Written by Carleton Sports Information
Photo by Valerie Wutti
REGINA, SK — The 2017-18 U SPORTS women’s basketball major award winners and All-Canadians were revealed on Wednesday evening at the Conexus Arts Centre in Regina.
Ravens head coach Taffe Charles became the first Carleton bench boss to claim the Peter Ennis Award as the U SPORTS women’s basketball Coach of the Year
“It’s a great honour, and it’s a reflection of the hard work of my team and my coaching staff and support staff. This is also for my family – my wife and my kids – who sacrifice a great deal for me to be able to chase my passion and my dream.” – Taffe Charles
Additionally, fourth-year forward Elizabeth Leblanc (London, ON) became the first Ravens women’s basketball player to win the national Defensive Player of the Year award.
“It’s very exciting and it’s an honour just to have been nominated for this award. Receiving the award speaks volumes about my coaches and my teammates. It really shows what a great defensive group we have at Carleton.” – Elizabeth Leblanc
Head Coach – 11th Season
U SPORTS Coach of the Year
Taffe Charles of the Carleton Ravens is the 2017-18 recipient of the Peter Ennis Award as U SPORTS women’s basketball national Coach of the Year.
In his 11th year as head coach at Carleton, Charles guided the program to a 23-0 record in conference play – the first undefeated regular season in school history – and a 3-0 finish In the OUA playoffs, as the Ravens captured their second consecutive Critelli Cup championship.
Carleton is thrilled that Taffe has been recognized nationally as the U SPORTS women’s basketball Coach of the Year. This honour is a result of a culmination of hard work, dedication and commitment to building our women’s program over his 11-year career. The award recognizes the accomplishments of our student-athletes and Taffe as head coach.
Jennifer Brenning – Carleton’s director of recreation and athletics
Behind Charles’ leadership, Carleton won by an average of 26.5 points per game, leading the OUA conference and ranking seventh nationally in scoring (72.4 PPG) while limiting opponents with a stifling defence that allowed only 45.9 point per game.
The Ravens rose to the country’s No.1 ranking for only the second time in program history and maintained their top-flight status for the final four national polls of the 2017-18 season.
Charles is the first Carleton coach to receive the Peter Ennis Award since its inception in the 1977-78 season.
Forward – 4th Year – London, ON
U SPORTS Defensive Player of the Year
Elizabeth Leblanc of the Carleton Ravens is the 2017-18 recipient of the U SPORTS Defensive Player of the Year award.
With 26.7 minutes per game – her third consecutive season leading the Ravens in playing time – Leblanc accumulated 110 rebounds, 26 blocks (14th in U SPORTS) and 23 steals, providing the Ravens with stellar defence despite repeatedly being matched up with the opposing team’s top scoring threat.
Elizabeth had an exceptional season to help us rank as the top defensive unit in the country. Elizabeth routinely shut down the opposing team’s best offensive player each and every game. Her ability to defend all five positions on the floor at various times during this season is truly special.
Taffe Charles – Ravens head coach
Leblanc was a central figure in the Ravens’ nation-leading scoring defence that limited the competition to an average of 45.9 points per game during the regular season, which was 9.9 better than the next best defensive team in the country.
Leblanc’s ability to read the game was evident as she committed only 16 personal fouls during the season. The Hamilton Transway (JUEL) product is the only player in the country to register at least 100 rebounds, 20 blocked shots and 20 steals while committing fewer than 40 personal fouls in 2017-18.
Leblanc, a native of London, ON, is the first Raven to win the U SPORTS Defensive Player of the Year.