EDMONTON – Men's volleyball student-athlete Max Vriend is the MacEwan Athletics' first star of the week after breaking his own school record for kills in a match with 32 against UBC-Okanagan on Friday.
The fifth-year outside hitter broke his previous record of 30, set in a match against Manitoba earlier this season, by posting the highest kills output of the season in Canada West and tied for fifth-best all time.
Also recognized this week is second star Shyla Jans of women's hockey and third star Haley Gilfillan of women's volleyball.
It's Vriend's fourth appearance of the season on the three stars list following first-star honours on Dec. 3 and second star wins on Nov. 26 and Jan. 7. Jans is making her first appearance of the season on the list, while Gilfillan is being honoured for the third time, having also been named third star on Nov. 26 and Dec. 3.
Max Vriend, OH, men's volleyball
Barrhead, AB, fifth-year, Commerce
Max Vriend was unstoppable on Friday night as he led the Griffins with 32 kills against the UBC-Okanagan Heat to break his own school record of 30 set earlier this season against Manitoba.
The record output also sets a new standard for the most in a match across the conference this season. In fact, only four players have ever recorded more in a game in the history of Canada West men's volleyball.
Vriend also tied his own MacEwan record for most points in a match with 34.0 – also a season-high across the conference in 2019-20 and tied for ninth-best all-time.
Vriend also added a team-high 11 kills and was a factor from the service line with three aces in Saturday's three-set rematch.
For the season, the fifth-year senior leads Canada West in both kills (269) and kills per set (4.01).
That prodigious production is often into the teeth of double and triple blocks as opponents consistently key on Vriend, who accounts for 40.5 per cent of the Griffins' entire attack – by far the highest percentage of any single player in the conference.
He leads MacEwan (2-16) into action against Thompson Rivers University (5-13) on Friday (7:30 p.m.) and Saturday (6:30 p.m., both David Atkinson Gym, Canada West TV presented by Co-op).
Shyla Jans, F, women's hockey
Edmonton, AB, fifth-year, Science
Shyla Jans was on fire in Calgary on Saturday night, recording a hat-trick and adding two assists for a five-point night in MacEwan's 6-1 win over the SAIT Trojans.
Jans scored two goals in a span of 11 seconds in the second period - the first of which wound up being the game-winner. The second of those was the 35th of her career, breaking a 16-year-old record (previously held by Colleen Gamache) for the most ever by a Griffins women's hockey player.
She then completed the hat-trick with her 36th career goal with 1:36 remaining in the game.
Jans also had assists on both of Morgan Casson's goals as MacEwan won its 10th-straight game, solidifying their spot atop the ACAC standings at 17-3-0-0.
For the season, Jans has six goals and 16 points in 20 games - third-best in the conference.
Shyla Jans, seen in action against Red Deer College earlier this season, had three goals and two assists in MacEwan's 6-1 win over SAIT last Saturday and became the program's new career goals leader (Joel Kingston photo).
Haley Gilfillan, MB, women's volleyball
Edmonton, AB, fifth-year, Arts
Continuing her solid final season, Gilfillan led the Griffins to a two-game road sweep of the UBC-Okanagan Heat with a dominant performance over the weekend.
With the team struggling to close out Saturday's match against the upstart Heat, Gilfillan took over the match when it was on the line, leading the Griffins to a 3-2 win. She finished with 13 kills on a .478 hitting percentage, adding three service aces, seven blocks and three digs, accounting for 19.5 points.
The senior middle blocker was also a big in Friday's 3-1 win, recording nine kills on .381 attacking percentage, adding three aces, four blocks and seven digs, while accounting for 14.0 points.
For the season, Gilfillan is second in Canada West in blocks (91), fifth in aces (39), eighth in points (264.5) and 19th in kills (175).
She leads MacEwan (16-6) into action against Thompson Rivers University (15-5) on Friday (6 p.m.) and Saturday (5 p.m., both David Atkinson Gym, Canada West TV presented by Co-op).
Haley Gilfillan took over the weekend matches at UBC-Okanagan, leading the Griffins to a sweep (Robert Antoniuk photo).