Jefferson Hagen, MacEwan Athletics
EDMONTON – Women's soccer player Jamie Erickson and men's hockey goaltender Marc-Olivier Daigle were named the MacEwan athletes of the year during the Griffins' annual awards banquet at the Sutton Place Hotel on Thursday night.
Erickson led a sweep of the major female awards for women's soccer as teammate Hannah Supina was named MacEwan's rookie of the year.
Men's soccer freshman Everett Orgnero won the male rookie of the year award.
Men's hockey won its second-straight Murray Orvis Team of the Year award. And women's volleyball was named the Cathryn Heslep Academic Team of the Year.
Erickson led the Griffins on both ends of the field, excelling at centre-back, repelling the best players in the conference, while also leading the team in scoring. At the end of the 2018 season, she became the first Griffins student-athlete to be named to the Canada West first all-star team.
"It's a huge honour (to win it) out of all the athletes here," said Erickson, who won ahead of finalists Kayla Ivicak of women's basketball and Ashton Simard of women's curling. "Even on my team alone, there's a lot of girls who were great candidates for this award, and on every team, so it means a lot.
"It was the best regular season record we had in program history," she added. "Being a part of that means a lot. The players that have come before us and moved on have put this program in a great spot."
Daigle had the best season by a Griffins goaltender in the program's 21-year history, setting new records for goals against average (1.85), save percentage (.937), wins (16), shutouts (3) and posted the longest shutout streak ever by a Griffins (226:31 minutes).
"It's great," he said after winning ahead of finalists Orgnero of men's soccer and Max Vriend of men's volleyball. "There's so many great nominees out there, like Max from the volleyball team and Everett from the soccer team. They both had tremendous seasons.
"I owe this to my coaching staff, from my head coach Mike (Ringrose), to my assistant coaches Sean (Ringrose), Zack (Dailey) and my goalie coach Kurtis Mucha. Also, all my teammates. We created something really special this year with what happened to us. To win this award, it's a really good feeling."
Orgnero, who shattered the MacEwan men's soccer program record with eight goals in his rookie season, was up for both male athlete of the year and rookie, winning the latter. He finished ahead of finalists Andrew Kartusch of men's hockey and Reid Woodman of men's golf in a vote amongst athletics staff and coaches.
"I think it's a huge honour," he said. "It's a step forward in the program to show how this school can bring in players who can compete at the U SPORTS level. The program's making strides forward to improve and develop their team and bring in guys who can do good things on the field."
Men's soccer striker Everett Orgnero had a tremendous rookie season and was rewarded as MacEwan's male rookie athlete of the year (Jefferson Hagen photo).
Supina, who won the female rookie of the year ahead of finalists Emma Steele of cross-country and indoor track, and Jayme Doyle of women's hockey, made it two years in a row that a women's soccer player has won the award, following in the footsteps of Brittany Costa who won in 2017-18.
"It's amazing," said Supina, who became the first female MacEwan student-athlete to be named to the U SPORTS All-Rookie team at the end of the 2018 season. "I'm just so thankful for my coach and for my team. I couldn't have done it without them.
"I was not expecting to get the playing time that I did, so to get the opportunity to prove myself is just such a blessing."
Women's soccer defender Hannah Supina, who was the first MacEwan student-athlete ever to make a U SPORTS All Rookie team, was named Griffins Female Rookie of the Year (Jefferson Hagen photo).
Despite a tragic season with the death of teammate Nakehko Lamothe, MacEwan's men's hockey team showed tremendous character in winning their third-straight ACAC Championship. They won a vote for Murray Orvis Team of the Year over finalists women's soccer, women's hockey and women's curling.
"On a personal level, I always think about him every day," said captain Cam Gotaas. "I think every guy here does. He's always with us. This one was for him.
"Team of the year is nice, but there's a lot of good teams here at MacEwan. Anyone could have got it. We were just fortunate it was us. Just to get that one championship for him, it means the world."
The Griffins men's hockey team was named Murray Orvis Team of the Year for a second-straight season (Jaelyn Birch photo).
Women's volleyball won the Cathryn Heslep Academic Team of the Year award after their combined GPA of 3.364 topped six other MacEwan teams with a GPA of 3.0 or higher.
"It's been something Ken (Briggs, head coach) has stressed," said captain Haley Gilfillan. "He always holds us to it that we want to always be top three at the school.
"So, it means a lot that we were able to clinch first place. But it's pretty impressive there were seven teams that were above a 3.0. That's awesome for MacEwan."
The MacEwan women's volleyball team was named Cathryn Heslep Academic Team of the Year (Jaelyn Birch photo).
MVP: Kayla Ivicak
Improved: Hannah Gibb
MVP: Jake Notice
Improved: Abdullah Shittu
Women's Cross Country
MVP: Emma Steele
Improved: Ashley Tymkow
MVP: Scott Kohlman
Improved: Owen Guenette
MVP: Ashton Simard
Improved: Andie Kurjata
MVP: Riley Ross
Improved: Brandon Rubisch
MVP: Hailey Turcotte
Improved: Sky Thompson
MVP: Justin Berget
Improved: Reid Woodman
MVP: Nikki Reimer
Improved: Shyla Kirwer
MVP: Marc-Olivier Daigle
Improved: Ryan Baskerville
Women's Indoor Track
MVP: Ember Large
Improved: Shaunice Burgers
Men's Indoor Track
MVP: Reece Runco
Improved: Caelen Begg
MVP: Jamie Erickson
Improved: Salma Kamel
MVP: Zach Rochat
Improved: Everett Orgnero
MVP: Haley Gilfillan
Improved: Kylie Schubert
MVP: Max Vriend
Improved: Noah Johnson
Minor Official of the Year