It’s safe to say Curtis Stockton turned some heads this year.
The Avalanche right side volleyball player was named the male player of the year during the Pacwest championship this past weekend in North Vancouver.
Stockton was a huge offensive force on the team this year, consistently leading the squad—and the Pacwest league—in kills. At the end of the season, he also reigned on top of the nation-wide CCAA standings.
“Arguably one of the best players in the country,” said Avalanche head coach Steve Kamps. “Being named player of the year in Pacwest is huge, we’ve only had one other player in our history get named player of the year, so it’s a definite honour for him and well deserved.
“He was a machine for us. He played almost every set and for a guy who got the volume that he got, especially on a road trip where we’re doing four games in four days, is remarkable—some of those weekends he had.”
Stockton found out in a meeting with Kamps a few days before heading to North Vancouver, and had to keep the news under wraps before it was announced at the provincial championship.
“Everyone was really happy for me, and it just goes to show how strong our team is,” said Stockton. “Even though it’s an individual award, I could not get that award unless people are playing well around me.
“It’s something fantastic, and though it’s an individual award, it definitely compliments the team, I think.”
Stockton, in his second year with the Avalanche, came to the College of the Rockies from Australia, where he was recruited out of the Greater Melbourne Volleyball Academy, the same program that former Avs player Liam Bennett came out of.
Stockton had some things to work on after his rookie season last year, and came into the program ready to make an impact this time around, according to Kamps.
“Last year, he had a great season, and I challenged him to get stronger over the summer and he committed himself to a training program and throughout our season as well.
“He came into camp in great shape and elevated his game right from the get-go.”
With such a strong season, both Kamps and Stockton admit that CIS university teams have been making inquiries about his availability.