Koppers and Vernon named Investors Group Athletes of the Week, powered by 2XU

Photos by U SPORTS
Photos by U SPORTS

BURLINGTON, Ont. – The following athletes have been named Investors Group Ontario University Athletics (OUA) Athletes of the Week, powered by 2XU, for the period ending March 20, 2018.

Male Athlete of the Week – Brandon Koppers (Georgetown, Ont.) – 5th Year – McMaster Marauders

Just as he has been throughout his five years with the McMaster Marauders, Brandon Koppers was a key cog in the maroon machine this weekend, and his U SPORTS Championship performance has earned him the latest nod as OUA Male Athlete of the Week.

Koppers was named as McMaster's Player of the Match in both the Marauders’ U SPORTS quarterfinal and bronze medal wins, leading his team in kills and points in all three of their matches at the TELUS 2018 U SPORTS Men's Volleyball Championship. In the opener, Koppers connected on 20 kills, tallying a .317 hitting percentage and 25.5 points, while his bronze medal efforts saw him register 16 points, which included a sizzling .522 hitting percentage. In the remaining match – a semifinal loss to Trinity Western – Koppers once again had himself a strong outing with 16 kills, a .379 hitting percentage, and a total of 21.5 points.

His performance over the course of the tournament helped McMaster secure their sixth straight national medal, and won him a place among the Tournament All-Stars at the conclusion of play Sunday. 

Female Athlete of the Week – Theanna Vernon (Scarborough, Ont.) – 4th Year – Ryerson Rams

There was plenty to celebrate for Theanna Vernon at the U SPORTS Women’s Volleyball Championship this weekend, and her standout efforts in the Ryerson Rams’ title-winning performance have earned her OUA Female Athlete of the Week honours.

The Scarborough, Ont. native made the most of the Rams’ third trip to nationals, as the team captain stood tall in the middle to anchor a potent Ryerson attack, steady a stout defensive presence, and buoy the team’s overall push toward an undefeated season. All in all, the middle blocker, who was also named an All-Canadian prior to the start of the event, helped her team win the first ever national banner in school history.

To start the weekend, the Rams battled UBC Okanagan in quarterfinal play – a match in which the OUA champions had to come back from two sets down – and Vernon kicked off her championship quest strong. She tallied 16 points (10 kills, 10 blocks) in the win before offering up a similar performance in the team’s semifinal match. Vernon once again connected on 10 kills and registered 10 blocks, totaling 17.5 points for the match to help the Rams down the No. 1 seeded uCalgary Dinos.

Vernon saved her best for last; however, as she registered 11 kills and 13 blocks in the championship win over Alberta, rounding out her outstanding showing with 17.5 points in the finale. Her impressive totals and unbreakable consistency helped the fourth year star earn MVP honours for the tournament, and was a significant part of Ryerson’s historic performance on the national stage.