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Alberta hitter Irvine named top CIS men's volleyball player

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The Canadian Press
2/27/2013 9:09:30 PM
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QUEBEC -- University of Alberta right-side hitter Mitch Irvine was named the Canadian Interuniversity Sport men's volleyball player of the year Wednesday.

Irvine, from Red Deer, Alta., became the seventh Golden Bear to win the award. He is also the 15th straight winner from the Canada West conference.

McMaster middle Dany Demyanenko won the rookie of the year award, Alberta's Erik Mattson took top libero honours, Manitoba's Dane Pischke received the Dale Iwanoczko Award for excellence in volleyball, academics and community service, and McMaster's Dave Preston was named coach of the year.

Irvine, a six-foot-five attacker in his fifth year, helped the Bears to a first-place finish in Canada West with a 20-2 mark, which set a new conference record for most wins in a single regular season.

He finished third in the conference in points per set (4.42) and fourth in kills (3.83), while maintaining a .268 hitting percentage and a .781 success rate from the service line, including 19 aces.

"Mitch has consistently been one of our top set getters and has hit his way out of a lot of tough situations," Alberta coach Terry Danyluk said. "His backcourt defence has also made him an incredible two-way player as he has led our team in digs several times this season."

The other nominees for MVP honours were UNB's Julio Fernandez, Laval's Frederic Mondou and Western's Garrett May.

Demyanenko, a six-foot-six Toronto native, posted a superb .469 hitting percentage in his university debut, good for second best in the country behind teammate Alex Elliott.

He also finished in the top 10 in the Ontario University Athletics conference in points (3.46) and blocks (0.60) per set, while also contributing 13 service aces.

UNB's Eivind Andersen, Sherbrooke's Daniel Moreau and Manitoba's Kenny Rooney were also in the running for top-rookie honours.

Mattson, a six-foot-one senior from Toronto led Alberta charge defensively with 2.56 digs per set, good for sixth in Canada West and ninth at the national level.

The other finalists for the top libero award were UNB's Andrew Costa, Sherbrooke's Olivier Guimond and Waterloo's Erich Woolley.

Pischke enjoyed a remarkable final season on the court after he led the Bisons in hitting percentage (.266), kills per set (3.40) and points (4.1).

In the classroom, the native of Winnipeg holds a grade point average of 3.61 in the Asper School of Business and is a double major in accounting and finance. He was a 2012 recipient of Sport Manitoba's Princess Royal Pan Am Scholarship.

The other finalists for the Iwanoczko Award were UNB's Logan Keoughan and Jackson Dakin from Queen's.

In his 11th season guiding the Marauders, Preston led his team to first place in the OUA with a 17-1 record.

McMaster won 51 of 63 sets in league play and was the top offensive team in Ontario with a combined .291 hitting percentage.

Including his nine seasons as head coach at Western, he has compiled a career record of 248-72 in conference action. Last weekend, he led the Marauders to their fourth OUA title in six years.

Dalhousie's Dan Ota, Laval's Pascal Clement and Saskatchewan's Brian Gavlas were the other nominees.

Volleyball (Photo: Maurizio Lagana/Getty Images)

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(Photo: Maurizio Lagana/Getty Images)
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