HAMILTON (U SPORTS) – Jordan Canham of the Alberta Golden Bears has been named the most valuable player in U SPORTS men’s volleyball. The announcement was made on Thursday night at the All-Canadian Awards Ceremony in Hamilton, the host city of the 2023 U SPORTS Men’s Volleyball Championship, presented by Mikasa.
Other major award winners include Jordon Heppner of Manitoba, who was named Rookie of the Year; Cam Kern of Alberta, who won the Student-Athlete Community Service Award; and James Gravelle of Windsor, who was named the Fox40 Coach of the Year.
The 2023 U SPORTS Men’s Volleyball Championship, presented by Mikasa, gets underway on Thursday afternoon at the Burridge Gym on the campus of McMaster University in Hamilton, and play continues through to the gold medal game, which is set for 6 p.m. (Eastern Time) on Sunday. All 11 games of the tournament can be viewed on CBC Sports digital platforms (English) and at usports.ca (French).
Most Valuable Player – Jordan Canham, Alberta
Canham earns the Player of the Year award after a stand-out season that saw the Golden Bear lead his team to a 22-2 regular season record. The outside hitter posted the third-best hitting percentage (.361) in Canada West this year, finishing the season with a team-high 282 kills.
“This is a very well-deserved award for Jordan. He has put a lot of time, energy and teamwork into being the force he is in the Canada West,” said Bears head coach Brock Davidiuk. “He’s a very mature player, which is showcased through his growth as a leader and his high-level understanding of what it takes to be successful.”
The Avonmore, Ont., product led the country in service aces with 49, while posting 363 points on the year. His 49 aces this season and his 99 career aces both set new Alberta program records.
Other nominees: Yassine Kassis (Montréal), Evan Falardeau (Toronto)
Rookie of the Year – Jordon Heppner, Manitoba
Jordon Heppner of the Manitoba Bisons is a dedicated athlete who works on his craft daily, both on and off the court. The Winnipegger was always one of the first players at the facility for practice and game days and showed his value by playing the third-most sets (84) of any player on the team. His offensive prowess was on display all year; he led the team with a .338 hitting percentage on 240 attacks.
“This reward is a testament to his potential and bright future in volleyball,” said Bisons head coach Arndt ‘Lupo’ Ludwig. “We are lucky to have him, and I am excited to see what he will accomplish in the future. This is not the end goal, but rather the start of a promising career.”
The Steinbach Regional Secondary School graduate was just as valuable on the block, where he tied for seventh in the conference with 1.01 blocks per set.
Other nominees: Charles St-Aubin (Laval), Chris Zimmerman (Queen’s)
Student-Athlete Community Service Award – Cam Kern, Alberta
Kern notched the second-most assists in Canada West this season while quarterbacking the nation’s most efficient offence. Off the court, he maintains a 4.0 GPA in kinesiology. The Edmonton product also finds ways to better his community in any way he can. He led a partnership that will see varsity athletes connect with at-risk youth through volleyball. A member of the University of Alberta Athletics Board, Kern organized several big initiatives, like a read-in week for elementary school children.
“His contribution to the community is something very important to him, and something that will leave a tremendously positive impact on our culture and with all those he continues to inspire in the Edmonton area and beyond,” said Brock Davidiuk, the Bears’ head coach. “If that’s not enough, he’s a kids’ church mentor, multi-team volleyball coach, camp counsellor and guest speaker.”
Other nominees: Scott Mann (UNB), Mateusz Wlodarski (McMaster)
Fox 40 Coach of the Year – James Gravelle, Windsor
The Windsor Lancers produced their best regular season result in program history in 2022-23, and at the helm of their monumental mark was Gravelle. He got the best out of his Windsor squad this season, leading them to a 15-5 record and a second-place regular season finish in the OUA. This success also had the Lancers listed in the national rankings multiple times, wrapping up the regular season as the No. 5 squad in the country. In their first-ever OUA Championship appearance, the Lancers claimed the silver medal, capturing their highest achievement to date in the men’s volleyball program history.
“James demonstrates daily the quality of his coaching; with his record of accomplishment and team achievements we are pleased to see him receive national recognition,” said Stephanie White, the athletic director at the University of Windsor.
Other nominees: Mohamed El Fethi Abed (Sherbrooke), Shawn Sky (Mount Royal)
2023 MEN’S VOLLEYBALL AWARDS & ALL-CANADIANS
- Most Valuable Player: Jordan Canham, Alberta
- Rookie of the Year: Jordon Heppner, Manitoba
- Student-Athlete Community Service Award: Cam Kern, Alberta
- Fox40 Coach of the Year: James Gravelle, Windsor
First Team All Canadian
|Jordan Canham||Alberta||OH||4||Avonmore, Ont.||Education|
|Yassine Kassis||Montréal||Lib||5||Sfax, Tunisia||Information technology|
|Evan Falardeau||Toronto||LS||4||Stratford, Ont.||Political Science|
|Chris Byam||Mount Royal||OH||3||Bow Island, Alta.||Health & Physical Education|
|Yoan David||Sherbrooke||OH||3||Sherbrooke, Que.||Computer Science|
|Dylan Mortensen||Saskatchewan||OH||5||Swift Current, Sask.||Business|
|Erik Siksna||Queen's||OH||4||Markham, Ont.||Commerce|
Second Team All-Canadians
|Nicholas Fortin||Laval||OH||3||Clermont, Que.||Microbiology/Immunology (M)|
|Jonathan Portelance||Sherbrooke||S||2||La Prairie, Que.||Education|
|Jackson Young||Nipissing||OH||3||Etobicoke, Ont.||Physical Education and Health|
|Mateusz Wlodarski||McMaster||OH||5||Ottawa, Ont.||Biochemistry (M)|
|Brodie Hofer||Trinity Western||OH||4||Langley, B.C.||Business|
|Matt Neaves||UBC||OH||4||Calgary, Alta.||Commerce|
|Jesse Elser||Trinity Western||OH||4||Calgary, Alta.||Education|
|Jordon Heppner||Manitoba||MB||Winnipeg, MB||University 1|
|Charles St-Aubin||Laval||S||Joliette, Que.||Industrial design|
|Chris Zimmerman||Queen's||S||Prince George, B.C.||Arts & Science|
|Devin Cooney||Brock||OH||Kanata, Ont.||Media & Communication Studies|
|Lucas Condon-Oldreive||Dalhousie||MB||Halifax, N.S.||Engineering|
|Conaire Taub||UBC||OH||Calgary, Alta.||Kinesiology|
|Seba Manuel||UBCO||OH||Kelowna, B.C.||Health & Exercise Sciences|