By Steve Petrick
Sasha Simic hasn’t told his mother yet that he was named the men’s volleyball team’s most valuable player and Ryerson’s male athlete of the year.
He plans to surprise her by sending a picture of him holding the trophies to a friend who will soon be visiting her in the small Yugoslavian town of Smederevo, where she lives.
“Everything’s so negative there,” he said. The country, which has undergone war for most of the 1990s, has been in the news recently because its former president Slobodan Milosevic was arrested on charges linked to years of corruption. “This will give her some energy,” Simic said.
His mother won’t be the first to be surprised by the award. Simic himself was in shock when his name called at the school’s 53rd annual awards banquet held in the Commons in Jorgenson Hall on March 28. He assumed the panel of athletic department staff would overlook his impressive individual statistics because his team went 0-13 this year.
“I thought [men’s basketball MVP] Jan-Michael Nation was going to win it,” he said.
Although Nation led the 14-8 Rams in scoring and was named to the OUA second all-star team, Simic had an equally impressive year, averaging 3.76 kills per game, the fourth-highest total in Canada. He was also named to the OUA second all-star team.
For the third straight season, women’s basketball star Miruna Muller won the female athlete of the year award. In her fifth and final year with the Rams, Muller led the team in scoring, steals and assists, easily making her the MVP. The 27-year-old from Cluj Napoca, Romania, earned a third consecutive spot on the OUA all-star team this year.