Volleyball stars Christian Christie and Deidra Jones earned top honours at the St. Thomas University Athletics Banquet as the Tommies male and female Athlete of the Year.
Christie, a first-year outside hitter from Langley, BC, was named the men's volleyball Rookie of the Year and team MVP, while Jones was dubbed the top player for women's volleyball.
Christie had a remarkable debut with the Green and Gold, earning the Atlantic Collegiate Athletic Association's Rookie of the Year award as well as a selection to the all-conference team. He finished the regular season with 126 kills, 60 digs, 12 blocks, and six service aces.
His strong play was crucial in claiming the 2017-2018 ACAA title—he boasted 24 kills and 12 digs in the championship match against the Holland College Hurricanes.
Despite his individual success, Christie is most excited to see how the Tommies program will develop over the next few years.
"We have a great young core coming back next year," he said.
"Hopefully we'll win a game at nationals and make it to the semifinal, get a medal, and continue growing every year."
Jones, a fifth-year left side hitter, earned an ACAA first team all-conference award and 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.
Her leadership was key for the young Tommies team that claimed a silver medal after a strong playoff run on home court. Jones was a force throughout that weekend, amassing 36 kills and 35 digs in three games.
"It's a lot about passion," Jones said. "I show a lot of passion on the court and the girls feed off of it. It's an easy thing to catch on to."
The Coxheath, NS, native said Fredericton—and St. Thomas—have left a lasting impression.
"I've never seen a bigger support system from a school, for athletes and students in general. Fredericton stole my heart, so I'm going to stay around for a while."