Three stars of the week: Harris, Sani stand out in sweeps

Rowan Harris (left) and Taryq Sani (right) are the CW first stars for the week ending Nov. 5.
Rowan Harris (left) and Taryq Sani (right) are the CW first stars for the week ending Nov. 5.

Canada West Communications


  • UBC’s Rowan Harris (FH), Trinity Western’s Rachel Hutchinson (SOC), and Winnipeg’s Antoinette Miller (BB) are the women’s three stars
  • Alberta’s Taryq Sani (VB), UBC’s Connor Guilherme (SOC), and Trinity Western’s Leighton Johnson (SOC) are the men’s three stars of the week
  • Harris guided the UBC Thunderbirds to their seventh consecutive national field hockey title, while Sani helped guide Alberta’s volleyball squad to a pair of wins in Regina 

EDMONTON – Yet another national title for the UBC Thunderbirds in women’s field hockey, and a big performance from a second-year volleyball star highlight this week’s Canada West three stars.

UBC goalie Rowan Harris is the women’s first star after stopping all seven shots she faced over the weekend, as the Thunderbirds swept the York Lions in two games to claim the 2017 U SPORTS national championship. Harris, who was named the nation’s top player on Thursday ahead of the tournament, finished the season with five total shutouts. 

Taryq Sani, who is in just his second season with the Alberta Golden Bears volleyball team, had a massive weekend for the Green and Gold to earn the men’s first star. The Scarbourough, Ont. product posted 47 combined kills, helping Alberta to a weekend sweep of the Regina Cougars. 

You can catch Sani and the Golden Bears, along with every other Canada West volleyball game this season, by tuning into Canada West TV.

Also earning stars this week were: Trinity Western’s Rachel Hutchinson (SOC), and Winnipeg’s Antoinette Miller (BB) on the women’s side, while UBC’s Connor Guilherme (SOC), and Trinity Western’s Leighton Johnson (SOC) are the other men’s stars of the week


Women’s first star – Rowan Harris

UBC Thunderbirds field hockey



Ottawa, Ont.


Game log: Friday, Nov. 3 – four-save shutout in 2-0 W vs. York in Game 1 of the U SPORTS Field Hockey Championship / Saturday, Nov. 4 – three-save shutout in 2-0 W vs. York in Game 2 of the U SPORTS Field Hockey Championship.

Fourth-year goalkeeper Rowan Harris led the way to UBC’s record setting seventh straight U SPORTS championship with a pair of 2-0 shutout wins over the York University Lions.

Harris stopped four shots in game one on Friday followed by a three-save effort Saturday while the Thunderbirds hoisted their 19th championship banner in front of a home crowd at UBC’s Wright Field.

It was a stellar week for Harris who was also named the U SPORTS Player of the Year putting together three shutouts in five regular season games pushing the T-Birds to an undefeated season in which the Ottawa native allowed just two goals against all year.

Winnipeg is at home this weekend, as the Alberta Pandas travel to the Manitoba capital for games Friday and Saturday.


Men’s first star – Taryq Sani

Alberta Golden Bears volleyball

Outside hitter


Scarborough, Ont.

Physical Education & Recreation 

Game log: Friday, Nov. 3 – 24 kills, 12 digs, and two aces in 3-1 W @ Regina / Saturday, Nov. 4 – 23 kills, 13 digs, and one ace in 3-2 W @ Regina. 

Following back-to-back stellar performances on the road against Regina, sophomore University of Alberta Golden Bears outside hitter Taryq Sani is the Canada West First Star of the Week. 

Sani led the Bears to a pair of wins over the Cougars, as the No. 8 ranked Bears improved to 4-0 in conference play. The second-year hitter finished with 47 kills, 25 digs, and three aces in the two-game sweep of Regina. 

The 2016-17 Canada West All-Rookie team member was sensational in Friday night’s four-set win, finishing with a career-high 24 kills on 39 attempts, while also adding a game-high 12 digs.

Saturday’s match was no different, as he finished with a game-high 23 kills, 10 more than any other player. Sani also added another 13 digs, to go along with an ace and an assist. 

The undefeated Bears will look to stay atop the Canada West standings this weekend, as they host the 1-3 Manitoba Bisons at the Saville Centre on Friday and Saturday night.


Women’s second star – Rachel Hutchinson

Trinity Western Spartans soccer



Cloverdale, B.C.


Game log: Friday, Nov. 3 – two goals on four shots in 3-0 W vs. UBC at CW WSOC Final Four / Saturday, Nov. 4 – assist in 2-1 W vs. Victoria in CW WSOC gold medal game. 

Rachel Hutchinson, the Spartans goal-scoring leader throughout the regular season, was an offensive catalyst for TWU, scoring two goals and adding an assist as she helped her team capture the Canada West title. 

The third-year striker from Cloverdale, B.C. scored twice in TWU’s 3-0 semifinal win over UBC before assisting on the Spartans opening goal in their 2-1 championship game victory over Victoria.  Through three post-season contests, Hutchinson has three goals and one assist and has been in on four of the Spartans six goals. TWU will now move on to the U SPORTS Championship this weekend, where the Spartans will play the host University of Manitoba in the quarter-finals.

As a program, the Spartans, who have played in nine of the last 10 conference finals, have now captured seven Canada West championships.


Men’s second star – Connor Guilherme

UBC Thunderbirds soccer



Unionville, Ont.


Game log: Friday, Nov. 3 – one shot in 90 minutes played in 3-1 W vs. Thompson Rivers at CW MSOC Final Four / Saturday, Nov. 4 – two goals, including game-winner, in 3-2 W vs. UBC in CW MSOC gold medal game.

Second-year defender Connor Guilherme had his best game of the season when it mattered most, scoring the tying goal in the 80th minute followed by the game-winner in overtime to power UBC to a 3-2 win over the Trinity Western Spartans for the ‘Birds’ 17th conference championship.

Guilherme played the entirety of both Canada West Final Four matches for the T-Birds who now advance to the U SPORTS national championship in Kamloops, B.C., this weekend.

Guilherme had a breakout season for the Thunderbirds playing in all but one regular season match while also contributing two goals which included a game winner against the national champion host Thompson Rivers WolfPack.

UBC opens up the championship tournament Thursday morning against the University of New Brunswick, as the ‘Birds search for a record 14th national title.


Women’s third star – Antoinette Miller

Winnipeg Wesmen basketball



Phoenix, Ariz.

Kinesiology & Applied Health/Education

Game log: Friday, Nov. 3 – 28 points, nine rebounds and four steals in 71-64 L vs. Alberta / Saturday, Nov. 4 – 43 points, six rebounds and three assists in 78-77 L vs. Alberta.

After two tough losses against the No. 3 ranked Alberta Pandas over the weekend, Antoinette Miller continues to be the driving force behind the Wesmen women's basketball team. The Wesmen relied heavily on Miller who played 77 minutes and now leads all CW women's basketball players in minutes played this season, averaging 35.3 per game. 

Miller continues to lead all Canada West players in scoring. This past weekend she averaged 36 points per game.  On Saturday night, Miller scored 43 points in a heartbreaking one-point loss to the Pandas (78-77). After two weekends of Canada West competition, Miller is leading the conference in points per game (32)

A defensive demon, Miller had eight steals this weekend and stands fourth in the league with 11 steals. With 15 rebounds this weekend, the five-foot-seven guard is also second in the conference with 42 rebounds. 

This weekend the Wesmen travel to Calgary to face the Dinos.


Men’s third star – Leighton Johnson

Trinity Western Spartans soccer



Strathmore, Alta.

General Studies 

Game log: Friday, Nov. 3 – goal on four shots in 3-2 W vs. Alberta at CW MSOC Final Four / Saturday, Nov. 4 – goal and an assist in 3-2 L vs. UBC in CW MSOC gold medal game. 

Leighton Johnson was once again an instrumental figure for the Spartans as they earned a silver medal at the Canada West MSOC Final Four. 

Johnson scored the overtime game-winner against highly-touted Alberta to send the Spartans to the Canada West final for the first time since 2008. In the final against UBC, Johnson tallied a goal and an assist in what was a heartbreaking 3-2 overtime loss against the Thunderbirds.

Playing at Thunderbird Stadium, Johnson helped TWU take a 2-0 lead only to see UBC rally for the extra time victory. Johnson finished the post-season with four goals and two assists in three games, as TWU put together its best result in a decade while also capturing a conference medal for the second straight year. Last season, the Spartans earned a Canada West bronze medal. Including the regular season and playoffs, Johnson finished the year with 10 goals and eight assists in 19 games.