Home Canada West CW Three Stars: Wrestlers Godinez Gonzalez, McNiece earn first star nods

CW Three Stars: Wrestlers Godinez Gonzalez, McNiece earn first star nods

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Karla Godinez Gonzalez, Callum McNiece
UFV's Karla Godinez Gonzalez, left, and Calgary's Callum McNiece were named Canada West's First Stars of the Week. (Don Voaklander/Alberta Bears and Pandas photo)

EDMONTON (from Canada West) – Wrestlers Karla Godinez Gonzalez and Callum McNiece are the Canada West first stars of the week after being named the conference’s Outstanding Wrestlers at the 2018 CW Championships in Edmonton over the weekend.

Both wrestlers went undefeated in convincing fashion to take home the conference’s top individual wrestling awards.

Godinez Gonzalez, who narrowly edged out her sister and CW Rookie of the Year Ana in voting for the top individual honour, went 4-0 during the two-day event to claim gold in the 55 kg division. Her podium topping performance was one of seven UFV medals. With her podium finish, Godinez Gonzalez qualified for the U Sports Championships from Feb. 23-24 at Algoma University in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.

On the men’s side, McNiece also posted a perfect 4-0 record over the weekend to claim gold. The Cochrane, Alta. product won the 72 kg division, as just one of his bouts went the distance. McNiece improved on his second-place finish from a year ago at the conference championship, and will be looking to continue his strong season at nationals, where he finished fourth in 2017.

Also earning stars this week were: Regina’s Lilla Carpenter-Boesch (hockey) and UBC’s Olivia Furlan (volleyball) on the women’s side, while Manitoba’s Justus Alleyn (basketball) and UFV’s Brad Hildenbrandt (wrestling) are the other men’s stars.

Watch all the conference action in volleyball, basketball, and hockey this weekend by tuning into Canada West TV.

Women’s first star – Karla Godinez Gonzalez

Fraser Valley Cascades wrestling
2nd-year
Surrey, B.C.
Kinesiology

Tournament log: Friday, Feb. 9 – Saturday, Feb. 10 – 4-0 record at Canada West Wrestling Championships in Edmonton, 55 kg gold medal, Women’s Outstanding Wrestler

Karla Godinez Gonzalez put together a historic performance at the Canada West Wrestling Championships in Edmonton.

The sophomore from Surrey, B.C. won all four of her matches in the women’s 55 kg division in dominant fashion – she didn’t surrender a single point, and ended three of her matches early via technical superiority. Godinez Gonzalez shared a slice of Cascades history with her younger sister Ana (63 kg), as they became the first UFV female wrestlers to win Canada West individual titles. At the tournament’s conclusion, Karla was voted the Canada West female wrestler of the year, another Cascades first.

Godinez Gonzalez was one of seven UFV grapplers to medal at the conference tourney and thus qualify for the U Sports national championships, which run Feb. 23-24 in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.

Men’s first star – Callum McNiece

Calgary Dinos wrestling
3rd-year
Cochrane, Alta.
Business

Tournament log: Friday, Feb. 9 – Saturday, Feb. 10 – 4-0 record at Canada West Wrestling Championships in Edmonton, 72 kg gold medal, Men’s Outstanding Wrestler

A runner-up last season in the 72 kg division at the conference championships, Callum McNiece of the University of Calgary Dinos men’s wrestling team did one better this time around, as he wrestled his way to gold in Edmonton.

McNeice’s field included four other wrestler, three of which he beat by fall. His lone match to go to a decision came against Marcus Peterson of the Alberta Golden Bears. Trailing 4-2 after the first round, McNeice rallied with two two-point takedowns before avoiding a last ditched effort by Peterson for the win.

The third-year Dino was named the Outstanding Male Wrestler of the Year for his performance at the Canada West Championships and will now look to move up the national pecking order, as he hopes to improve on last year’s fourth-place finish at the U Sports championships.

Women’s second star – Lilla Carpenter-Boesch

Regina Cougars hockey
Forward
2nd-year
Gray, Sask.
Business Administration

Game log: Friday, Feb. 9 – goal in 4-3 2OTW vs. Lethbridge / Saturday, Feb. 10 – hat trick in 3-2 W vs. Lethbridge.

Lilla Carpenter-Boesch continued her red-hot play on the weekend, notching four goals in a University of Regina sweep over the Lethbridge Pronghorns on home ice.

The second-year forward from Gray, Saskatchewan had a goal in a 4-3 double-overtime win on Friday night, and followed that by scoring all three Cougar goals in a 3-2 win on Saturday afternoon.

Carpenter-Boesch, who helped the Cougars clinch a playoff berth with Friday’s win, now has six goals in her last three games, all of which the Cougars have won. The Carpenter-Boesch line, which is rounded out by veterans Kylee Kupper and Emma Waldenberger, combined for 13 points this past weekend as Kupper had two assists in each game and Waldenberger had a goal and an assist on Friday before setting up all three goals on Saturday.

Regina will visit the University of Alberta next weekend for a Canada West quarter-final matchup against the No. 2-ranked Pandas.

Men’s second star – Justus Alleyn

Manitoba Bisons basketball
Guard
5th-year
Montreal
Arts

Game log: Friday, Feb. 9 – 31 points, seven rebounds, one assist, block and steal in 82-76 W vs. Brandon in CW play-in game.

Bison men’s basketball fifth year guard and co-captain Justus Alleyn continued to add to his incredible fifth and final season with the Bisons, as he was a major contributor in rallying the Herd to a 82-76 come-from-behind playoff victory against the Brandon Bobcats at home in a CW play-in game.

The 6-3, 200-pound guard finished with 31 points on 9-of-23 shooting plus 9-of-14 from the foul line, while adding seven rebounds, one assist, steal and block in 39 minutes of action.

The Montreal native saved one of his best games of the season when the Bisons needed it the most. Down 40-35 at half, Alleyn poured in 20 points alone in the crucial third period, as the home side outscored the visitors by a 27-13 margin, erasing the deficit and continuing the momentum into the fourth.

Alleyn was the CW scoring leader this season, with his playoff performance marking the fifth time in 2017-18 that he posted 30 or more points in a game.

The Bisons now play at No. 4 UBC in a Canada West best-of-3 quarterfinal series running from Thursday to Saturday.

Women’s third star – Olivia Furlan

UBC Thunderbirds volleyball
Setter/right side
2nd-year
Calgary
Arts

Game log: Friday, Feb. 9 – 11 kills, 27 digs, four service aces in 3-2 W @ Trinity Western / Saturday, Feb. 10 – 14 kills, 13 digs, six service aces in 3-1 W vs. Trinity Western.

It was a career weekend for the second year from Calgary with an incredible 27 digs Friday night leading the way defensively for the Thunderbirds who took down the Spartans in five sets. She had 10 more digs than the next highest total on the court and put up a career high four service aces along with 11 kills.

Saturday night at War Memorial Gym, Furlan set a new career high in aces with six while leading the ‘Birds with 14 kills. Defensively, Furlan totaled 13 digs.

Furlan has now entered the top ten in conference digs per set with 3.32 and her 36 service aces are the ninth most in the Canada West.

The Thunderbirds are tied with UBC Okanagan for second in the conference, two points behind the leading Calgary Dinos heading into the final weekend of the regular season.

UBC plays host to the Saskatchewan Huskies on Friday and Saturday.

Men’s third star – Brad Hildenbrandt

Fraser Valley Cascades wrestling
3rd-year
Surrey, B.C.
General Studies

Tournament log: Friday, Feb. 9 – Saturday, Feb. 10 – 4-0 record at Canada West Wrestling Championships in Edmonton, 120 kg gold medal

Brad Hildenbrandt defended his Canada West heavyweight title in impressive fashion at the conference tournament in Edmonton last week.

The Surrey, B.C. product’s only close call came in his opening match on Friday, when he had to come from behind to edge Jordan Tholl of the Regina Cougars 6-4. Both wrestlers are ranked nationally in their weight class – Hildenbrandt No. 1, Tholl No. 3.

From there, it was smooth sailing for Hildenbrandt, who won a U Sports title and was named UFV’s male athlete of the year in 2017. He won each of his last three matches by technical superiority.

Hildenbrandt was one of seven UFV grapplers to medal at the conference tourney and thus qualify for the U Sports national championships, which run Feb. 23-24 in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.

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