Three St. Thomas University Tommies are among the best in Atlantic Collegiate Athletic Association volleyball.
Deidra Jones and Megan Mills earned first and second team all-conference honours at the championship awards banquet Friday night, while Christian Christie was lauded as the ACAA's top male rookie as well as an all-star.
Christie the Tommies "go to guy"
Christie, a first-year outside hitter from Langley, BC, has been a spark for the Tommies all year. He finished the regular season with 126 kills—the fourth most in the conference—and racked up 60 digs, 12 blocks, and six service aces.
"We had a really young team, so our rookies had to play at a high level if we wanted to compete in this league and Christian took on that challenge," Tommies head coach Henri Mallet said.
"He became our 'go to' guy offensively when we needed a big kill, while remaining a constant force with his passing and serving. By watching him, you wouldn't know he was a rookie and he'll definitely continue to turn some heads during his CCAA career."
Jones and Mills a force for Tommies Women's Volleyball
Jones has been a constant for the Tommies the last three years and has saved her best season for her last. The fifth-year left side hitter from Coxheath, NS, was second in the ACAA in service aces with 54, third in kills with 160, third in points with 224, and fourth in digs with 187.
"Deidra is a complete player who loves defense and making a save nearly as much as finding the floor for a kill," Tommies head coach Don McKay said. "She's worked hard on her consistency and she's had an amazing year for us."
Joining Jones as an all-star is Mills, a second-year left side from Fredericton, NB. The sophomore found her stride in the ACAA this season—in 19 matches Mills tallied 144 kills, 174 digs, 19 blocks, and 14 service aces to help the Tommies to a 15-6 regular season record.
"Megan continues to learn how to handle adversity, but shines when hitting and blocking," McKay said. "Her long reach helps her cut sharply past blocks."
The Tommies earned their place in the conference semifinal against the Holland College Hurricanes after topping the UKC Blue Devils 3-0 in the quarterfinal Friday afternoon. The men's team will play their opening match of the ACAA Championships at 7:00 pm versus the UNBSJ Seawolves.