Ryan Sclater knows how to go out in style.
Five years ago, in his final high school basketball game, he led the Terry Fox Ravens to the 2012 B.C. 3A provincial senior boys basketball championship title, earning most valuable player honours along the way.
And on Sunday, in the final game of his stellar of his five-year university volleyball career, Sclater helped lead the Trinity Western Spartans to the U Sports national championship with a 3-1 victory over the host Alberta Golden Bears in Edmonton.
“This is what you will always remember,” Sclater said on Monday.
“I am really thankful it has happened again. I am going to get to experience that lasting bond of friendship with teammates I have shared a championship with.”
Sclater, a six-foot-six outside hitter, was also named a tournament all-star, yet another trophy for his mantle after he was named the U Sports national player of the year earlier in the week.
He averaged 4.29 kills per set and finished with 369 total kills, a new TWU all-time record. And his 427.5 points is the fifth best single-season Canada West performance ever.
“Ryan’s year was special,” said Spartans coach Ben Josephson. “We’ve had some great outside players come through here and the year he put together is statistically the best outside season we’ve ever seen.
“We’ve had him play left and right for the majority of the season and he’s been equally efficient at both. He’s a pretty special player. Not a lot of athletes I’ve had can play both sides and play that many different roles at a high level every single weekend. He has been incredible all season long and is very deserving of this award.”
As for what comes now, Sclater — who will graduate with an English degree with a minor in biblical studies — has signed with an agent and will pursue a professional volleyball career in Europe.
In addition to Sclater’s award, teammate Eric Loeppky was named the U Sports rookie of the year.
He led all Canada West servers in aces per set, with 0.55 and he finished second on the Spartans — behind only Sclater — with 3.03 kills per set.
“The crazy part is the sky is the limit,” Josephson said.
“Anyone who has followed the game has seen him coming through the system knowing that he’s always been great and now he’s continued to be great.”