Rookie Elliott one of nation’s best

Alex Elliott

Marauder Alex Elliott was named to the Canadian Interuniversity Sports All-Rookie volleyball team at the All-Canadian Breakfast on Thursday (March 1) in Kingston.

Elliott had a solid season on both the offensive and defensive side of the ball, registering 59 kills while committing just 15 errors all season. He was also involved with 32 blocks to help the Marauders wrap up second place in Ontario University Athletics standings and earn a national ranking for much of the season. Elliott had previously been named the OUA Rookie of the Year and had a place on the OUA All-Rookie Team.

Other CIS volleyball award winners included:

Ben Ball, a fifth-year setter from Trinity Western University, was named the CIS player of the year. Ball, who hails from Abbotsford, B.C., became the second player in Spartans team history to be named CIS MVP.

The All-Canadian Breakfast turned into a record-setting affair for the reigning national champion Spartans, who became the first-ever men’s volleyball team to capture four CIS major awards in a single campaign.

Other winners from TWU included Jarrod Offereins of Calgary, who was named libero of the year; Rudy Verhoeff, also from Calgary, who claimed the Dale Iwanoczko Award in recognition of his excellence in volleyball, academics and community involvement; and Ben Josephson of Strathmore, Alta., who was voted coach of the year by his peers.

The only individual award to elude Trinity Western, the rookie of the year trophy, went to Regina native Andrew Nelson, a right side hitter with his hometown Regina Cougars.

The all-Canadian teams were also announced on Thursday.

Joining Ball and Verhoeff on the first unit were conference most valuable players Karl De Granpré of Laval (RSEQ) and Joren Zeeman of Queen’s (OUA), as well as Alberta right side Mitch Irvine, Manitoba right side Dane Pischke and Western middle Phil James.

De Granpré was voted to the first team for the third consecutive season and was also selected to the second squad as a freshman back in 2007-08, when he was named CIS rookie of the year. Zeeman had been a second-team selection each of the past three campaigns.

The second CIS dream team for 2011-12 is comprised of AUS MVP Julio Fernandez, an outside hitter from UNB, as well as Laval setter Justin Boudreault, Calgary middle Graham Vigrass, Windsor outside Kyle Williamson, Dalhousie right side Kenneth Rauwerda, Manitoba left side Chris Voth and Western left side Garrett May.

Vigrass, last season’s CIS MVP, and Williamson were both first-team all-Canadians a year ago.

Joining Nelson on the all-rookie team were Laval right side Tommy Bélisle, McMaster outside Alexander Elliott, UBC outside Jarrid Ireland, Dalhousie middle Connor Maeseen, Thompson Rivers right side Brad Gunter, and Waterloo outside Erich Woolley.

The 2012 CIS championship gets under way Friday (March 2) at Queen’s University and concludes Sunday with the gold-medal final. SSN Canada, in partnership with QTV, will have live webcast of all 11 games from the tournament.