Mac volleyball quartet make OUA all-star lists

McMaster starting middle Tyler Santoni (Kingston) was named an Ontario University Athletics first-team all-star for the second consecutive season when the 2010-11 all-star team was announced today.

Santoni averaged 3.12 points per game on 2.14 kills per game in conference place. Joining him as an all-star team is Josh Lichty (St. Catharines) who moved from left side to libero this season for the Marauders. Lichty earned a spot on the OUA second team.

McMaster rookies Jori Mantha (Vanier) and Austin Campion-Smith (Bowmanville) where both selected to the OUA all-rookie team. Mantha averaged 3.2 points per game in his first campaign and Campion-Smith led the team in assists with 9.23 per game.

Headlining the major awards was 2010-11 Player of the Year Kyle Williamson (Essex). The third-year outside hitter for the Windsor Lancers ranked first in kills this season in the OUA with 260, averaging 3.71 per game. His points per game averaged 4.36 with 19 aces and 44 blocks over the course of the season. Williamson was also named a First-Team All-Star and is the first Lancer to win the Player of the Year award.

The Rookie of the Year award went to Western’s Garrett May (Scarborough). The first-year ranked eighth among veteran hitters in points per game with an average of 3.60 and recorded 185 kills for the Mustangs. May follows up former Rookie of the Year and teammate Phil James and is only the third player from Western to win the award. The rookie was also named a Second-Team All-Star and to the All Rookie Team.

Pat Johnston (Whitby) of the Mustangs earned the Libero of the Year award. The first to win it for the Mustangs, the fourth-year defensive specialist recorded 177 digs in 62 games this season. He also earned his first All-Star nod, making the Second-Team.

Western’s Reid Halpenny (Exeter) was the Dale Iwanocko Award winner, given for academics, athletics and community service. The fifth-year civil engineering student has acted as captain of the Mustangs for the last three seasons. Also excelling in the classroom, Halpenny has been named a Canadian Interuniversity Spots Academic All-Canadian four times.

In his spare time outside of varsity volleyball, academics and playing on the Ontario provincial team, he volunteers with the London-Grand Bend Multiple Sclerosis Bicycle Relay, the Mustangs Volleyball Clinic and Camp for underprivileged children, and is a peer mentor at Exeter District High School.

Coach of the Year was awarded to Western’s Jim Sage. This is Sage’s third Coach of the Year award with the Mustangs as he also won it in 2004-05 and in 2008-09. He led the Mustangs to a first place finish in the OUA this season with an 18-2 record. He also led Western to a No. 6 national ranking among some tough west coast teams from across the country. The Mustangs host the 2011 OUA Men’s Volleyball Final Four Championship beginning Friday (Feb. 25).

Also named to the First-Team All-Star list were some Queen’s Gaels as repeat All-Stars. Joren Zeeman (Cambridge) led the league in points per game with 4.82 and has been a First-Team All-Star in the last three years of his four-year career in the OUA. Teammate Michael Amoroso (Toronto) was also named a First-Team All-Star for the second time in his career with the Gaels.

From Western, Mathieu Poulin (Winnipeg) was named a First-Team All-Star for the first time in his career after his Second-Team nod last season. Marauder Tyler Santoni (Kingston) was named a First-Team All-Star for the second year in a row and Guelph’s Winston Rosser (Whitby) earned the First-Team nod for the first time in his career. Rounding out the list was Cameron Wheelan (Barrie) from the Laurier Golden Hawks.

A range of athletes from different schools make up the Second-Team All-Star list. Aside from Ryerson’s Chris McLaughlin (Ottawa), all players were named All-Stars for the first time in their careers. McLaughlin was previously named a Second-Team All-Star two years ago. Queen’s Bryan Fautley (Oakville) also earned the Second-Team All-Star nod for the first time in his career after being named a CIS Tournament All-Star a year ago.

Jamie Stamler (North Bay) of the Guelph Gryphons was named a Second-Team All-Star as he has helped lead his team to another Final Four appearance this year. Rookie Fiodar Kazhamiaka (Waterloo) of the Waterloo Warriors was named an All-Star this season on both the Second-Team and the All Rookie Team.

Joining May and Kazhamiaka on the All Rookie Team are setter Aleksa Miladinovic (Toronto) of the Ryerson Rams, York Lions outside hitter Ray Szeto (Sutton), Jordan Dyck (St. Catharines) of the Waterloo Warriors.

Western is set to host the Final Four OUA men’s volleyball championship as they face the Guelph Gryphons in semifinal action. The Queen’s Gaels take on the McMaster Marauders in the other semifinal in what is sure to be a game to remember.