Kiera Van Ryk (right, #3 in white) hits the volleyball during action with UBC Thunderbirds in February. (Photo: Rich Lam/UBC Athletics)

Kiera Van Ryk (right, #3 in white) hits the volleyball during action with UBC Thunderbirds in February. (Photo: Rich Lam/UBC Athletics)

UNIVERSITY VOLLEYBALL

She’s killing it: Surrey’s Van Ryk named Canada West women’s volleyball player of the year

In a vote by 13 university coaches, Surrey Christian grad tops the competition

Surrey-raised Kiera Van Ryk killed her way to become the Canada West women’s volleyball player of the year.

The second-year UBC Thunderbirds athlete earned the honour Tuesday (March 5), in an announcement by the league in the lead-up to the U SPORTS national championship, played at Edmonton’s University of Alberta starting March 15.

Van Ryk, a Surrey Christian school grad and national team player, was picked as the conference’s best by the head coaches of the 13 women’s volleyball squads in Canada West.

An outside hitter who was named the conference’s top rookie a year ago, Van Ryk was dominant for UBC this season, topping the conference in kills, with 398, and 489 points. She also ranked eighth in hitting percentage, at .263. She was twice named the Canada West female athlete of the month, in November and January.

“I’m very happy for Kiera – without question she’s a very impressive player and has carried a heavy load for us this season,” UBC head coach Doug Reimer said in a release.

“For her to accomplish what she has as a second-year player is so impressive,” Reimer added. “Her high-end is incredible and I’ve been impressed with her development over the season in terms of her consistency of play. Beyond her velocity and skill in attacking and serving, she works so hard and contributes so much defensively and in her passing as well.”

Other Canada West volleyball award winners were Trinity Western’s Savannah Purdy (Rookie of the Year), Ashlee Sandiford (Student-Athlete Community Service) and Melanie Sanford (Coach of the Year), both with the University of Regina.

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