University of Calgary

Dinos volleyball

February 28, 2011

Volleyball domination

By Ben Matchett

Fourth-year University of Calgary middle Graham Vigrass is the 2010-11 Canada West men’s volleyball player of the year.

Vigrass joins Dinos head coach Rod Durrant as a major award winner in the conference, with Durrant bringing home the coach of the year award as well.

Vigrass and setter Jay Blankenau were also named to the first all-star team in Canada West. The Dinos (16-2) open the Canada West Final Four Friday night with a semi-final tilt against the Trinity Western Spartans at the University of Alberta in Edmonton. Calgary has clinched a berth at next week’s national championship tournament, where they will defend their title at the Langley Events Centre in Langley, B.C.

A year after winning the CIS title and earning national championship MVP honours, fourth-year Calgary Dinos middle Graham Vigrass is the 2010-11 Canada West most valuable player.

Vigrass had an outstanding season, leading the Dinos to a 16-2 record and their second straight appearance at the national tournament. He finished the season second in the conference in hitting percentage, third in kills and fourth in total blocks.

Vigrass is a fourth-year Faculty of Science student at the University of Calgary.

“Graham’s play this season has been outstanding,” says Durrant. “He has developed into an all-round player in the front row and the back of the court. He leads by example and is a huge part of our team’s success this season.”

Durrant has a lot to be proud of. After taking over a team that finished 4-14 in his first season, Durrant quickly rebuilt the Dinos into a national powerhouse. His team’s record has improved every year, culminating in the 2010 CIS championship title — the school’s first since 1993 and fourth overall.

This season the Dinos wrapped up their third straight second-place finish with a 16-2 record and went undefeated into the final weekend of the season. The defending champs lost just 16 sets in 18 matches and have qualified for CIS Nationals once again.

“I congratulate Rod on this outstanding accomplishment,” says Dr. Wayne Giles, dean of kinesiology at the University of Calgary. “He has quickly re-established Dinos men’s volleyball as one of the top programs in Canada, and our team consistently performs at a high level under his direction. We wish him and the players the best of luck as they head back to the national championships next week.”

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