Stingers well-represented in RSEQ All-Stars

Basketball and women’s hockey players get recognition within the conference

Stingers guard Jaheem Joseph dribbles past a Citadins player. He was named to the men’s basketball RSEQ second all-star team. Photo Alice Martin

Twelve Stingers from the basketball teams and women’s hockey team have earned a spot on the Réseau du sport étudiant du Québec’s (RSEQ) All-Star teams.

Women’s hockey forward Émilie Lussier and goaltender Arianne Leblanc have made both the RSEQ first All-Star team and the All-Rookie team. Lussier has scored a team-leading 18 goals this regular season, which also ranks her second in the RSEQ. Leblanc is the Stingers’ most-used goaltender and recorded a 0.946 save percentage in the regular season, the fourth-best in U Sports.

Team captain Emmy Fecteau, alternate captain Léonie Philbert and forward Émilie Lavoie made the RSEQ second All-Star team. Philbert leads the team in assists with 22 and Lavoie trails Lussier by three goals to rank second in goals. A major pillar in the women’s hockey team, Fecteau has also received the RSEQ’s leadership and social engagement award.

Women’s hockey head coach Julie Chu and men’s basketball head coach Rastko Popovic have been named Coach of the Year in their respective sports.

“It's not just about me, it's our whole staff,” said Chu. “We have a lot of really dedicated coaches that have done a tremendous job for our program, and have really helped cover all the different areas, because I have so many areas that I'm not good at.”

Stingers men’s basketball guard Sami Jahan also spoke highly of his head coach.

“Anyone who's on the inside that knows coach Rastko will understand that it makes sense [that he got this award],” said Jahan. “He pretty much lives, breathes, eats, sleeps the game… It's not just a job, his whole life revolves around it.” 

Jahan himself earned the first-team All-Star honours. Jahan averaged 15.4 points per game through his 15 regular season contests.. This season, he also recorded 1,500 career points as a Stinger.

“I’m pretty happy with how things went. It takes years and experience to get to a certain level of basketball performance, and I felt like I was reaching that over a lot of trial and error and a lot of practice,” said Jahan. “I was trying to find out what works for me in terms of preparation and my whole life kind of revolved around [it]. I was really acting like a professional athlete, even though I'm not. I think that discipline, and that mindset really helps.”

Guard Jaheem Joseph has made the second All-Star team and gave a stellar performance in his first full campaign with the Stingers. He led his team in scoring, averaging 15.8 points per game in the regular season, with seven blocks and 28 steals to complement the feat.

Forward Karam Sahly and guard Jordan Telfort earned spots on the All-Rookie team. Both players played all 16 games and became integral parts of the team.

Women’s basketball forward Serena Tchida received a first-team All-Star nomination. Tchida was the team’s best scorer and rebounder, averaging 15.1 points and 7.2 rebounds over 16 games. An accurate shooter, she made 50 per cent of the field goals she attempted. Tchida was also nominated for the RSEQ Tracy MacLeod Award for perseverance.

Starting guards Areej Burgonio and Rowena Blais made the second All-Star team. Burgonio and Blais have played the most minutes out of anyone on the team and are two of the most prolific three-point shooters on the team. Burgonio ranks first in all of U Sports for passing with 5.1 assists per game. It’s the second year in a row that she has accomplished this feat.

Burgonio, when asked about her nomination to the All-Star team, first spoke of her teammates.

“Serena, after her achilles injury and coming back in the season right after and getting first-team All-Star, like I give them credit more than what I would give to myself.”

This year also marked Burgonio’s last season with the Stingers.

“It feels very surreal and I feel like a part of me is still in denial about how it ended. But despite the ending, it's been a beautiful six years of my life,” she said, referencing their loss against Bishop’s in the RSEQ semifinals. “I've learned so many valuable lessons that I carry with me that just transcend basketball.”