Alina Dormann entered the 2017-18 uSports season in fine form, having spent the summer of 2017 with the Canadian senior women’s national team. Dormann represented Canada at the 2017 FISU Summer Universiade in Taipei and went onto have another dominant season for the Blues on the court.
The Ottawa native led the OUA with 3.66 kills per set - good for seventh in the nation - and ranked second in the province and fourth nationally with 4.6 points per set through 18 matches in 2017-18. She also topped Toronto in total attacks (617) and serving aces (32), while ranking second in digs per set (2.49) and third in blocks per set (0.55). Dormann was named the OUA East player of the year for the third consecutive season, while also earning her third career U SPORTS all-Canadian nod. She led Toronto to a 15-4 regular season record and notched a season-high 27.5 points as Toronto topped the Guelph Gryphons, 3-2, to advance to their seventh straight OUA Final Four.
What’s more impressive is that she achieved all of this while pursuing a double major in biology and health & disease at the University of Toronto. The three-time U SPORTS Academic All-Canadian is a highly decorated student of U of T’s Victoria College, having won three of their major academic awards: the Regents Performance Award, given to a student who has excelled academically and who has distinguished themselves through their achievements in the creative or performing arts or athletics; the Helen Mae Woodliffe Scholarship, given to students with outstanding overall A standing; and the John David Steward Scholarship, given to students achieving excellence in the course of their studies.
In addition to her excellence on the court and in the classroom, Dormann makes time to give back to the volleyball community. She volunteered as an assistant coach with the Ontario Volleyball Association (OVA) for the 2018 Ontario Summer Games and served as an assistant coach with Volleyball Position Camp (VPC). Dormann also coaches recreational house league, competitive beach and skills clinics within the Leaside Volleyball Club in Toronto.
“Alina embodies excellence both on and off the court,” said Kristine Drakich, who is in her 30th season as Varsity Blues head coach in 2018-19. “She is an amazing student and athlete. Not only has she been an outstanding player, including representing Canada at the FISU Games in 2017 and being named an All-Canadian, but she has also maintained one of the highest grade point averages in the history of our program.”
The uSports season is back in full swing this weekend, there’s a full schedule across the country! Here’s what you should watch.
The #3 Dalhousie Tigers have been sweeping their way through the AUS this season. dropping only two sets in 9 matches so far this season. One of those sets was to Acadia at the beginning of the season - while the Axewomen’s only two losses have come at the hands of the Tigers. Acadia is led by duo Lucy Glen Carter and Lauren Renzella. The pair sit at #2 & #3 in kills in the AUS with 100 and 90 respectively - trailing only the Tigers’ Julie Moore with 101. Can Acadia make a move on the perennial powers?
W | UBC (8-6) @ MacEwan (7-5) | Friday: 6:00 p.m. PT/9:00 p.m. ET - Saturday 5:00 p.m. PT/8:00 p.m. ET (Pass Required)
With 7 teams within 4 points of each other in the middle of the CanadaWest standings -this weekend’s matchup could give a serious leg up over a crowded groups towards a top 4 spot. MacEwan will be looking to prove they’re the real deal this weekend when they visit the Thunderbirds and the best player in the country. Kiera Van Ryk, fresh off an appearance at the World Championships with the National team, the Surrey B.C. hasn’t missed a beat - tearing her way through her 2nd year in uSports. With an astonishing 305 points in 14 matches, she’s averaging 5.8 points per set and averaging 4.68 kills per set. The Griffins have taken the scoring by committee approach - with 5 five players having scored at least 105 points, a win in Vancouver would be a big statement.
For a team who hasn’t had a winning record in almost a decade - the Waterloo have been the biggest surprise of the uSports season. Putting themselves at the top with statement wins over Western and McMaster -they have a perfect record sit sit at the top of the Division. They’re biggest match-up of the year so far will be in Toronto on Sunday. While the Varsity Blues may have a pair of losses to Western and Queens - they still have the best player in the conference Alina Dormann, who sits 4th in OUA scoring with 129.5 points while averaging 3.67 kills/set, and Brianna Patrick who sits in 5th with 118 points. This will be the Warriors first test against a Nationally ranked opponent - can they prove they’re the real deal?
A classic match-up no matter what - this one will be especially import as it determines who gets to sit in sole possession of 2nd in the OUA West. Kelsey Veltman leads the OUA in scoring with 146.5 points and a .286 efficiency - and is the engine who runs the Mustangs. For the Marauders, Jessie Nairn has been having a breakout season. Leading McMaster with 115 points and averaging 2.97 kills/set - she also sits 2nd in digs with 47.
M | #1 Brandon (12-2) @ #4 Alberta (11-1) | Friday 6:00 p.m. MT/8:00 p.m. ET - Saturday 6:30 p.m. MT/8:30 p.m. ET (Game of the Week Free Match in Friday)
The Bobcats stand atop of the uSports men’s volleyball rankings for the first time in program history - but they won’t have time to take a a breath at top as they travel to Edmonton this weekend to take on the Golden Bears. A pair of 3-0 wins over the previously #1 Trinity Western Spartans last weekend was a statement heard across Canada - they’re going to have to play just as well, in a match up that should essentially determine the favourite heading into the playoffs. The Golden Bears’ sole loss came at the hands of the Spartans, and they have a veteran team that has a great case to be the best team in the country. Taryq Sani’s move to the outside has produced some explosive results as he sits 5th in the conference in kills with 164 and has a team high 191 points. If someone grabs a pair of W’s - they undoubtably have a strangle hold on the top stop in the Canada West.
M | #5 Mount Royal (9-3) @ #9 Thompson Rivers (7-3) | Friday 6:45 p.m. PT/9:45 p.m. ET (Pass Required)
This match-up between the biggest biggest sluggers in the league has huge implications both in standings and National Ranking. MRU’s Tyler Schimdt and TRU’s Tim Dobbert sit 1-2 in kills and points per set. While Schimdt, averaging 5.7 points/set has played two more matches than Dobbert, his 220 kills lead the league while Dobbert, averaging 5.0 points/set, has 181 tallies for second. Both teams sit with 3 losses and are fighting for fourth place - so a pair of wins here could mean homecourt advantage come the playoffs - not to mention a boost in the National Rankings.
This first matchup of the year will likely determine top spot in the OUA West. Windsor picked up right where they left off last season with a Bronze at Provincials and their first appearance at Nationals and are making a serious case to being the top team in the OUA. Despite McMaster looking a little human this year with a pair of losses - they’re still the top dog until someone takes the Forsyth Cup away from them. Andrew Richards is still world-class - sitting 4th in points with 128.5 points, while he and Nathan Delguidice sit 4-5 averaging 4.7 and 4.6 points/set respectively. On Windsor’s side of things - Pierce Johnson has been a machine - averaging 4.09 kills/set at a .356 efficiency and sits in 3rd with 154.5 points. No matter what happens Saturday - this will quite possibly be a preview of the OUA Final.
For the first time in FIVB history - two Canadian teams will face-off in the Finals of an FIVB event!
Melissa-Humana Paredes & Sarah Pavan take on Brandie Wilkerson & Heather Bansley at 4:00 p.m. ET / 1:00 p.m. PT!
Summer is fading as we move on to fall, and the 2018 beach season is over - and it's awards time. A trio of Canadians - Melissa Humaña-Paredes, Brandie Wilkerson, and Heather Bansley have all been recognized by the FIVB as being at the top of their class.
Heather Bansley - Best Defensive Player
For the third time in four years, Heather Bansley is the Best Defensive Player in the FIVB. This doesn't come to a surprise to anyone as Bansley has made a living and scrambling around in the back row since her days as a Varsity Blue - but this year it was on full-force as it propelled her to a career-best No. 4 Rank in the FIVB World Rankings.
At this point - Bansley is cementing herself as the best Canadian Defender of All-Time - of either gender. As the only one to ever win the award - let alone three - she's basically in a class of her own at this point. When you consider she's won the award with two different partners - you really
Brandie Wilkerson - Best Blocker
It was honestly just matter of time until Brandie Wilkerson won this award as there's little doubt she has the biggest block on tour - pretty much as certain as hearing the "My Block" song while she's playing centre court. In only her second full-season on the World Tour - Wilkerson is now one of the most feared blockers on tour - and she'll let you know when she gets you.
We may be biased, but Brandie could have also won the Most Improved Player of the Year Award (No offence to to Australia's Mariafe Artacho del Solar). Her dominance at the net makes even the best hitters pull out the roll shot - only to have it swatted back.
Melissa Humaña-Paredes - Best Setter
Rookie of the Year, Most Improved, and now Best Setter - Melissa Humaña-Paredes is just collecting them all. Her third award is her first skill-based nod - and there's little doubt Melissa is one of the silkiest setters in the world. In system or in transition, on the net net or off, her dynamic setting opens up the offence.
The most impressive part of her game however
Sarah Pavan & Melissa Humaña-Paredes of are up for Performance of the Year at the 2018 Canadian Sport Awards!
The pair had a historic season - not only capturing first-ever Gold Medal in Beach Volleyball at the Commonwealth Games, but also by being the first Canadian team to be ranked #1 in the World and also capturing the Gstaad 5-Star in Switzerland!
One last tournament remains in the 2018 FIVB World Tour season - and it's all coming to a close in Hamburg, Germany at World Tour Finals. The Top 12 Men's and Women's teams compete for this year's largest prize: $150,000 and the crown of World Tour Champs.
To no one's surprise - both teams of Sarah Pavan & Melissa Humana-Paredes (World No. 4) and Heather Bansley & Brandie Wilkerson (World No. 5) have qualified for the finals.
Despite having attended all three editions of The Finals - no Canadian team has ever reached the podium, having finished fourth in all three years. Sarah & Heather finished just off the podium in Ft. Lauderdale in 2015, Ben Saxton & Chaim Schalk got close at home in Toronto in 2016, and Mel & Sarah came home empty handed last year in Gstaad.
Wednesday August 15th
🇦🇺Artacho Del Solar/Clancy def. 🇨🇦Sarah Pavan & Melissa Humana-Paredes - 21-16, 21-19
🇨🇦Heather Bansley & Brandie Wilkerson def. 🇳🇱Meppelink/Keizer - 21-16, 21-19
Thursday August 16th
🇨🇦Heather Bansley & Brandie Wilkerson def. 🇧🇷Carol/Maria Antonelli - 21-17, 21-16
🇧🇷Agatha/Duda def. 🇨🇦Sarah Pavan & Melissa Humana-Paredes vs. - 21-19, 21-15
Friday August 17th
🇨🇦Heather Bansley & Brandie Wilkerson def. 🇺🇸Hughes/Ross - 22-20, 21-14, 15-10
🇨🇦Sarah Pavan & Melissa Humana-Paredes def. 🇨🇿Hermannova/Slukova - 21-17, 21-19
🇨🇦Heather Bansley & Brandie Wilkerson vs. 🇩🇪Laboureur/Sude - 12:00 p.m. ET | COURT 1
🇨🇦Sarah Pavan & Melissa Humana-Paredes vs. 🇩🇪Bieneck/Schneider - 1:00 p.m. ET | COURT 1
All matches can be viewed live & on-demand on the Beachstream for € 4.99 incl. taxes. Watch it online or download the BeachMajors App to watch it on your phone or tablet!
The 2018 FIVB World Tour season is coming to a close, and the world's best move on to Moscow for the final event before the World Tour Finals in Hamburg.
Two Canadian teams will be competing trying to bounce back from season-worst results across the board in Vienna where not one team made it into the Top Ten - a first for the 2018 season. Sarah Pavan & Melissa Humana-Paredes are looking to bounce back from a season-worst 17th to get geared up for next week's Hamburg World Tour Finals - while Ben Saxton & Grant O'Gorman are looking to finish off their first season together on a high note.
Thursday August 8th
🇨🇦Sarah Pavan & Melissa Humana-Paredes def. 🇷🇺Syrtseva/Moiseeva - 21-16, 21-10
🇷🇺Krasilnikov/Liamin def. 🇨🇦Ben Saxton & Grant O'Gorman - 21-18, 21-14
🇨🇦Sarah Pavan & Melissa Humana-Paredes def. 🇫🇮Lahti/Parkkinen - 21-19, 21-14
Friday August 9th
🇨🇦Ben Saxton & Grant O'Gorman vs. 🇱🇹Rumsevicius/Kazdailis - TBD
🇹🇹Trinidad & Tobago
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Toronto, Ontario: ONE Volleyball is pleased to introduce Galaxy Volleyball Club as the latest club to purchase a team in the 2017 Premier League. They come with two experienced coaches, Paul Coderre and Chris Wilkins, who will co-coach Galaxy’s women’s program.
Paul Coderre comes with 30 years of playing experience and 12 years coaching experience at the Youth Club level. He was the Region 5 ADP Chair in 2014, and was part of the most successful Ontario Winter Games in Region 5 history - winning a Women’s Gold and Bronze medal, as well as a Men’s Gold medal. Coderre was selected to represent Team Canada’s Deaf National Team at the 2016 Pan Am Games, and 2016 World Games.
“Galaxy Volleyball is excited to own a Premier League Team as it aligns with our goals of growing the sport of volleyball within Toronto and the extended communities. By linking a pro-am team and those athletes to our club system, we can provide a continuum of volleyball services as athletes progress in the sport. Most importantly, our young club athletes will gain access to mentors who have played at the highest levels to help guide them on their journeys,” Coderre states on behalf of Galaxy Volleyball Club.
Co-coach Chris Wilkins adds a depth of experience coaching a successful women’s program, having won his 10th consecutive (OCAA) Ontario Championship with the Humber Hawks last season - currently on a 130 game winning streak. The Humber Women’s program has produced both National Team and Professional athletes, and has the most successful record in OCAA history.
“I’m excited to be involved as a Coach with Premier Volleyball League to help enhance the sport across the Country. The creators of ONE Volleyball have found new and creative ways to promote the sport and provide a vision to grow volleyball in a fresh exciting way and I want to be a part of that.
This new approach to create a high level league that allows for players to reach their peak performance has been a long time coming. With the right level of input this is sure to be just step-one of what we will look back on as game changing for thousands of elite volleyball players down the road,” Wilkins says.
Toronto, Ontario: ONE Volleyball is proud to announce Unity Volleyball’s partnership with the Premier League this summer in Toronto, Ontario, through their purchase of one men’s and one women’s team.
“We believe in the power of coming together to build, innovate and change sport for the better. Our involvement in Premier League allows us to not only complete our vision of helping prepare athletes at any age with the skills necessary to accomplish their dreams, but we believe this creates local role models for our own athletes to aspire to,” says Daniel Shermer, president of Unity Volleyball. “Owning a team in the Premier League positively adds to our community.”
Unity Volleyball has signed head coach Orest Stanko to their men’s program for the 2017 season. Stanko comes with an extensive history of success in the volleyball community, having coached the University of Toronto’s men’s volleyball team to 13 OUA Championships and was the OUA coach of the year seven (7) times. In addition, he has coached both Team Ontario at the Canada Games, and the National Beach Volleyball Team. “I am excited to be a part of this potentially ground-breaking opportunity for our sport in Canada,” Stanko states.
About: The Premier League is comprised of four men’s and four women’s elite teams that compete in a league over the course of 2 months, with a final championship at the end. It aims to support the professional development of post-secondary athletes through their participation in League programs and training opportunities.
Tickets go on sale May 23rd, visit www.onevolleyball.org for more information.
Toronto, Ontario: ONE Volleyball is excited to announce its newest partnership with lululemon for the inaugural Premier Volleyball League in Toronto, Ontario. lululemon’s involvement in the Premier League includes supplying jersey’s for every athlete, which are to be unveiled at the lululemon Draft Night – May 18th at 318 Queen Street.
“Since inception, lululemon has been well known for its unique roots and strong sense of community. The Premier League is an opportunity to further connect with the volleyball community and assist ONE Volleyball and it’s athletes, in growing the game of volleyball in Canada,” says Nathaniel Virgo, lululemon team program representative.
“As a major influencer on the fitness industry and leader in the education of wellness, lululemon provides the perfect partner for ONE Volleyball’s values and programs.” Co-founder Jolande Amoraal says, “Their recent affiliation to beach volleyball at the 2016 Olympic Games and with social influencers such as Kerri Walsh make their transition to the hard-court very natural.”
About: The Premier League is comprised of four men’s and four women’s elite teams that compete in a league over the course of 2 months, with a final championship at the end. The lululemon Draft Night is closed to the public but will be live-streamed via our media partner Volleyball Source.
Tickets go on sale May 23rd, visit www.onevolleyball.org for more information.
We're proud to announce our partnership with ONE Volleyball to bring you complete coverage of the ONE Volleyball Premier League - Elite level volleyball coming to Toronto this summer.
The Premier League is comprised of 4 men's and 4 women's teams made up of the best athletes in Toronto. Each team will play each other twice over the course of 2 months with a final four championship at the end. Athletes are selected to teams in the inaugural year through a closed athlete draft.
Volleyball Source is the official media partner of ONE Volleyball - bringing you comprehensive coverage all summer long - from a live broadcast of the Lulemon Premier Draft, exclusive coverage of athletes, and live streams of every single match.
To participate: Athletes wishing to compete in the Premier League must apply to be in the Lululemon Premier Draft, where they have the opportunity to be selected to a team. We would like to encourage anyone who is interested to apply!
Deadline to register for the Draft: May 8, 2017
Athletes will never be required to pay a fee to play in the Premier League. Athletes that are part of the winning team will be awarded a contract bonus from the team's earnings.
While the indoor season wraps up here, some of our Canadian beach players arrived in Sydney, Australia for the first FIVB World Tour 2 Star event. On Thursday we saw Davis/Cockrell go up against Australia's own Bartoli/Jenkins, the Aussies took the set 2 straight (both 21-18). Yesterday, Gordon/Saxton had more success against the American team Pavlik/Dowdy, taking the set 2-1 (24-22, 21-16, 15-13). After winning their quarter final game this morning (2-0) against Dicello/Stockman, they'll move on to face Bawden/Laird in the semi-finals at 7:00 PM/ET.
You can watch all the games here!