Tommies’ athletes thrive in 2019-20 season

The 2019-20 winter season was one to remember for the Tommies. On top of an ACAA men’s volleyball championship and hosting the 2020 CCAA men’s volleyball nationals, STU had many individual feats from their student-athletes, including two ACAA MVPs and multiple CCAA all-star selections.

Vanessa Soffee of the women’s basketball team added to her collection of ACAA awards as well as starting her CCAA award collection, being named ACAA MVP and a CCAA All-Canadian. Soffee said to represent her team at a national level is an honour.

“It still kind of feels unreal to me but is an amazing feeling,” Soffee said.

Despite her achievements, Soffee recognizes it wasn’t something she could do by herself. Her teammates guided her throughout the season.

“My teammates and coaches put me in the position to win those awards and be named an All-Canadian.”

Soffee’s Tommies finished the season with a 15-3 record, first in the ACAA.

Vanessa Soffee added multiple awards to her collection after a stellar season in her second year as a Tommie. (Billy Cole/AQ)

Soffee improved her scoring this season, averaging 3.2 more points per game and finishing at 10.7, as well as her field goal percentage, going from 30 per cent up to 41 per cent. Soffee also averaged 5.6 rebounds per game and 4.7 assists, third in the ACAA. Soffee’s defensive play took her over the top, as she was able to steal the ball four times a game, the most in the ACAA. This was good enough to earn her the ACAA’s Defensive Player of the Year award too.

“This year I was more confident in myself and really tried to excel in all aspects of the game,” she said.

“I really tried harder to put my teammates in better positions to score and have the offence flow better, while turning up the intensity on defence when I could.”

The Tommies’ women’s basketball team also had more members of their squad add to their accolades. Fourth-year guard Bridget Frazee was named an ACAA first-team All-Star while fourth-year post Christina Richardson was named to the second team. Head coach Fred Connors won his sixth ACAA Coach of the Year award for leading the Tommies to finishing first place in the ACAA regular season.

Men’s basketball

The men’s basketball team didn’t feature as many award winners, but showed the development in their players. Second-year forward Geoffrey Lavoie was named a CCAA All-Canadian and an ACAA first-team All-Star.

Lavoie finished fourth in the ACAA in scoring, finishing the season with 16.8 points per game. His teammate, Almis Dervisevic, made the ACAA second-team, after finishing first in the ACAA in assists with 5.6 per game.

Men’s volleyball

Christian Christie of the men’s volleyball team had a season to remember in his third campaign as a Tommie. After an ACAA championship and participating in the CCAA nationals, Christie was named the ACAA MVP, finishing second in the league in kills with 175.

“It feels amazing to be named league MVP. I couldn’t have done it without the support of everyone from my family and friends to teammates and coaches,” Christie said.

Christian Christie (#12) came second the ACAA with 175 kills in his MVP season. (Billy Cole/AQ)

He believes his passing and defensive abilities have improved since his first year, setting his teammates up for success. Through his multiple seasons as a Tommie, he said his leadership skills have grown as well.

“I’ve grown by trying to be a leader on and off the court to help everyone improve every time we step on the court or into the gym for a workout or in class if needed,” he said.

Christie was also named an ACAA All-Star and a CCAA All-Canadian.

Joining Christie as ACAA All-Stars are his teammates Dallas Melnick, Nathan Brown and Garret Dickson. Melnick was also named the ACAA Rookie of the Year, as well as head coach Henri Mallet winning ACAA Coach of the Year.

Women’s volleyball

The women’s volleyball team featured three more ACAA All-Stars, with Jenna Degooyer being named to the second team and Hannah Millier and Megan Mills named to the first team. Mills was also named a CCAA All-Canadian, having the second most kills in the ACAA with 161.

Women’s hockey

Rounding off the Tommies’ final accolades of the 2019-20 season are the women’s hockey team.

Two of the eight rookies on the team made the AUS All-Rookies team, with forward Erin Arsenault scoring three goals and picking up seven assists in her first season as a Tommie and Aislynn Byers recording one goal and five assists, ranking third in points amongst AUS rookie defenders.

Erin Arsenault flies across the crease in attempt to score. (Submitted by SRM Photography)

Fourth-year defender and alternate captain Alex Woods was named to the AUS second team. Woods had the most goals in the AUS as a defender this season with seven. She also had seven assists for 14 total points, fourth amongst AUS defenders.

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