For the second year in a row, a member of the McMaster Marauders takes home the OUA Award of Merit honour as Ontario University Athletics rolls out its major awards and all-stars in West Division women’s volleyball.
Amanda Weldon is being recognized for her achievements in academics, athletics and community service. In 2013-14, the fifth-year setter captained the Marauders to second place in the West with a 13-6 record. Splitting duties with a teammate, the Hamilton, Ont. native recorded 6.16 assists per set.
Off the court, the Honours Life Science student is extremely active in the Hamilton community. A two-time participant in the Weekend to End Women’s Cancers, Weldon has raised over $3,000 dollars for the cause. She also lends her time to an executive role with McMaster’s highly regarded McMaster Athletes Care (MAC) community development program.
With MAC, Weldon has participated in literary campaigns, mentored young students and athletes and traveled to Costa Rica to build homes. This is her first league recognition.
In addition to Weldon’s recognition, the Marauders talented McMaster rookie Sophie Bukovec (Etobicoke, Ont.) was named a first team all-star and an all-rookie all-star. Two Marauders, Maicee Sorenson (Hamilton) and Taylor Brisebois (Bolton, ON) were named second team all-stars. Sorenson also joins teammate Bukovec on the all-rookie team.
Bukovec took the OUA by storm in her rookie campaign; she finished top five in league scoring with 3.79 points per set. An outside hitter, Bukovec was the favoured target for the Marauders as her 211 kills was 70 more than her next closest teammate. In addition to her work at the net, Bukovec had 149 digs and 20 service aces.
The Marauders will face the Toronto Varsity Blues in an OUA Final Four semi-final action this weekend.
Kaila Seguin (Windsor, Ont.) is the OUA West division player of the year. The fifth-year middle led the third place Windsor Lancers with 4.07 points per set and a league-high 265 kills. Seguin also posted 189 digs. The honour is Seguin’s third of her career; she was named to the OUA second team in 2012 and was an all-rookie in 2010.
The rookie of the year is Guelph Gryphon standout Madison Dedecker. A native of Dorchester, Ont., Dedecker led the Gryphons with 3.57 points per set. The first-year left side hitter put away 181 kills in only 59 sets, while also contributing 123 digs from the backcourt. Dedecker’s stellar season not only earned her rookie of the year but status, but she’s also a first team all-star and OUA West all-rookie. She is the first Gryphon to be named rookie of the year since 2003.
The libero of the year is Guelph’s Kristen Almhjell (Richmond, B.C.). The second-year Commerce and Real Estate student was a leader in the Gryphons’ backcourt, posting 300 digs for an impressive 4.17 digs per set, ranking her second in OUA and in the nation’s top 10. This is Almhjell’s first league honour.
Paul Funk is the 2014 OUA West division coach of the year. In his ninth season at the helm of the Guelph Gryphons, Funk has turned a losing program into a perennial challenger. This season he coached the Gryphons to first place in the OUA West with a 14-5 record. This is his first OUA major award.
Joining Seguin, Dedecker, and Bukovec on the OUA West first team are Windsor middle blocker Shannon Dean (Whitby, Ont.), Brock Badger Shenise Power (North Vancouver, B.C.) and senior right side hitter Stephanie Kreuter (Rostock, Ont.) of the Western Mustangs.
After being named an OUA all-rookie a year ago, Windsor’s Dean avoided the sophomore slump in 2014. Dean’s 3.54 points per set finished just shy of the league top ten and she led the Lancers with 0.63 blocks per set. Right-side hitter Power led the Badgers (6-13) in her fourth-year with 3.46 points per set, 235 total points and 28.5 total blocks. The all-star recognition is the first of her career. Western’s Kreuter finished in the top ten in league scoring with 3.59 points per set. She earned her first league honour on the merit of 24 service aces, 24.5 total blocks, 217 kills and 193 digs.
In addition to Dedecker, Bukovec and Sorensen, the list of OUA West division all-rookies include top freshmen Rachel Petcoff (London, Ont.) of the Guelph Gryphons, Western Mustang Katherine Tsiofas (Toronto), Brock Badger Alison Pumputis (London, Ont.) and Emily McClosky (Maidstone, Ont.) of the Windsor Lancers.
Along with Sorensen and Brisebois on the second team all-stars are Brock’s Lauren Stirling (Whitby, Ont.), Lakehead’s Jorie Daymond (Ottawa), Western’s Candice Scott (Kitchener, Ont.) and Guelph Gryphon Alicia Combe-Dingwall (St. Catharines, Ont.).
The OUA’s East division women’s volleyball honourees included all-rookie Aleks Arsovics (Burlington, Ont.) of the York Lions.
OUA WOMEN’S VOLLEYBALL WEST DIVISION MAJOR AWARDS
Player of the Year – Kaila Seguin, Windsor Lancers
Rookie of the Year – Madison Dedecker, Guelph Gryphons
Libero of the Year – Kristen Almhjell, Guelph Gryphons
Award of Merit – Amanda Weldon, McMaster Marauders
Coach of the Year -Paul Funk, Guelph Gryphons
OUA WEST DIVISION FIRST TEAM ALL-STARS
Kaila Seguin – Lancers
Sophie Bukovec – McMaster Marauders
Shannon Dean – Windsor Lancers
Shenise Power – Brock Badgers
Stephanie Kreuter – Western Mustangs
Maddie Dedecker – Gryphons
OUA WEST DIVISION SECOND TEAM ALL-STARS
Lauren Stirling – Brock Badgers
Jorie Daymond – Lakehead Thunderwolves
Alicia Combe-Dingwall – Guelph Gryphons
Maicee Sorensen – McMaster Marauders
Candice Scott – Western Mustangs
Taylor Brisebois – McMaster Marauders
OUA WEST DIVISION ALL-ROOKIE TEAM
Maddie Dedecker – Gryphons
Sophie Bukovec – Marauders
Rachel Petcoff – Guelph Gryphons
Maicee Sorensen – Marauders
Katherine Tsiofas – Western Mustangs
Alison Pumputis – Brock Badgers
Emily McClosky – Windsor Lancers