RYERSON’S TOP 10 ATHLETES

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Eyeopener Sports Top 10 2005

10: Lisa Vanderlinde Women’s Soccer

Major: Architecture, 4th year

Position: Women’s soccer defence

Achievements: Recipient of Rams Academic Award, 2003-2004 Multiple architecture award winner

Lisa on Lisa: “I really lead by example… soccer needs more exposure at Ryerson.”

What the coach says: “With that difficult a program, she’s managed not to miss a practice. She’s a leader on the field, playing every minute of every game.” — Coach Peyvand Mossavat

Lisa on her program: “I like the atmosphere of the architecture program… it’s pretty close to a family feeling.”

Why we chose her: When her team was without a goal tender two years ago, Vanderlinde willingly stepped in. The architecture student has stuck with a weak program while achieving excellence in her program for four years, earning her the 10th spot.

9: Chris Sutton Men’s Hockey

Major: Aerospace Engineering, 3rd year

Position: Men’s hockey forward

Achievements: Team co-captain, leading team in scoring this season, team’s leading scorer last season, averaging a point a game

Chris on Chris: “I show up to every practice, I show up to every dry land (training session). I don’t ever complain, I always give 100 per cent effort.” “I grew up in a family where you don’t quit, you don’t ever stop working hard… I take pride in anything I do.”

What the coach says: “He’s intelligent, he’s dedicated, and he’s a guy who competes without fail… he’s a go-to guy every night.” — Coach Mick Mitrovic

Chris on his program: “My Dad worked with Air Canada my whole life. I was always interested in airplanes. I knew from a young age that this is what I want to do.”

Why we chose him: On a team with little experience and no respect, the veteran Sutton is a dependable leader and reliable scorer. While others bailed on the hapless program, Sutton committed and has embraced his role as a leader on and off the ice, all while studying aerospace engineering. The balance earns him the ninth spot.

8: Nic Beaver Men’s Volleyball

Program: International Economics, 2nd year

Position: Men’s volleyball middle

Achievements: 44 kills, 13 solo blocks, 2004-2005 Ryerson Male Rookie of the Year, named to 2004-2005 Ontario and Canadian all-rookie teams

Nic on Nic: “I lead more by example. I like to be vocal on the court. If someone is not pulling their weight, I’ll let them know.”

What the coach says: “He’s one of those thinking players. He has to incorporate it in his style of play to exist at a higher level. He’s been doing it very well.” -Coach Mirek Porosa

Nic on student athletes: “I think life would be boring if I didn’t have sports and academics. If I didn’t have both I would probably do drugs or be drinking.”

Why we chose him: There is no player that combines skill, spokesmanship and fiery on-the-court leadership like Nic Beaver. Nic, at only 6-foot-4, plays against men a lot bigger than him, looking like, as his coach once said, “a smurf among men.” His dedication and production — despite his small stature — earn him eighth spot. In just his second year, this should be the first of many appearances.

7: Brianne Koning Women’s Volleyball

Major: Nursing, 2nd year

Position: Women’s volleyball middle

Achievements: 55 kills, 25 solo blocks, 2004-2005 OUA East Rookie of the Year

Brianne on Brianne: “I like to lead by example… If you play well, and you still lose, it doesn’t matter. You play as a team.”

What the coach says: “Brianne is just, overall, one of the best middles in Ontario.” — Coach Bob Cholette

Brianne on her program: “I’m fun, I’m energetic, I like to goof around, but I take nursing very, very seriously… In two years, volleyball’s over. I’m going to be a nurse for the rest of my life.”

Why we chose her: In just her second year, Brianne has given the Rams a lot of stability in the middle. The OUA east rookie of the year turned down scholarship offers to stay at Ryerson to get her nursing degree, demonstrating an academic focus that earns the young star seventh spot. Koning will be an important part of the Rams team for years to come.

6: Erin Gallagher Women’s Volleyball

Major: Radio and Television Arts, 4th year

Position: Women’s volleyball left side

Achievements: 73 kills this year, 13th in Ontario, 2004-2005 Ryerson Female Athlete of the Year, three-time OUA all-star

Erin on Erin: “I think that it’s more important to lead by example… it’s nice to be recognized.”

What the coach says: “Erin is the skill leader of the team… Erin leads by example through her hard play.” — Coach Bob Cholette

Erin on her program: “Ryerson has the best RTA program in Canada”

Why we chose her: Gallagher balances school work and volleyball while playing on Canada’s national gaelic football team. The former Female Athlete of the Year is consistently near the top of the league in kills and points, earning her sixth spot on this year’s list.

5: Duane Benjamin Men’s Basketball

Major: Information and Technology Management, 5th year

Position: Men’s basketball guard

Achievements: Averaging over 14 points per game, Seneca College Rookie of the Year

Duane on Duane: “I don’t really consider myself the face of my team. I am one of the blocks that make up the whole team.”

What the coach says: “I think he’s one of the best on-the-ball defenders in the league… when he speaks, guys listen.” — Coach Glen Taylor

Duane on his program: “I feel that business and technology are two of the most important things in the world right now.”

Why we chose him: Duane is an under-appreciated performer on a rebuilding Rams team. Duane earned fifth spot by adapting to a new coach this year while finishing his demanding ITM degree and nearly doubling his scoring. He remains the quick-dribbling fan favourite.

4: Amanda Redhead Women’s Basketball

Major: Public Administration and Governance, 3rd year

Position: Women’s basketball forward

Achievements: 2004 OUA Second-Team All-Star, averaging over 16 points per game

Amanda on Amanda: “Honestly, I am not comfortable (being the face of the team). Basketball is a passion, and I do it because it is fun. I would love it if my whole team was here, because without them, it wouldn’t be worth it.”

What the coach says: “The thing that makes her versatile is not her scoring and boards. It’s the fact that she’s an inside player but she scores well from the outside… I think she’s going to be another all-star this year.” — Coach Sandy Pothier

Amanda on her program: “I wanted to know how things work and how the city functions.”

Why we chose her: Amanda isn’t playing her position; she’s a forward on a short team. In the absence of departed centre Tamara Alleyne-Gittens, Redhead has excelled, leading her team in scoring and rebounding nearly every game. This reluctant star has given it all to a losing program at Ryerson for three years, and her dedication, character and ability to adapt to game situations earn her the fourth spot this year.

3: Lukas Porosa Men’s Volleyball

Major: Biology and Chemistry, 4th year

Position: Men’s volleyball libero

Achievements: Fourth in Ontario, with 74 digs, 2003 OUA Second-Team All-Star, 2002 Ryerson Athlete of the Year, 2002 OUA East Rookie of the Year, 2000 Gold Medalist at Youth Olympics

Lukas on Lukas: “I’m not selfish. I’m a servant.”

What the coach says: “I’m always going to be criticized for nepotism… but I can just not find enough words to say about what he’s brought to the team.” — Coach (and father) Mirek Porosa

Lukas on his program: “(Bio and Chem) is something that is interesting and can apply to real life.”

Why we chose him: The highly ranked — nationally — men’s volleyball team has a lot of firepower. But, when it comes to defence, Lukas Porosa is left standing alone. Porosa, who switched positions two years ago upon the arrival of setter Greg Marszalek, works tirelessly to improve his technique. The bio and chem student is a small guy (5-foot-11) excelling in a big man’s game, earning himself the third spot on this year’s list.

2: Anjela Wilson Women’s Volleyball

Major: Journalism, 4th year

Position: Women’s volleyball libero

Achievements: 104 digs, 4th in Ontario in digs per game, 2003-2004 Ryerson Female Athlete of the Year

Anjela on Anjela: “(Volleyball) is tough, because sometimes it comes before school… it’s a lot of pressure.”

What the coach says: “Anjela leads the team by morale… she’s the personality part of the team.” — Coach Bob Cholette

Anjela on her program: “Since I was really young, I always knew I wanted to do (journalism).”

Why we chose her: Anjela earns second spot because she is the whole package. She is one of Ontario’s best liberos, a good student and one of the best leaders on the court that the Rams may ever see. She keeps up the team’s morale, even in situations such as their current losing skid, exemplifying what it is to be a Ram.

1: Ryan Vandenburg Men’s Volleyball

Major: Urban Planning, 4th year

Position: Men’s volleyball left side

Achievements: 2004 OUA MVP, 2003, 2004 OUA all-star, 2004 First Team All-Canadian, 2004 CIS All-Star, Two-time Ryerson Male Athlete of the Year, Led CIS in kills, serving aces and points last season, 2004 Don J. Logan Class of ’73 Bursary recipient for academic achievement and community involvement in Urban Planning.

Ryan on Ryan: “I just hit a lot of balls. Mirek (Porosa) is our leader.” “Some of the people on the team are more vocal leaders, some are more leaders on the court. I’m the latter.” “I don’t let any of the talk go to my head. Stats used to be a big thing for me, it was a personal thing. With time, and being in the position I’ve been in for a number of years, you get used to it. You just play the game, you don’t worry about what everyone else has to say.”

What the coach says: “The bar is much higher for him than many of the other players at Ryerson… if he’s on his game, by himself through serving and hitting, he can win the match for you.” — Coach Mirek Porosa

Ryan on his program: “It’s Sim City in real life. I wanted to get into something with design, because I like doing that kind of stuff.”

Why we chose him: Try as we might, it’s nearly impossible to justify giving top spot to any other Ryerson athlete. Ontario’s most lauded and applauded hitter, Vandenburg led the Rams to the post-season while pacing the country in points, kills and aces. The man they call “Snake” is set to graduate from urban planning this year and earned a faculty award last spring for achievement and community involvement. In a school starved for national exposure, Vandenburg is a name that is quickly being associated with Ryerson. For all these reasons — and the fact that he has a cool nickname — Vandenburg must, has to, and has been named number one on this year’s list of Ryerson’s Top 10.

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