Blues trio honoured among PACWEST's best

Emma Schill (left) was named to the PACWEST All-Rookie Team, and Tyneille Neufeld (right) was a First Team All-Star. Photo Paul Yates / Vancouver Sports Pictures
Emma Schill (left) was named to the PACWEST All-Rookie Team, and Tyneille Neufeld (right) was a First Team All-Star. Photo Paul Yates / Vancouver Sports Pictures

CJ Pentland, CapU Sports Information Director

A trio of student-athletes on the Capilano University Blues women’s volleyball were honoured by the PACWEST on Wednesday afternoon for being among the conference’s best in 2017-18.

Third-year outside hitter Tyneille Neufeld took upon a leadership role with the Blues this season and thrived both on and off the court to be named a PACWEST First Team All-Star. A Second Team All-Star last season, Neufeld excelled in all facets of the game and finished third in the PACWEST in kills with an average of 3.35 per set, fourth in total offence with 3.79 points per set, and 15th in digs at 2.62. Despite missing time due to an ankle injury, Neufeld continued to have an impact with her presence on the sidelines.

“She was a great impact for us last year, especially at the end of the season last year at Provincials, and Tyneille is one of those players that when she hits certain spots, that she wants it to be better the next time; she’s like that for education and everything,” said CapU head coach Cal Wohlford. “I knew she was working hard to be one of our established players, and she came in and has been all season. It’s been great to see that even though she’s been out for five weeks, the coaches recognize what an impact player she is for our team.”

Being named a PACWEST Second Team All-Star and a member of the All-Rookie Team is Isabela Lima. Despite joining the Blues program three years ago, 2017-18 was Lima’s first full season after she battled back from a virus that attacked her nervous system and left her partially paralyzed in late 2015. Starting out the season with a lesser workload to ease her back into playing at a high level, she got stronger as the year went on and became an all-around threat every game.

Playing at both libero and outside hitter, Lima finished the regular season 12th in the PACWEST in digs with 2.81/set and 14th in kills with 2.27, while at the service line recording 20 aces compared to only seven errors.

“She’s definitely one of our top players,” said Wohlford. “It’s sometimes difficult to think of her as a rookie when she’s been around for the last three years, but her passion and what she brings to the team is very stable.”

Joining Lima on the All-Rookie team is Emma Schill. The first-year outside hitter from Surrey made an impact from the get-go – establishing herself as a top offensive threat. She finished the season in fifth for aces (0.41/set), eighth in total offence (3.24 points per set), and ninth for kills (2.62/set).

“We kinda knew it right from the start, as when we had exhibition games she had a lot of fire – she goes hard at the ball, and she swings a heavy ball – and we were like, ‘when she starts to play the style of game we’re wanting to play, she’s going to be good,’” said Wohlford. “She’s really contributed a lot, and I think a lot of other coaches really recognize that, ‘wow’ – she’s good, and she’s going to be getting better and better as time goes on.”

Postseason play for CapU gets underway Thursday afternoon when the fourth-seeded Blues take on the fifth-place Columbia Bible College Bearcats at 1:00pm at the Envision Financial Centre at the University of the Fraser Valley in Abbotsford. Capilano took the season series against CBC 3-1.

The winner of the match-up moves on to Friday’s semifinal against the top-ranked Douglas College Royals. A spot in the championship final would guarantee a spot at the CCAA Nationals, as the PACWEST has two berths at the tournament.