VIU honours its athletes of the year after seasons in which every team excelled

B.C.’s best college sports schools, year after year, honor their best this week.

Vancouver Island University held its Annual Athletics Awards Dinner on Thursday 6th April at the Nanaimo campus.

The VIU Mariners add to their trophy collection in significant fashion in 2022-23, with all six of the university’s teams qualifying for their respective national championships. The women’s basketball team won the Canadian University Sports Association title after winning the Western Pacific Athletic Association championship, the women’s soccer team won the national bronze medal and the provincial gold medal, and the men’s soccer team also won the provincial championship. Other highlights of the season include the women’s volleyball team hosting the Nationals and the men’s basketball team going undefeated in the PacWest regular season.

Danielle Hyde, VIU’s athletic director, told the student-athletes at the awards dinner that their dedication to athletics and academics is inspiring.

“Look around, look at our leadership in the room — the support staff, your coaches, your teammates. It’s a dream team, really,” Hyde said. “I keep saying this, but we have something very special here. You are as good as anyone around you, and I’m proud to be with you.”

This year’s Athletes of the Year are both basketball players, with Harriette Mackenzie and Tori Odom honored.

Mackenzie is the MVP of the Nationals and the PacWest Player of the Year in basketball and all sports. She is a CCAA All-Canadian and a First Team PacWest All-Star. Odom is the PacWest Player of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year and a first-line PacWest All-Star.

VIU’s Rookie of the Year honors went to soccer player Jade Dillabough and volleyball player Lucas Torres.

The Mariners Academic Excellence Awards went to volleyball players – Emerson Cooke, who has a perfect A+ average over the past three terms – and Jane Lytvynenko.

The Unsung Heroes, chosen by the coaches, went to soccer players Shea Battie and Jonathan McKenzie, basketball players Kayla Gregory and Noah Lehto, and volleyball players Megan Duffy and Cooke.

This year’s Golden Boot winners as soccer’s top scorer are Battie and Dillabough for the women’s team and Vasilis Bagiopoulos for the men’s team.

As always, VIU Athletics Awards Night also included recognition of previously announced CCAA and PacWest awards.

The 2022-23 CCAA Player of the Year includes volleyball player Lytvynenko and football player Cara Dunlop; the CCAA All-Canadian includes football players Battie, Bagiopoulos and Dunlop, volleyball player Lytvynenko and basketball players Odom and Mackenzie; VIU also has the CCAA Coach of the Year, Matt Kuzminski of the boys basketball team.

At the PacWest, the Players of the Year include McKenzie in basketball and all sports, Odom in basketball, Litvinenko in volleyball and Dunlop in football.

The PacWest Rookie of the Year recipients are Mya Creed in football and Torres in volleyball.

The PacWest Coach of the Year honorees were Bobbie Taylor in football, Shane Hyde in volleyball and Kuzminski in basketball.

Mariners athletes selected as PacWest All-Stars for the 2022-23 season include football players Dunlop, Batty, Olivia Mazurenko, Kanae Yamamoto, Bagiopoulos, Matthew Cobain, Michael Heppel and Michael Heppel. Kenzie; volleyball players Lytvynenko, Linnea Brickwood, Cassidy Kitchen, Mika Yamada, Daniel Mascarenhas and Torres; and basketball players Mackenzie, Ranika Guyton, CJ Buckley, Odom, Richard Henderson and Akoi Yuot.

PacWest All-Rookie honorees include volleyball players Ella Sladden and Torres and basketball player Kiayra Hohlweg.

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