Two U of G athletes have been honoured with Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) player of the year awards. They were announced Wednesday night during the All-Canadian Banquet at the Holiday Inn Guelph Hotel and Convention Centre.
Brienne Stairs, a fourth-year student and forward for the Gryphon’s women’s field hockey team, received the award for the second year in a row. She is the second multiple recipient of the award in her sport since its inception in 1992.
After claiming back-to-back Ontario University Athletics (OUA) scoring titles with 19 goals in 13 games in 2008 and 30 markers in 14 matches in 2009, Stairs was even better this season with 32 goals in 14 league contests, 17 more than her closest competitor.
Stairs was also named the OUA field hockey player of the year. She is a former first-team All-Canadian and three-time OUA All-Star. In 2009, she was named Player of the Year by both the OUA and CIS.
“Brie is an extraordinary athlete with the wow factor,” said Guelph head coach Michelle Turley. “What immediately attracts attention to Brie is her natural speed, quick hands and outrageous level of competition. She has a work ethic second to none, which is an inspiration to all of her teammates. Anyone who has the opportunity to see her in action is astonished.”
In women’s rugby, fourth-year student Jacey Murphy captured CIS Player of the Year honours. She is the third Gryphon to earn the award since the sport made its CIS debut in 1998.
Murphy tallied a league-best 17 tries in only five conference games – six more than any other player – while finishing second in scoring with 85 points. She was also named an OUA All-Star and a CIS All-Canadian for the second straight year.
“Jacey is an excellent leader by example,” said Guelph head coach Colette McCauley. “Her work rate around the field is exceptional. She is both effective in close contact as well as open field play, which makes it difficult for the opposition to stop her.”