Manitobans clean up at university men’s volleyball awards

Manitoba Bisons men's volleyball head coach Garth Pischke oversees practice. Global News

The Manitoba Bisons men’s volleyball team were rewarded for their outstanding season with a pair of year end awards and a couple off all-star selections.

Bisons head coach Garth Pischke won the U Sports Men’s Volleyball Coach of the Year award. It’s the sixth time in his 35 seasons as head coach he’s won the honour, but first in more than two decades.

“His record is unparalleled in university volleyball and he continues to drive the success of our program,” said U of M director of athletics Gene Muller in a statement. “He achieved the milestone of 1,300 overall wins as a Bison coach this season and led the Bisons team to a 20-game win streak in conference league play. We are excited and honored by this award given to Garth.”

Pishke, 61, was also the coach of the year in 1982, 1984, 1988, 1990 and 1995.

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RELATED: Garth Pischke picks up coach of the year award as Bisons prepare for Final Four

Bisons fifth year player Ken Rooney of Winnipeg was selected as winner of the U Sports Dale Iwanoczko Award. The 22-year-old is just the third Bisons athlete to win the award for Student Athlete and Community Service. Dane Pischke won in 2013 and Scott Koskie in 1995. Rooney has been the Bisons captain for the past four seasons and is a three-time All-Canadian.

Steinbach’s Eric Loeppky of the Trinity Western Spartans was named the rookie of the year.

Also on Thursday Bisons right side hitter Devren Dear was chosen as a first team All-Canadian while his teammate Luke Herr grabbed second team All-Canadian honours.

The Bisons won 20 consecutive matches and finished conference play with a 21-3 record. They’ll face the Alberta Golden Bears on Friday in their first game of the national championship.

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