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UNBC hands out athletic awards

The University of Northern British Columbia’s Athletics department gathered on Friday, April 5 to celebrate the most successful season in school history.

More than 90 student-athletes were in attendance, as team and department-wide awards were handed out, and graduating players were recognized for their time in Timberwolves colours.
Prince George product Anthony Preston earned Male Rookie of the Year for his freshman campaign with the Men’s soccer team. The rookie appeared in 14 games for the Timberwolves, making four starts. He scored two goals and added two assists, finishing second on the team in points. Preston was thrust into a number of high-pressure situations and thrived, impressing with his approach to the game.
Kiana Swift was awarded the Female Rookie of the Year, following a year in which she made a major impact on the Women’s soccer program. The Sooke, BC native started all 14 games for the Timberwolves, recording 20 shots and putting the conference on the notice with her tenacity and work ethic in the midfield.

For the second consecutive year, Gordon Hall earned the Male Athlete of the Year Award, as he made more UNBC history for the Men’s soccer team. The fifth-year centreback was a stalwart defensively, earning First Team Canada West All-Star distinction; the first Timberwolf to net the honour. The Chilliwack native’s conference all-star nod was also the third of his career, the only UNBC athlete to win a trio of nods in his or her career.

Vasiliki Louka put a cap on her historic UNBC career with a third consecutive Female Athlete of the Year Award. The Athens, Greece native led Canada West in rebounding with 12.7 per game, and was top ten in points (17.3 per game) and blocks (1.1 per game). Her 17 double-doubles were the second most in a single Canada West season, and she became the UNBC all-time leader in points, rebounds, minutes, and blocks. Louka was the first Timberwolf female athlete to be named a First Team Canada West All-Star.

The KJM Sales Timberwolf Award, handed out to the student-athlete who excels in athletics, academics, and community service, was split this year between men’s soccer player Francesco Bartolillo and women’s basketball player Emily Holmes. Bartolillo, who won the award in 2017 and 2018, was named the U SPORTS National Student-Athlete Community Service Award winner for soccer, while Holmes serves as President of the Timberwolves Student Athlete Society. They were both critical in a number of fundraising and charitable efforts.

UNBC also recognized its Canada West All-Stars for the 2018-2019 campaign. Gordon Hall was named a first-team all-star in Men’s soccer, while Paige Payne earned second team all-star honours in Women’s soccer. On the hardcourt, Vasiliki Louka was a first team all-star, while her teammate Maria Mongomo was named a third-teamer. Jovan Leamy was honoured as a third team all-star in Men’s basketball.

The Timberwolves also welcomed Bev Best of the UNBC First Nations Centre, who gifted the graduating athletes with traditional Aboriginal drums. This year, varsity athletes were trained in the art and customs of creating the drums, and built the drums the graduating seniors received. Receiving custom drums were Kylie Erb, Madison Emmond, Abby Gibb, Vasiliki Louka, Jesse Rake, Josh McAvoy, Scott Brown, Clay Kiiskila, Emmanuel Drame, Francesco Bartolillo, Conrad Rowlands, Matt Jubinville, Liam Stewart, Gordon Hall, Austin Chandler, Jovan Leamy, James Agyeman, and Vaggelis Loukas.

Team awards were also handed out, and are as follows:
Men’s Soccer:
Golden Boot – Francesco Bartolillo
Defensive Player –  Gordon Hall
Coach’s Award – Francesco Bartolillo
Most Valuable Player – Gordon Hall

Men’s Basketball:

Rookie of the Year Award – Chris Ross and Spencer Ledoux
Zane Robison Award – Vova Pluzhnikov
Best Defensive Player Award – Austin Chandler
Most Outstanding Player Award – Jovan Leamy
Most Inspirational Player Award – Vaggelis Loukas and James Agyeman
Practice Wins Leader – Vaggelis Loukas

Women’s Basketball:

Best Defensive Player – Maria Mongomo
Most Improved Player – Madison Landry
Rookie of the Year – Lucy Guan and Cevanna Carlson
Leadership Award – Abby Gibb
Most Valuable Player – Vasiliki Louka

Women’s Soccer:

Offensive Player of the Year – Paige Payne
Defensive Player of the Year – Mara McCleary
Green & Gold Award – Robyn Zinkan
Most Valuable Player – Madison Emmond & Paige Payne