Stephens named first team AUS all-star

Atlantic University Sport announced the 2012-13 AUS men's volleyball all-stars and major award winners as selected by the conference's three head coaches today. Memorial's Drew Stephens was named a member of the first team all-star team for the second consecutive season. Stephens, a senior outside hitter from Lower Sackville, Nova Scotia, led the conference in points and kills to have an outstanding final year of varsity eligibility.


Drew StephensFor the second year in a row, fourth-year UNB outside hitter Julio Fernandez was named the Atlantic University Sport most valuable player, Thursday.


Other AUS major award winners announced today were UNB's Eivind Andersen of Sandnes, Norway, who was named rookie of the year; UNB's Andrew Costa of Summerside, P.E.I., who was selected as the libero of the year; UNB's Logan Keoughan who received the student-athlete community service award and Dalhousie head coach Dan Ota, who was named the AUS men's volleyball coach of the year.



Fernandez, a fourth-year outside hitter with the UNB Varsity Reds is the Atlantic University Sport men's volleyball most valuable player for the second time in as many years.


A native of Los Teques, Venezuela, Julio has been a force on AUS volleyball scene since joining the V-Reds two seasons ago.


Fernandez, a 6-foot-2 senior, finished second in the league this season in scoring (3.8 points per game), third in kills per game (3.24 per game) and ranked third in service aces with 0.31 per set. He also ranked second in AUS hitting percentage (0.254).


"Julio has had another outstanding season for us, being amongst the top in several statistical categories in our conference," said UNB head coach Dan McMorran. "He is a special player who continues to elevate his level of play each season, which has made him a real threat each time he steps on the court."


Julio's selection marks the third consecutive year that a UNB player has been selected as AUS most valuable player and he also becomes the first ever back-to-back recipient from the Varsity Reds program.


No Atlantic conference player has ever been named CIS player of the year.


ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: Eivind Andersen, UNB

Andersen becomes the first UNB player to be named the AUS rookie of the year since 2006-07 when Michael Johnson was the recipient.


Eivind, a native of Sandnes, Norway, started in all 17 regular season matches this season, appearing in 57 of UNB's 63 sets played.


The 6-foot-4 right-side led all AUS first-year players in scoring (2.9 points per game), kills (2.44 per game) and he also finished fourth overall in AUS digs, averaging 1.70 digs per game.


"In only his rookie season, Eivind has started in each of our matches and has made a significant contribution to our team, being amongst the leaders in kills/set, pts/set, and digs/set," said UNB head coach Dan McMorran. "He is a player with both great offensive and defensive potential and will be an exciting athlete to watch in the coming seasons."


The only Atlantic University Sport player to ever be named CIS rookie of the year was Dalhousie's Terry Martin in 1994-95.



Costa, a fifth-year student-athlete from Summerside, P.E.I, is just the second UNB player to be named the conference's top libero since the award was established in 1999-00. He joins Kyle Blanchard as the only V-Reds players to win the award. Blanchard was selected as the AUS libero of the year in 2010-11.


Andrew led the conference this season with 2.06 digs per game.


"Andrew had to assume this new role in his last year with us, making the switch from setter to libero a seamless one," said UNB head coach Dan McMorran. "He has had a very solid season, leading the AUS in digs/set, but also providing energy and leadership in our backcourt."


Former Dalhousie Tigers libero Jeff Weiler is also the only Atlantic University Sport player to have been named the CIS libero of the year, taking home the nation's top prize four years in a row, from 2003-04 to 2006-07.


COACH OF THE YEAR: Dan Ota, Dalhousie

Dan Ota, in his 14th year as head coach of the Tigers program, has now been selected by his peers as the AUS coach of the year for the 11th time.


This year, Dan guided the Tigers to a first place finish in the Atlantic conference standings with a record of 11-6. The Tigers will look defend their AUS championship banner when the playoffs get underway this weekend. Dalhousie has won 25 of the past 26 AUS titles.


Ota, a native of Calgary, Alta., is a former executive director of Volleyball Nova Scotia, a former technical director for Alberta Volleyball and was a member of the Team Canada coaching staff at the 2007 Summer Universiade in Bangkok, Thailand that captured a silver medal.


He holds Bachelor of Arts and Master of Kinesiology degrees from the University of Calgary and is a certified NCCP Level 3 coach as well as a Master Learning Facilitator.


"Dan has worked very hard to develop and maintain the Dalhousie men's volleyball program at a very high level despite geographical, financial and other challenges and we truly appreciate all he has done to ensure the success of the team," said Karen Moore, Director of Athletics at Dalhousie. "There is no question that this year he took a very young group of student athletes and clearly helped them develop them as individuals and as a team. We are confident that this hard work will pay dividends long into the future."


The last Atlantic conference head coach to be named CIS Coach of the Year was Dan McMorran of UNB following the 2010-11 season.



The 2012-13 recipient of the AUS student-athlete community service award and nominee for the CIS Dale Iwanoczko award is Logan Keoughan of the UNB Varsity Reds. The nominee for this award is a player exhibiting outstanding achievement in volleyball, academics and community involvement.


Keoughan, a 6-foot-7 middle blocker in his fourth year of eligibility, led the V-Reds with 1.17 blocks per set and was third in team scoring with 2.5 points per game.


A native of Miramichi, N.B., Logan is enrolled in the Bachelor of Science in Environment and Natural Resources program at UNB. He is a three-time CIS Academic all-Canadian with a GPA of 3.6 and is on pace to receive the same recognition this year.


Keoughan is a volunteer coach with the K-2 Reds grassroots volleyball program, he is a member of the UNB Athlete's Council and an executive member with the V-Reds "Right to Play" program. The "Right To Play's" mission is to use sport and play to educate and empower children and youth to overcome the effects of poverty, conflict, and disease in disadvantaged communities.


"Logan has been an excellent student-athlete over his four years with the Varsity Reds, being a consistent leader in each of the three categories that define this award," said UNB head coach Dan McMorran. "He has been a CIS Academic all-Canadian in each of his years with our program, an active volunteer in our community and is having his best season to date on the court. He is a special young man and a very worthy recipient."


The CIS Dale Iwanoczko award has been awarded to a number of AUS men's volleyball athletes in recent years. UNB's Jacob Kilpatrick (2010-11), Dalhousie's Nik Rademacher (2007-08), Jeff Weiler (2005-06), Chris Geddes (2002-03) and Paul Villeneuve (1993-94) are all previous recipients of the prestigious CIS award.



The 2012-13 Atlantic University Sport men's volleyball all-stars were also announced Thursday.


All-Star Team:
Julio Fernandez, UNB (4th year – Los Teques, Venezuela)
Bryan Duquette, Dalhousie (3rd year – St. Thomas, Ont.)
Andrew Stephens, Memorial (5th year – Lower Sackville, N.S.)
Alex Dempsey, Dalhousie (2nd year – Halifax, N.S.)
Craig Toonders, UNB (3rd year – Navan, Ont.)
Connor Maessen, Dalhousie (2nd year – Dartmouth, N.S.)


The 2013 Subway Atlantic University Sport men's volleyball championship is a best two-of-three series between the Dalhousie Tigers (11-6) and UNB Varsity Reds (10-7), and begins this Friday at Dalhousie University in Halifax, N.S.


The championship schedule is as follows:

Friday, February 15th
- Game 1: UNB at Dalhousie, 7:00pm


Sunday, February 17th
- Game 2: Dalhousie at UNB, 7:00pm


Friday, February 22nd
- Game 3: UNB at Dalhousie, 7:00pm*
(*if necessary)


All matches of the 2013 Subway AUS men's volleyball championship will be available via webcast at <> .