Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Alberta Right-Side Hitter Mitch Irvine Named Top CIS Men's Volleyball Player

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Alberta Right-Side Hitter Mitch Irvine Named Top CIS Men's Volleyball Player

Article excerpt

Irvine is top CIS men's volleyball player

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QUEBEC CITY, Que. - 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. …

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