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Spartans' Del Bianco named CIS player of the year

Trinity Western fifth-year outside hitter earns top university men's honour
Trinity Western Spartans fifth-year outside hitter Nick Del Bianco was named the Canada West most valuable player.

It has been a sensational final year for Trinity Western's Nick Del Bianco.

The Spartans fifth-year outside hitter from Surrey has been named the CIS national player of the year award.

He received his award on Wednesday morning in Saskatoon at the CIS all-Canadian breakfast.

The Spartans are in Saskatoon for the CIS men's volleyball national championships.

“Nick is the poster child for what professionalism looks like as an amateur athlete,” said Spartans coach Ben Josephson.

“His dedication away from the court, in the weight room and the film room, is second to none in our program.

"His focus on details in our small group training sessions is perfect. Even in our team warm-ups, he is flawless in his approach to the smallest parts of each skill. Combine that laser-like focus with God-given athletic talent and that makes not only the 2014-15 player of the year but maybe the most complete volleyball player the Spartans men’s volleyball program has ever produced. I couldn’t be more proud of Nick or think of a more deserving recipient of this great honour.”

He is the third Spartan player to win the award, joining Josh Howatson (2006/07) and Ben Ball (2011/12).

Del Bianco capped his university career by putting together one of the most dominant offensive seasons in Spartans history.

The six-foot-five outside hitter averaged 4.9 points per set, which was second in Canada West and first all-time in the Trinity Western record books. He also averaged 3.92 kills per set (third in Canada West) and an conference-best 0.57 aces per set, tying a TWU record.

Del Bianco was also named a first team all-Canadian, his third straight season being named to an all-Canadian squad. He was a first-team member in 2013 and a second-team member in 2014. Del Bianco was also named to the CIS all-rookie team in 2011.

And for the TWU women's volleyball team — which is competing at nationals in Toronto — Alicia Perrin was named a CIS first-team all-Canadian.

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