Skip to navigation Skip to content Skip to footer

Wesmen women's volleyball dynasty gets its place in Canada West Hall of Fame

The Wesmen women's volleyball team is pictured holding the banner after winning the 1987 national championship on home floor at the Duckworth Centre. (UWinnipeg Archives)
The Wesmen women's volleyball team is pictured holding the banner after winning the 1987 national championship on home floor at the Duckworth Centre. (UWinnipeg Archives)

Another Winnipeg Wesmen volleyball dynasty has been granted a place inside the Canada West Hall of Fame.

On Tuesday, the Canada West conference announced the Wesmen women's volleyball teams of 1982-88 were officially inducted into the newly-minted Hall of Fame, which is celebrating 100 years of sport in Western Canada by inducting 100 athletes, teams and builders into its inaugural class.

The Wesmen women's dynasty is the second UWinnipeg team to be inducted thus far after the men's teams of 1970-74 were inducted last month. 

The Wesmen women were the first true dynasty of then-CIAU volleyball, peeling off six straight national championships starting with the 1982-83 season. In addition, a Wesmen player was named CIAU Player of the Year each season during Winnipeg's run of national domination.

The Wesmen are tied with Alberta and UBC as the only teams to have won six straight titles and Winnipeg was the first to do it. 

Perhaps the most notable achievements in the dynasty came during its late stages. The Wesmen went 58-0 overall in 1987-88 and that season started an unrivaled streak of 123 straight victories that ran until January 1989. 

During that time, it was more than just Canadian competition the Wesmen were beating, having taken wins of international teams as well as the eventual 1988 NCAA champion Texas Longhorns.

Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame member Jamie Hancharyk and her teammate Brenda Boroski were both named national player of the year twice. Ruth Klassen and Monica Lueg also won the honours during that run. Head coach Mike Burchuk won the national coach of the year award three years in a row starting in 1980-81 and then won it again in 1986-87. 

The 1988 team was inducted as a group into the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame. Throughout the dynasty, the Wesmen had a number of team members who would go on to play for Canada's national junior or senior teams in Boroski, Leug, Wanda Guenette, Joanne Onishko, Paulette Jerrard, Sheila Picklyk, Ruth Klassen, Ardith Lernout Parker, Bernice Bowley, Diane Scott, Leesa Fast, Carrie Chernomaz Patrick, April Stephenson, and Suzi Smith.

—#REPTHEW—