Simon Friesen of the Capilano Blues was recognized as the top college volleyball player in Canada this week, earning the National Player of the Year award at the CCAA awards banquet held Wednesday in Victoria.
The third-year setter also earned provincial PacWest Player of the Year honours after leading the Blues to a 19-5 record in regular season play. He is the first ever Capilano men’s volleyball player to the national player of the year award.
“Simon had an outstanding campaign for the Blues and was consistently great all season in all aspects of the game,” David Munro, CCAA VP of sport development said in a release. “He is a gifted athlete, an exemplary student and well deserving of this great honour.”
Friesen deftly operated the Capilano offence this year, averaging 10.14 assists per set while also registering 65 kills of his own, racking up a 0.419 hitting percentage with his quick hits and setter dumps.
He also excelled on defence, averaging 1.77 digs per game while sitting 15th overall in the league with 0.43 blocks per set. To top it all off Friesen balsted 28 aces, seventh most in the league.
Capilano head coach Emmanuel Denguessi, himself a former elite setter, raved about Friesen’s play this year.
“Simon has established himself as the face of the Capilano Blues men’s volleyball program,” the coach said. “I have seen him doing things that (Brazilian national team setter) Bruno Rezende does.”
The Capilano business student is also the volleyball team’ representative on the Blues Athletic Council and volunteers with Atomic Volleyball on the North Shore and with Blues summer camps while also coaching with the North Shore-based BCO Volleyball program.
“He lives out the values of the institution he represents,” said Denguessi.