Fourth and First Year Earn OUA Honours

OUA announces 2016 East Division Women’s Volleyball Major Awards and All-Stars

WJO – contributions from the OUA

Ontario University Athletics (OUA) recently announced the 2015-16 OUA East division women’s volleyball major awards and all-stars.

Included with this elite group are two RMC Paladins.

Graduating player, Cassidy Chang has been recognized for her on-court skill as a player and as an off-court leader to earn the OUA East Division ‘Award of Merit’.

Not only has Paladins outside hitter Kara Stephan (#4)  been named to the OUA all-rookie team after her debut season, but the first-year engineering major rounds out the OUA East division second-team all-star selections as well. In just her first season in the league, Stephan finished third with 3.30 kills and 4.1 points per set. The Barrie, Ont. native also boasts a booming serve as she led the conference with 0.64 service aces per set.


For the 2015 fall semester, Chang was the Cadet Wing Operations Officer – as a member of the Top 5 – a major leadership position for the entire college. The fourth-year mechanical engineering student-athlete proved that she could balance her academics, leadership role within the Cadet Wing and play at an outstanding level for the entire OUA schedule.

She becomes the first RMC Paladins player in program history to win the prestigious award.

Second year varsity (w) volleyball head coach, Joely Christian-Macfarlane, on hearing the news was elated and had much to say.

“When I nominated Cassidy for this award I knew she was a strong candidate based on her strong leadership skills on the team, her outstanding academic achievements and her leadership in the College.”

She added. “I am extremely pleased that the rest of the OUA also saw her abilities and awarded her for them. It reflects how well rounded she is and what an incredible young woman she is.”

The Delta, BC native was obviously proud and equally modest when asked how she felt on receiving this award. “I was honestly very surprised. There are so many amazing girls in the league that I couldn’t believe I was chosen for the award. I am very excited to represent the RMC Varsity program; I am also very excited for my teammate, Kara Stephan, who won all-star team awards.”

Coach Christian-Macfarlane had a lot of great things to say about her rookie hitter too.

“Kara had a phenomenal first season. It is exciting to see her achieve such an amazing accomplishment by being voted to not just one but two OUA All-Star teams in her first season. She has been a leader statistically in the league from her first weekend of play and finished the season as the number one server in the league and the best serving average in the country.”

The coach made a key point. “She is the first OUA all-star for the women’s Paladins (vb) program since the 2011/12 season and the first to be honoured with two selections in the same season.

The first year officer cadet from 5 Squadron was justifiably proud. “Being selected for these awards at this early stage of my volleyball career in OUA makes me very excited and hopeful for the future of RMC women’s volleyball.” The mature young lady made a point of paying her respects too. “ I am also so proud of my teammate, Cass Chang for being selected for the Award of Merit from the OUA.

As in most conversations of this type, the coach had the final word.

“It has been an amazing opportunity to work with Cass for the last two seasons. I wish I had had the chance to be her coach for all four of her seasons here at the College as I’ll miss her leadership and competitive spirit. I wish her so much success as she starts the next phase of her life.”

Looking forward to next season the skipper wrapped-up.

“Kara has been such a pleasure to coach and work with this season and I really look forward to watching her grow as both a Cadet and an athlete over the next three seasons.”

One Comment

  • Pamela Jessen

    March 7, 2016 at 2:59 pm

    Kara is my niece and I couldn’t be more proud of her!! What a great article and it was nice to see her teammate celebrated as well.

    Congratulations Kara! Uncle Ray and I are so happy for you and excited for your future!!