After being selected to the conference's all-rookie team last week, the UBC Okanagan Heat's outside hitter, Amaya Perry, has been selected as the 2019-20 recipient of the Canada West rookie of the year award.
Perry is the first Heat athlete to win the conference's top award for first-year players.
"We counted on Amaya to play like a veteran all season, and she did not disappoint," said Steve Manuel. The head coach for the UBCO women's volleyball team then added that Perry "Is fearless from the service line, and she used her devastating float serve as a weapon to keep teams off balance every single time she stepped back to the end line."
"A joy to coach and a fierce competitor, our coaching staff is excited to continue to work with her in the coming years and we couldn't be happier for her win of this much-deserved award. We also wish her the best of luck as she goes on as a candidate for the national rookie of the year."
Perry now becomes the CW nominee for the Mark Tennant Award as U SPORTS rookie of the year. No UBCO player has ever won the national award.
Coach Manuel was a bit understated in his praise of Perry's skills from the service line, she was not just fearless but she was downright lethal. The Chin, Alberta product racked up a whopping 59 aces during the season, setting the school single-season mark by 13. Perry's mark is fourth all-time in Canada West in a season.
The freshman from Lethbridge's Catholic Central High has led the UBCO offensive attack for most of the 2019 campaign. Perry finished second for the Heat this season in total kills with 227, in total attacks with 679, and in points with 304.5. Those 227 kills were the top-mark amongst first-year players across the nation.
Perry posted a career-high 19 kills in a match against MacEwan on February 1, and on five different occasions recorded a double-double in kills and digs. For the year, Perry finished with 189 total digs.
A career-high of six aces in a match was set by Perry against Manitoba on November 1. She recorded five aces in a match on four separate occasions and closed out the season strong with four on both nights against Calgary in the season's closing weekend.
The future looks bright for UBCO with Perry bringing home the rookie of the year award and teammate Abi Dueck, also on this year's CW all-rookie team. Combine that with the two Heat members of the 2018-19 all-rookie squad, in Jade Bussard and Sydney Grills, and coach Manuel's program boasts four conference rookie ream members the past two seasons.
Both sophomores' battled injuries this past year, opening the door for Perry's brilliant season. Grills missed the entire conference season after an injury in Regina in the opening weekend. Bussard, was off to a strong second season before an injury forced her out for all but two matches after the holiday break.
List of Canada West Major award winner for UBC Okanagan:
2019/20: Amaya Perry - Rookie of the Year (WVB)
2019/20: Nicholas Reitsma - Community Service Award (MSOC)
2018/19: Jordan Korol - Community Service Award (WBB)
2015/16: Steve Manuel - Coach of the Year (WVB)
2012/13: Steve Manuel - Coach of the Year (WVB)
UBC Okanagan has now earned 3 Canada West major awards since it joined the Canada West Universities Athletic Association in September of 2011 with basketball and volleyball. Soccer started competing in Canada West in the fall of 2014, Cross Country in 2018 and Golf in 2019. UBCO has also competed in the Canada West Women's Rugby Sevens Series in 2019 and will do so again in 2020.