On March 27, UOIT’s athletic department held its annual athletic banquet for an evening of joy and celebration before students graduate or scurry to find summer jobs.
The ceremonies began with the presentation of the team awards. The women’s hockey team had a successful year. Forward Jaclyn Gibson won the MVP award, while Tori Campbell, a UOIT student from Alberta, won the Rookie of the Year award.
When presenting the women’s hockey awards, Ken Babcock, the athletic director for UOIT, spoke about the success of the team’s goalies this season and their final stats.
Babcock told the crowd their stats are “about 25 per cent higher than both Bernier and Reimer this season,” a reference to the goalies for the Toronto Maple Leafs.
The athletic department continued to award all of their sports teams from curling and lacrosse, to rowing, dancing and tennis.
It was a big year for UOIT soccer. Men’s striker Joe Vaz scored a hat-trick for the first time in UOIT men’s soccer history. The women’s soccer team was crowned Team of the Year for their hard-fought season.
The major awards started shortly after the team awards. The male Freshman Athlete of the Year was Colin Dzijacky, the goalie for the men’s hockey team. The Female Freshman of the Year award also went to a hockey goalie, the women’s Tori Campbell.
The female athlete of the year award went to Jill Morillo, a fifth year Nuclear Engineering and Management major. Morillo scored 14 goals this season and became the first Ridgeback to surpass 100 points in her university hockey career with a finishing total of 111.
With 64 career goals, Morillo placed fifth all-time in the OUA goal scoring stats. On top of all that, Morillo also earned the UOIT All-Academic award.
The male athlete of the year award was presented to Nik Vantfoort, an Energy Systems Engineering major in his third year who also won the men’s rowing MVP.
This year is the second consecutive year that Vantfoort has one this award.
“This was a wonderful night to celebrate another great year,” said Babcock.