Source: U SPORTS
Nominees announced for 2019 Lieutenant Governor Athletic Awards Presented by Makadiff SPORTS
April 23, 2019
TORONTO / CALGARY – U SPORTS is proud to announce the eight nominees for the 2019 Lieutenant Governor Athletic Awards Presented by Makadiff SPORTS celebrating the U SPORTS Athletes of the Year for the 2018-19 season.
The 2019 nominees for the Doug Mitchell Trophy presented to the U SPORTS Male Athlete of the Year are football players Adam Sinagra from the Calgary Dinos and Mathieu Betts of the Laval Rouge et Or, Guelph Gryphons soccer player Jace Kotsopoulos, and UNB Reds hockey player Christopher Clapperton.
On the women’s side, the finalists for the Jim Thompson Trophy presented to the U SPORTS Female Athlete of the Year are volleyball players Kiera Van Ryk of the UBC Thunderbirds, Theanna Vernon of the Ryerson Rams and Courtney Baker of the Dalhousie Tigers, and Laval Rouge et Or basketball player Sarah-Jane Marois.
Celebrating their 27th year in 2019, the awards are being relaunched and championed once again by His Honour Doug Mitchell and Her Honour, the Honourable Lois Mitchell, Lieutenant Governor of Alberta.
This year’s event will take place in Calgary on May 1 and 2, where the eight finalists chosen from 56 U SPORTS universities and four conferences from across the nation will once again vie for the top prize. One male and female nominee are chosen to represent Canada West (CW), Ontario University Athletics (OUA), Réseau du sport étudiant du Québec (RSEQ) and Atlantic University Sport (AUS).
The athletes will have the opportunity to participate in a new leadership summit, a formal media conference held at Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame (May 1 - 4 p.m. ET / 1 p.m. PT) and the official awards ceremony at the historic McDougall Centre (May 2 - 2 p.m. ET / 11 a.m. PT). All finalists will return home with a commemorative gold ring from Baron Rings, the Exclusive Provider of championship rings and recognition jewelry of U SPORTS.
The winners will be determined by a combined vote of the Canadian Athletic Foundation – a not-for-profit board chaired by His Honour Doug Mitchell – and the public on USPORTS.ca.
Year of eligibility: 4
Academic Program: Kinesiology
Hometown: Bridgewater, N.S.
Courtney Baker made an immediate impact on the court in her first season with the Tigers.
A dynamic player, she is a talented setter with an excellent hitting percentage and an equally imposing and effective blocker who was ranked in the top 20 in most AUS statistical categories this year.
In her fourth season with the Tigers, she finished second in the conference in hitting efficiency (.368) and added 91 kills (1.63 kills per set), 22 service aces (0.39 service aces per set), and 130.0 points (2.3 points per set).
Baker appeared in 18 matches for the Tigers this year, leading them to a first-place finish in the regular season standings with an 18-2 record. She led them to their seventh straight AUS championship title, earning AUS championship MVP and all-star honours in the process.
In addition to being selected as the AUS MVP for the second year in a row, Baker earned a place as an AUS First Team All-Star for the fourth consecutive year. Her career accomplishments also include having been named to the 2015-16 AUS All-Rookie team in her first season with Dalhousie.
The Bridgewater, N.S., native is also a two-time U SPORTS First Team All-Canadian and has been named Dalhousie’s Class of ’55 Award winner as the Female Athlete of the Year the last two seasons.
The kinesiology major has twice been selected to Volleyball Canada’s senior team.
“Courtney is one of the most outstanding student-athletes that I have had the privilege to coach,” says head coach Rick Scott. “I am most proud of her ability to succeed on the court and in the classroom, while still finding time to volunteer in the community.”
“It's a huge honour to be nominated for this award,” said Baker. “There are so many fantastic athletes nominated and I'm extremely proud to be standing next to them on award night. While it is humbling to be recognized for my hard work, I also recognize that I couldn't have come this far without all of my coaches and teammates along the way, as well as the overwhelming support from my friends and family. Sport has always been extremely important to me. It has provided me with an amazing outlet to stay healthy, happy and to be a part of a team. I'm grateful for the opportunity to play volleyball at such a high level and I can't wait to see where it takes me in the future.”