Defensive play earns Adamczyk OUA recognition

Third-year player Renata Adamczyk of the Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks is the West Division Defensive Player of the Year in Ontario University Athletics basketball for 2008-09.

Adamczyk, from Dundas, led the OUA in steals with 79 and was tied for second in the division in defensive rebounds with 118. She was also named to the Second Team All-Stars. Laurier finished with an 11-11 record, good for fourth in the division.

Western Mustangs fourth-year forward Bess Lennox (Ottawa) is the West Division Player of the Year. She set an OUA single-season record in rebounds with 270 this season, 12 better than her closest competitor. Lennox earned 18 double-doubles during the regular season, as she finished second behind teammate Amanda Anderson (Dover Centre) for the West Division points lead. Anderson had 355 points, while Lennox contributed 351. Both are named West Division First Team All-Stars. Western finished the regular season with the division’s second-best record at 17-5.

The West Division Rookie of the Year is Samantha Russell (Paradise Valley, Ariz.) of the Guelph Gryphons. Russell scored 166 points and grabbed 111 rebounds for a Gryphons team which returned to the OUA playoffs after a one-year absence. Her field goal percentage of 45.2 was among the best in the West Division.

Nadine Paron (Arva) of the Western Mustangs is the Joy Bellinger Award of Merit winner. The fourth-year guard is active in the London community working with the Victorian Order of Nurses to assist the elderly with activity and exercise classes, as well as working in soup kitchens to feed the homeless.

She also set up an activity day with Easter Seals during the summer where the Mustangs spent time with disabled children running them through games and activities. Paron is also a top-notch student with an over 80 percent average in her Kinesiology program, serving as a tutor for younger students.

The West Division Coach of the Year is Chantal Vallée of the Windsor Lancers. Her team finished the regular season with a 21-1 mark, the top record in OUA. The Lancers have been ranked No. 2 nationally for most of the calendar year, and have two First Team All-Stars in third-year guard Dranadia Roc (Montreal) and fourth-year forward Alisa Wulff (Pickering). Roc and Wulff both scored over 300 points during the season, while Wulff tied Adamczyk for the second-most total rebounds in the West Division with 176.

Other First Team All-Stars include McMaster Marauders fourth-year point guard Taylor Smith (Hamilton) and Lakehead Thunderwolves third-year point guard Tasia McKenna (Timberlea, N.S.). Smith led the Marauders with 254 points, 158 assists and 97 turnovers. McKenna also had team highs with the Thunderwolves with 297 points, 118 assists and 92 turnovers.

Joining Adamczyk as Second Team All-Stars are fourth-year guard Kris Yallin (Port Colborne) of the Gryphons, fourth-year shooting guard Kim Lee (Ajax) of the Waterloo Warriors and fifth-year forward Kathryn Verboom (Thunder Bay) of the Thunderwolves.

Joining Russell as members of the All-Rookie Team are Golden Hawks point guard Amber Hillis (Hamilton), Mustangs guard Kelly Moulden (Dundas), Lancers forward Bojana Kovacevic (Windsor) and Brock Badgers guard Tara Giallonardo (Fonthill).