VIU basketball player Tyus Barfoot and volleyball player Karoline Tormena won VIU Athlete of the Year at a virtual awards ceremony released via video on Tuesday, April 21. (News Bulletin file photos)

VIU celebrates its sports standouts with virtual awards ceremony

Basketball player Barfoot and volleyball player Tormena win VIU Athlete of the Year honours

VIU’s annual athletics awards banquet didn’t happen, but the university still found a way to honour its sports standouts.

Vancouver Island University’s athletics department announced its year-end award winners via a YouTube video released Tuesday, April 21.

“Congratulations to our athletes, coaches and teams for an incredible year…” said Deborah Saucier, VIU president, in the video. “I know this year has brought a few unexpected challenges and I know that it may not feel like we’re celebrating, but I need you to know we are celebrating you just the same, even though we’re not in person.”

Vancouver Island University again won the Pacific Western Athletic Association’s aggregate award for its results across all sports.

“Which is a testament to the hard work and dedication by each and every one of you…” said Danielle Hyde, interim athletic director, in the video. “We are a family and I couldn’t be more proud to be a part of it. I can’t wait for next season and will be so excited to stand on all of your sidelines and cheer you on.”

Winning Athlete of the Year this year were volleyball player Karoline Tormena, who had the match-winning kill in the national final as the Mariners women captured their third-straight CCAA championship, and basketball player Tyus Barfoot, who starred at both ends of the court in helping the Mariners men qualify for a national tournament that ended up being cancelled due to coronavirus.

VIU Freshman Athlete of the Year awards went to soccer players Taylor Kinley and Michael Heppelle, while VIU Academic Excellence award winners were volleyball players Danielle Groenendijk and Isaac Bevis.

President’s Award winners were volleyball players Andrea Cankovic and Bevis, basketball players Kiara Johnston and Thaskani Mtawali, soccer players Melanie Osborne and Taylor Arbour, and golfers Alex Foston and Nolan Richardson.

Unsung Hero awards went to volleyball players Jeff Webb and Shelby Dorman-Banks, basketball players Mtawali and Sydney Fetterly, soccer players Reid Davidson and Shea Battie and golfer Richardson.

VIU International Education Awards went to basketball player Amber Lease and volleyball player Dario De Queiroz-Pereira.

READ ALSO: VIU Mariners soccer teams both earn silver medals at nationals

The university also took the opportunity to congratulate, again, some of its athletes for previously announced accolades.

CCAA All-Canadians in 2019-2020 included basketball players Barfoot and Lease, volleyball players Groenendijk and Tormena, soccer players Chloe Gummer, Shun Takano and Kanae Yamamoto and golfer Mitch Turko.

Academic All-Canadians are Barfoot, Groenendijk, Gummer and Turko, as well as soccer player Cara Dunlop, basketball players Shayce Johnston and Danielle Vanbergen, volleyball player Adam Kapteyn and golfers Mariah Netzer and Victoria Ross.

PacWest Academic Excellence award winners are basketball players Barfoot, Kayla Gregory, Madeline Hart, Kiara Johnston, Shayce Johnston, Avery Snider and Vanbergen; volleyball players Bevis, Amanda Dobbyn, Ty Dvorack, Groenendijk, Kapteyn, Kayla Passmore and Webb; soccer players Griffin Douglas, Dunlop, Gummer, Harroop Malli and Osborne, and golfers Richardson, Ross and Turko.

Among coaches, women’s basketball coach Tony Bryce swept both the CCAA Coach of the Year and the PacWest Coach of the Year. Other PacWest Coach of the Year winners from VIU were Mike Hrabowych for golf and Kevin Lindo and Larry Stefanek for soccer.

COLUMN: COVID-19 doesn’t play by the rules of the game

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