02/26/2014 01:24 EST | Updated 04/28/2014 05:59 EDT

Thompson Rivers hitter Brad Gunter named top CIS men's volleyball player

CALGARY - Brad Gunter was named the Canadian Interuniversity Sport men's volleyball player of the year on Wednesday.

The third-year right side hitter from Thompson Rivers University had a standout season, leading CIS in kills (5.31) and points (6.04) per set as well as total points (404.5), while placing second in total kills (356).

The six-foot-six native of Courtenay, B.C., is the first member of the WolfPack to claim MVP honours since Thompson Rivers joined CIS in 2005-06.

"Brad was our security blanket this season. He had a phenomenal year, above expectations for all of us. His hard work and dedication has paid off," said Thompson Rivers head coach Pat Hennelly. "It is great for Brad to be named MVP. It is an ongoing improvement process for him and I think the ceiling is still higher."

In other awards: Trinity Western setter Adam Schriemer was voted CIS rookie of the year; Waterloo's Erich Woolley was named the nation's top libero; Thompson Rivers setter Colin Carson received the Dale Iwanoczko Award for his excellence in volleyball, academics and community service; and Trinity Western's Ben Josephson was named coach of the year for the third straight season.

The 2014 CIS men's volleyball championship gets under way Thursday at the University of Calgary's Jack Simpson Gymnasium.