North Vancouver's Kendra Finch earns TRU athletic and leadership awards

North Vancouver’s Kendra Finch took home two top honours when the Thompson Rivers University WolfPack announced their athletic awards last week.

The fifth-year player on the TRU women’s volleyball team earned the university’s Sports Task Force female athlete of the year award as well as the Cliff Neufeld Leadership Athlete of the Year award.

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Finch, an Argyle Secondary grad, had exemplary athletic credentials this season, earning a first-team all-star spot in the Canada West league and a second-team all-star spot nationwide in U Sports. The outside hitter finished fifth in Canada West in overall kills, sixth in kills per set, eighth in digs per set and ninth in overall digs. She ended her university career fourth on the all-time Canada West list for digs with 1,271.

“Kendra has improved each and every season while at TRU and has grown from her role as a libero at the beginning of her career to one of the most effective attackers in our league,” stated TRU head coach Chad Grimm in a release. “This evolution did not come about without a lot of hard work and Kendra's desire to be the best at whatever she does. Being selected a first team Canada West all-star and second team all-Canadian was well deserved and a great way for Kendra to cap her five-year career here at TRU."

While Finch stood out on the court, her TRU leadership athlete of the year award, which she earned for the second straight year, was for feats performed off the court. Finch took the lead on the volleyball program’s #IBelieveYou campaign surrounding awareness of sexualized violence, an initiative which included an awareness night as well as a public service announcement which ran on WolfPack social media and webcasts.

She also did extensive volunteer work with the school’s Wellness Centre, the Education and Skills Training Program for students with cognitive disabilities, and the Captains Council for student athletes, while also serving as a volunteer coach with the Kamloops Volleyball Association. Finch also earned academic all-Canadian status.

“Although we will miss Kendra's on-court contributions as an all-star caliber player, her contributions as a leader cannot be replaced,” said Grimm. “Kendra came into our program as someone who wanted to help change the culture of our team and help us reach new heights in all aspects that make up university athletics. … Kendra was a selfless contributor to our team and TRU as an institution and I couldn't be more proud of the person she has become throughout her five year career.”

In her Grade 12 year at Argyle in December of 2014 Finch helped the Pipers win the provincial AAAA volleyball title for the first time in team history. The following spring she was part of the North Shore-based BCO Volleyball Club’s Elite girls team that took home the 18U Div. 1, Tier 1 title at the 2015 Volleyball Canada Championships.

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