exercise program.
"Her dedication to her sport, her competitive spirit, her excellent sportsmanship and her willingness to help anyone anytime has made her a very important member of our team," said Moncton head coach Monette Boudreau-Carroll. "Rachelle is very grateful for her opportunities and feels strongly about giving back all she has received. I think Rachelle is a student-athlete who knows how to balance her commitment to education, her love of volleyball and her community in such a way that she has become the model that every student-athlete should strive for."
Lemoine becomes just the second Moncton volleyball player to earn the student-athlete community service award. Former Aigles Bleues standout Kristine Levesque won the award in back-to-back seasons in 2007-08 and 2008-09.
This award was renamed in honour of former Memorial Sea-Hawks student-athlete Erin Bursey. Bursey, a two-time CIS academic all-Canadian and a captain with the Sea-Hawks women's volleyball team, passed away in 2012 following a pedestrian-vehicle accident in St. John's, N.L.
Lemoine now becomes the AUS nominee for the U Sports Therese Quigley Award. A player from the Atlantic conference has earned the national honour the past three seasons. Acadia's Sarah Ross was last year's recipient. UNB's Paige Paulsen won the award in 2014-15 and former Memorial standout Adrienne Penney took home the honour in 2013-14.
Acadia's Lori-Beth MacEwen (2002-03 and 2003-04) and Mount Allison's Megan Toews (2001-02) are the other Atlantic conference recipients of the national award.
COACH OF THE YEAR: Rick Scott, Dalhousie
Rick Scott, in his ninth year at the helm of the Dalhousie Tigers program, has been selected by his peers as the AUS coach of the year for the third time in his career.
Under Scott's leadership, the Tigers finished with a 19-1 regular season record and a first-place finish in the AUS standings.
Dalhousie's .187 hitting percentage was the best in the Atlantic conference. The Tigers also led in the AUS in digs, averaging 18.87 per set. Their 11.35 kills per set, 11.20 assists per set, 2.03 blocks per set and 15.3 points per set were all the second highest in the league.
"Rick has had an incredible impact on our women's volleyball program and the sport of volleyball in our region," said Dalhousie athletics director Tim Maloney. "His leadership and tireless effort have provided a tremendous platform for our program to succeed. We are fortunate to have Rick as part of our Tiger family."
Scott will now represent the AUS as the nominee for U Sports coach of the year.
Moncton head coach Monette Boudreau-Carroll is the only AUS coach to ever win the national coach of the year award. She earned the honour following the 2007-08 season.
FIRST AND SECOND TEAM ALL-STARS AND ALL-ROOKIE TEAM
The Atlantic University Sport first and second team all-stars were also announced Thursday, along with this year's all-rookie team.
First Team All-Stars:
Erin Smith, Saint Mary's (4th year – Moncton, N.B.)
Rachelle Lemoine, Moncton (5th year – Winnipeg, Man.)
Courtney Baker, Dalhousie (2nd year – Bridgewater, N.S.)
Jill Snow, Memorial (5th year – Bishop's Falls, N.L.)
Marisa Mota, Dalhousie (5th year – Kitchener, Ont.)
Maiya Westwood, Memorial (2nd year – East St. Paul, Man.)
Abby Czenze, Dalhousie (5th year – Halifax, N.S.)
Second Team All-Stars:
Mieke DuMont, Dalhousie (3rd year – Kamloops, B.C.)
Lauren Joyce, UNB (4th year – Haywards Heath, United Kingdom)
Kierstin Fey, Memorial (2nd year – Selkirk, Man.)
Kristina Adler, Saint Mary's (2nd year – Brampton, Ont.)
Lauryn Renzella, Acadia (2nd year – Stouffville, Ont.)
Christelle Bertin, Moncton (3rd year – Beresford, N.B.)
Kassandra Menzies, Memorial (4th year – Spirit River, Alta.)
Natalie Arsenault, UNB (Moncton, N.B.)
Hannah Aldcorn, Dalhousie (Calgary, Alta.)
Kristen Burns, UNB (Mississauga, Ont.)
Julia Diemert, UNB (Egbert, Ont.)
The 2017 Subway AUS Women's Volleyball Championship is being hosted by Saint Mary's University March 3-4 in Halifax, N.S. The schedule is as follows: (seeding in brackets)
Friday, March 3
Semifinal #1: Dalhousie (1st) vs. Moncton (4th), 4:30 p.m.
Semifinal #2: Memorial (2nd) vs. Saint Mary's (3rd), 7 p.m.
Saturday, March 4
3rd Place Match: 4:30 p.m.
Championship Match: 7 p.m.
All games of the AUS championship will be webcast at AUStv.ca.