Devon Cote and Eli Risso each earn a place on the All-Rookie team in Canada West men's volleyball.
KELOWNA, BC -The future looks bright for UBC Okanagan men's volleyball, as announced today, the Heat place two players on the Canada West men's volleyball All-Rookie team - just days before the Canada West Final Four in Edmonton, AB.
Eli Risso and Devon Cote starred together last year at Kelowna Secondary and continued to excel in the volleyball world, playing significant roles as freshmen on a university volleyball team in the toughest conference in the CIS.
Risso, a libero started in nearly all of the matches for the Heat, playing in all but one of the matches. He saw action in 84 sets. The 6-foot two Management student finished third in the conference in both digs per set (2.61) and total digs (219). His season best was an 18 dig performance against MacEwan on February 13th. In 11 of his 23 matches Risso totaled double digits in digs. He was at his best in the three matches prior to the semester break where he finished with 15, 11, and 13 digs, not surprisingly UBCO won two of those three matches.
Cote started the year behind some third, fourth, and fifth year players for the Heat, but it didn't take long for the top high school prospect to make his mark on the Heat squad. He tallied his first kill of his career in the teams first match in the fourth set against the Regina Cougars. For the season Cote would finish with an even 100 kills at an .099 attack rate, the righty swinging outside hitter played in all 24 of UBCO's matches and saw the court in 67 of the team sets. Devon earned his first start of the season on November 14th in Calgary where we twice went for over double digits in kills - Feb. 13 (14), and on Feb. 19 (10) - his 14, against MacEwan is his career best.
Greg Poitras, the head coach of the UBC Okanagan men's volleyball was pleased that two of his first year players received recognition.
"We are very happy with the recognition Devon and Eli have received as these are voted on by conference coaches," said Poitras. "Both Devon and Eli have very quickly made their mark in the Canada West conference. Devon played in several matches this year at leftside and competed well versus our opponents. He has developed into one of our top serve receivers and attackers. Eli started in almost every conference match this season at libero and performed at a level that exceeded our expectations. He has been very sharp and reliable as both a defender and receiver for our squad."
List of Canada West All-Rookies for UBC Okanagan:
2015/16: Eli Risso (MVB), Devon Cote (MVB)
2014/15: Aldrich Berrios (MBB)
2013/14: Lars Bornemann (MVB), Michelle Jackszuk (WVB)
Canada West Universities Athletic Association has been giving out All-Rookie teams since the 2013/14 season.
Canada West Release: http://www.canadawest.org/sports/mvball/2015-16/releases/20160301mvballawards
2015-16 Canada West Men’s Volleyball First All-Star Team
Name / Position / University / Year / Hometown
Brett Walsh / Setter / University of Alberta / 4th / Calgary, AB
Alex Russell / Middle / University of British Columbia / 5th / Surrey, BC
Taylor Arnett / Middle / University of Alberta / 4th / Calgary, AB
Ryley Barnes / Left side, outside / University of Alberta / 5th / St. Paul, AB
Roy Ching / Left side, outside / Brandon University / 4th / Nelson, New Zealand
Brad Gunter / Opposite / Thompson Rivers University / 5th / Courtenay, BC
Jacques Borgeaud / Libero / University of Regina / 5th / Brisbane, Australia
2015-16 Canada West Men’s Volleyball Second All-Star Team
Name / Position / University / Year / Hometown
Josh McKay / Setter / University of Winnipeg / 5th / Winnipeg, MB
Ken Rooney / Middle / University of Manitoba / 4th / Winnipeg, MB
John Goranson / Middle / University of Alberta / 5th / Red Deer, AB
David Bommersbach / Left side, outside / University of Winnipeg / 3rd / Winnipeg, MB
Ryan Sclater / Left side, outside / Trinity Western University / 4th / Port Coquitlam, BC
Devren Dear / Opposite / University of Manitoba / 4th / St. Andrews, MB
Tyler Koslowsky / Libero / Trinity Western University / 5th / Abbotsford, BC
2015-16 Canada West Men’s Volleyball All-Rookie Team
Name / Position / University / Hometown
CJ Gavlas / Setter / University of Saskatchewan / Saskatoon, SK
Max Vriend / Middle / MacEwan University / Barrhead, AB
Sam Taylor-Parks / Middle / Thompson Rivers University / Kelowna, BC
Eli Risso / Libero / UBC Okanagan / Kelowna, BC
Mason Metcalf / Middle / Brandon University / Carman, MB
Kyle Behiels / Middle / Thompson Rivers University / Edmonton, AB
Devon Cote / Outside / UBC Okanagan / Kelowna, BC