Hill keeps all-star streak going – now a decade

Martin Giuffre (Calgary) of the Western Mustangs is this year’s male rookie of the year and most valuable player, quite a feat for a first year player in Ontario University Athletics badminton. At the same time, Oakville’s Melanie Hill was named an all-star for a 10th consecutive time.

Giuffre made the most of his skills as rookie and proved himself to be a threat on the court. In addition to sweeping the men’s major awards, he is also a 2009 OUA all-star.

But the Mustang men’s accolades don’t stop there.

Sophomore players Peter Butler (Toronto) and Jonathan Ma (Scarborough) join Giuffre on the 2009 all-star team. Both are receiving all-star honours for the first time in their OUA playing careers.

Andrew Tai Pow (Toronto) of the Waterloo Warriors adds his third all-star nod to his arsenal of honours. As 2007 men’s rookie of the year, Tai Pow has been named an all-star every year since his first.

Other Warriors joining Tai Pow on the team are Rahim Karmali (Montreal) and Andrew Zhuang (Mississauga), both for the first time in their careers. Rounding out the men’s all-star list are Jesse Assing (Bethany) of the Toronto Varsity Blues and Kevin Cheng (Scarborough) of the York Lions.

The Toronto Varsity Blues sweep the women’s major awards, as Shilin Cheung (Toronto) earns the 2009 female most valuable player and a spot on the all-star list. This is the first major badminton award for Cheung and her second appearance as an all-star.

Toronto’s Michelle Li (Richmond Hill) receives the 2009 female rookie of the year, as well as an all-star nod. Li’s previous experience competing at provincial and national levels make her a perfect first-year addition on the Varsity Blues team.

Joining Cheung and Li on the all-star list is veteran player Hill. She has been a critical element to the Varsity Blues over the past few years and has been named an all-star for 10 consecutive years.

The dominate Western Mustangs women may have been left out of the major awards this year, but they certainly hold their own on the all-stars team, tying Toronto for the most all-stars at three each.

Last year’s most valuable player Jennifer Lam (Toronto) earns her fifth all-star nod as a Mustang. Lam won gold in women’s singles and doubles at the annual Canadian university and college national championships in May.

Alexandra Bruce (Toronto), Lam’s partner in the doubles gold win, makes her second consecutive all-star appearance this year. Bruce, in addition to winning gold in doubles, took home the silver medal at the national championships.

Western’s Laura Vandervet (Brantford) joins Bruce and Lam on the all-star list for the first time in her OUA badminton career.

Ryerson’s Carah Cheung and Waterloo’s Amanda Carruthers (Mississauga) top off the list of 2009 female all-stars.

In his first year on the job, York’s Robert Ha is the 2009 coach of the year.