Capers volleyballers head into championship today at Saint Mary’s
SYDNEY — Kristen Ryan’s third season as a member of the Cape Breton University Capers has included a first all-star team selection and now the top award as libero of the year in the conference.
But winning an Atlantic University Sport women’s volleyball banner is the main goal as the club enters play today at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax. They challenge the University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds in the quarter-final tonight at 8 p.m.
“ We’ve been saying that from the beginning, this is definitely the year that we can put one of those banners up on that wall,” said the 20-year-old from Port Hastings.
Ryan is the first CBU athlete to be named the AUS’ top libero since the award was established in 1999-00. She was second in the conference in digs at an average of 4.90 per game.
“I’m pretty happy with this year, it’s definitely one of my best years since I’ve been here,” she said. “But that’s just because of my teammates as well. We’ve grown closer as a team and this is definitely our best year since I’ve been here.”
The Capers, who finished fifth in the standings with a 6-12 record, have been successful in the quarter-final round of the AUS championship. They’ve advanced to the semifinals the last two years, but have failed to reach the championship game.
Head coach Claude Lapré said with the regular season results being all over the place, it’ll be anyone’s tournament to win.
“(UNB) has a huge block, they’re the biggest team in the league and we have to be a little bit more consistent on offence in the sense of staying aggressive even if you get rejected,” he said. “ We’ve tended to be on our heels a bit, concede a little bit too much and take off and be timid in our offence after being blocked.
“If we can stay aggressive at the net, we’ll have a good shot at the match.”
Catherine Thornton of the St. Francis Xavier X-Women was named the AUS most valuable player, Thursday, while Meg Rector of the Acadia Axewomen was named top rookie and XWomen head coach Michelle Aucoin was named coach of the year. Jillian Blanchard of UNB won the award for community service.
* 4 56T.J. Colello - Cape Breton Post
Kristen Ryan of the Cape Breton University Capers volleyball team practises with her team at Sullivan Field House, Thursday. The squad was preparing for the 2010 Subway Atlantic University Sport Women’s Volleyball Championship hosted by Saint Mary’s University, beginning today. The following is the schedule for the 2010 Subway Atlantic University Sport Women’s Volleyball Championship hosted by Saint Mary’s University, beginning today:
Today Quarter-finals 6 p.m. - Acadia (3rd) vs. Dalhousie (6th) 8 p.m. - UNB (4th) vs. Cape Breton (5th)
Saturday Semifinals 4:30 p.m. - St. Francis Xavier (1st) Lowest Remaining Seed 7 p.m. - Saint Mary’s (2nd) vs. Highest Remaining Seed
Sunday 2 p.m. - Championship* *The AUS champion will advance to the 2010 CIS Women’s Volleyball Championship, March 5-7, at the University of Alberta.