Men’s Volleyball News

Isaac Heslinga of Alberta has been named the 2024 most outstanding player of the year in U SPORTS men’s volleyball. The announcement was made Thursday night at the All-Canadian Awards Ceremony in Kingston, Ont., site of the 2024 championship tournament.

Other major award winners include Piers de Greeff of Trinity Western, who was named U SPORTS rookie of the year; Scott Mann of UNB, who took home the student-athlete community service award; and Pat Hennelly of Thompson Rivers, who won the Fox40 Coach of the Year Award.

The 2024 U SPORTS Men’s Volleyball Championship gets underway on Thursday at the Athletics and Recreation Centre on the campus of Queen’s University. Play continues through to the gold medal game, which is set for 7 p.m. on Sunday.

View the official championship website.

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Most Outstanding Player of the Year  – Isaac Heslinga, Alberta

Third year outside Isaac Heslinga was named the 2023/24 U SPORTS men’s volleyball player of the year.

The Orangeville, Ont. product finished fourth in Canada West with 373 kills and third with 446.5 points, adding 39 aces and 142 digs. His remarkable .380 attack percentage was tops in the conference and second in U SPORTS, as he led the Golden Bears to an 18-6 regular season record and 5-1 record in the Canada West playoffs.

His kill total is the third most ever for a Bear in a single season, while his 4.14 kills per set is the highest by an Alberta athlete since the turn of the century. Only one Bear has ever recorded more than Heslinga’s 446.5 points in a single season.

Heslinga is the 11th Golden Bear to be named the U SPORTS Player of the Year.

Other nominees: Jonathan Portelance (Sherbrooke), Erik Siksna (Queen’s).

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Rookie of the Year – Piers de Greeff, Trinity Western

Piers de Greeff of Trinity Western took home the title as U SPORTS rookie of the year after posting 193 kills, 115 digs and 0.33 blocks per set in 19 games.

The first year outside hitter from Victoria also led the Spartans in digs per set at 1.39 and was third for kills (193), kills per set (2.33), points (217), and points per set (2.6) helping his Spartans to a 16-8 regular season record and a berth in the U SPORTS championship after advancing to the Canada West final.

The Pacific Christian School alumnus is the fourth Trinity Western player to nab rookie-of-the-year honours, following Eric Loeppky (2017), Adam Schriemer (2014), and Chris Meehan (2002). Schriemer and Loeppky both went on to capture national player of the year awards later in their careers.

Other nominees: Lex Guimond (UNB), Brady Paterson (McMaster)

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Dale Iwanoczko Awards (student-athlete community service) – Scott Mann (UNB)

In his third competitive season with the Reds, Scott Mann continues to exemplify all that it means to be a student-athlete. A three-time Academic All-Canadian, Mann boast a 4.3 grade point average in his Bachelor of Science program and will continue his studies next year in UNB’s Bio-Chemistry Master’s program.

His community service includes helping to organize and deliver toys, food, and clothing for an adopted family at Christmas, and contributes a great deal of time to numerous community efforts as men’s volleyball’s representative on UNB’s Athletes’ Council.

In his hometown of Winnipeg, Mann helps prepare and serve meals at the Immaculate Conception Drop-In Centre, builds and repairs bicycles for children and young adults in a program named ‘The Wrench,’ and has helped raise more than $30,000 for Crohn’s Disease and the Children’s Hospital Foundation of Manitoba through the Maroon and White Society.

On the court, Mann was UNB’s starting libero in all 16 regular season matches during the 2023-24 season finishing second in the RSEQ in digs and digs per set and was one of the top serve receivers in the conference.

Other nominees: Lhexen Rabit (Queen’s), Grayden Wiebe (Alberta)

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Fox 40 Coach of the Year – Pat Hennelly, Thompson Rivers

Thompson Rivers’ Pat Hennelly has been named Fox40 U SPORTS Coach of the Year - the first Coach of the Year at the U SPORTS level in WolfPack history – comes after a season of unimaginable circumstances.

After a tragic car crash on November 29 took the life of Owyn McInnis and caused both Riley Brinnen and Owen Waterhouse life-altering injuries, Hennelly took on the role of much more than a coach on the court to help guide his team.

Just narrowly missing out on the playoff this season with a record of 11-13, TRU scored victories over five teams that finished the season ranked in the U SPORTS Top 10. They picked up wins over No. 2 Alberta, No. 3 Mount Royal, No. 6 UBC, No. 7 Saskatchewan and No. 9 Winnipeg.

Hennelly, who has coached TRU since the program made the move to the university level in 2005-06, has led TRU to the CW postseason 10 times and has over 150 regular season wins to his name. He also has three appearances at the U SPORTS National Championship on his resume including a national bronze medal finish.

While the honour is Hennelly’s first time winning a U SPORTS award, he has coached three previous players to national awards: Kevin Tillie (2009-10 Rookie of the Year) as well as Brad Gunter (2013-14) and Colin Carson (2013-14).

Other nominees: Cal Wigston (Guelph), Pat Hennelly (Thompson Rivers)


Player of the year: Issac Heslinga (Alberta)

Rookie of the year: Piers de Greeff (Trinity Western)

Dale Iwanoczko Award (student-athlete community service): Scott Mann (UNB)

Fox 40 Coach of the Year: Pat Hennelly (Thompson Rivers)

First Team All-Canadians

Athlete                      University          Pos      Year     Hometown              Academic Program

Isaac Heslinga           Alberta               OH       3          Orangeville, Ont.      Engineering

Jonathan Portelance  Sherbrooke         S         3          Sherbrooke, Que.    Education

Zachary Hollands       Sherbrooke         OH       3          Victoriaville, Que.     Elec. Engineering

Erik Siksna                Queen’s              OH       4          Markham, Ont.         Commerce

Maxime Gratton         McMaster           OH       4          Ottawa, Ont.            Social Psychology

Chris Byam                Mount Royal       OH       4          Bow Island, Alta.      Physical Education

Henry Rempel            Trinity Western   OPP     4          Swift Current, Sask. Human Kinetics


Second Team All-Canadians

Athlete                      University          Pos      Year     Hometown              Academic Program

Nicolas Fortin             Laval                  OH       4          Clermont, Que.        Immunology (Master’s)

Jonathan Girard         Laval                  MB       4          Donnacona, Que.     M.B.A.

Jonathan Pickett        Guelph               S/Lib    4          Wiarton, Ont.           Sport & Event Management

Darian Koskie            Windsor              MB       3          Winnipeg, Man.       Business Administration

Brendan Mills             McMaster           OH       3          London, Ont.           Environment & Society

Isiah Olfert                 Winnipeg            OH       4          Winnipeg, Man.       Kinesiology & Applied Health

Mason Greves           UBC                   S          3          Calgary, Alta.           Natural Resources Conservation


All-Rookie Team

Athlete                      University          Pos      Hometown                         Academic Program

Piers de Greeff           Trinity Western   OH       Victoria, B.C.                       Human Kinetics

Lex Guimond             UNB                   MB       Baie-Ste-Anne, N.B.            Kinesiology

Brady Paterson          McMaster           OH       Baden, Ont.                         Social Sciences

Jack Svendsen          Nipissing            S          Whitby, Ont.                        Business Administration

Quintin Greenidge      Windsor              Lib       Hamilton, Ont.                     Environmental Science

Grant Hill                   Mount Royal       S          Calgary, Alta.                      Business

Jacob Baird               Saskatchewan    MB       Daisy Hill, Qld., Australia      Arts & Science