Volleyball player Kiera Van Ryk, now a standout with UBC Thunderbirds, graduated from Surrey Christian School. (Photo: Canada West)

Volleyball player Kiera Van Ryk, now a standout with UBC Thunderbirds, graduated from Surrey Christian School. (Photo: Canada West)

VOLLEYBALL

Surrey’s Van Ryk named a finalist for Canada West athlete of the year

UBC volleyball player was a second-year standout for Thunderbirds

The awards and nominations keep coming for Surrey-raised volleyball player Kiera Van Ryk, now in the running for a crown among top university student-athletes in Western Canada.

The UBC Thunderbirds standout, a Surrey Christian school grad, has been named a finalist for the 2018-19 Canada West Athlete of the Year awards. The conference’s top three male and female student-athletes were announced Wednesday (April 17).

Among women, Van Ryk is a finalist along with Trinity Western’s Seina Kashima (soccer) and Alberta’s Alex Poznikoff (ice hockey). This season, all three were named both the Canada West and U SPORTS Player of the Year in their sports.

Meanwhile, the male finalists this year are Tsawwassen-raised swimmer Markus Thormeyer, also a student at UBC, along with Alberta’s Austin Cole (track and field) and Calgary’s Adam Sinagra (football).

Van Ryk, a second-year outside hitter, was dominant again for UBC this season.

“After being named the conference’s top rookie a year ago, Van Ryk was named the CW Player of the Year in 2018-19, before claiming the U SPORTS Player of the Year award, as she guided the T-Birds to the program’s 12th national title,” says a bio posted to Canada West website.

Van Ryk, a Canadian national team member, topped the conference in kills with 398, and points with 489, while also ranking eighth in hitting percentage at .263.

Canada West’s Athletes of the Year, as selected by the conference’s 17 members, will be unveiled on Tuesday, April 23. The winners move forward as the conference’s nominees for the national awards, which will be handed out Thursday, May 2 at a ceremony in Calgary.

All six student-athletes will receive custom rings to acknowledge their outstanding seasons, in a new partnership between Canada West and Baron Rings.

At UBC earlier this month, Van Ryk and swimmer Emily Overholt tied for the most outstanding female athlete of the year award, given the Marilyn Pomfret Trophy.

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