Thibeault makes Big Sky all star team

Red Deer’s Jaimie Thibeault, a middle blocker with the University of Montana Grizzlies women’s volleyball team, has been selected as an Big Sky Conference first-team all star for a second consecutive season.

Red Deer’s Jaimie Thibeault, a middle blocker with the University of Montana Grizzlies women’s volleyball team, has been selected as an Big Sky Conference first-team all star for a second consecutive season.

In her third year at Montana, Thibeault helped the Grizzlies post a 14-13 regular-season record, including 10-6 in Big Sky Conference play.

The Grizzlies’ season ended last weekend with a 3-1 semifinal loss to top-seeded Portland State in the Big Sky playoff tournament in Cheney, Wash.

Thibeault put together one of Montana’s top single-season performances in program history.

She hit .366 during the regular season, which led the Big Sky Conference and easily broke the current Montana single-season hitting percentage record of .305.

She also ranked second in the Big Sky in blocks and seventh in kills.

After missing the opening three matches of the season to compete for Alberta at the Canada Games, Thibeault returned to post double-figure kills in 20 of Montana’s final 24 matches and 11 times hit .400 or better in a match.

She becomes Montana’s first back-to-back first-team selection since Karen Goff earned three straight first-team selections in 1992, ’93 and ’94.

“The team and I are very excited for Jaimie,” fourth-year UM coach Jerry Wagner said. “The way she conducts herself and the passion she has for the game, she is a very deserving player.

“She loves to play, and she loves to play with her teammates. She plays at a high level night in and night out, and that’s how awards like these come about, with Jaimie’s type of consistency. It’s never a one-time thing with Jaimie. It’s every day, every opportunity.”