Athletes of the week

Mitch Ledger
Mitch Ledger
Elyssa Heller
Elyssa Heller

Mitch Leger
men’s basketball

Forward Mitch Leger was a driving force for the men’s basketball team on their weekend road trip in southwestern Ontario. Leger led the team to a win against the Western Mustangs by scoring 20 points and grabbing 15 rebounds. He followed that up the next night with 11 points and 11 rebounds in a hard-fought loss to the Windsor Lancers, the OUA defending champions.

The team is 2-2 so far, and Leger has scored a team high of 64 points. Although Leger is only in his second year, the team often relies on him for scoring. Head coach Rob Smart said it’s important for these first and second year players to take leadership roles “We’re a very young team [so] he has to show some leadership,” he said.

Smart said Leger’s reliability is one of his strengths.

“Mitch is one of the two guys that we [rely on] for offensive consistency,” he said.

Leger has improved since his rookie season, Smart said.

“He was good when he came in,” he said. “He got stronger and more refined.”

The 6’6 basketball player said a successful season will depend on the help he gets from his teammates, and he has full trust in their abilities.

“Everyone on the team can score,” he said.

—Joshua Hong

Elyssa Heller
women’s volleyball

It is hard not to notice rookie Elyssa Heller on the volleyball court. The 5’10 right side hitter is sixth in the OUA in points per game, with an average of 3.75.

Heller continued her strong rookie season for the Gaels this past weekend. She had a dominating 15 kills and 23 digs in a five-set loss to the Brock Badgers and recorded nine kills and eight digs in the team’s four-set win over the Ryerson Rams.

Coach Joely Christian said Heller’s work ethic plays a large role in her success.

“Her greatest strength is her determination and she works hard every day in practice,” Christian said.

The team’s goal is to finish top four in the OUA East and as a starting hitter, Heller will play a major part in their efforts.

“I like to make sure to do everything I can individually to help the team in any way,” Heller said, adding that she still has a lot to learn from the team’s older players.

Heller has had a couple of knee surgeries during the five years she played competitive volleyball. She said she finds inspiration from other players that have prevailed despite knee surgeries.

“I get a lot of my motivation from other athletes who have been in my same situation,” she said.

—Joshua Hong

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