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UBC’s Savannah Bauder Named Player Of The Year

Photo Credit Canada West

Continuing to cover various sports in all areas we want to share the following which we received from Canada West.

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UBC’s Savannah Bauder has earned the conference’s Player of the Year award, the cherry on top of another remarkable season where she led the Thunderbirds to their fourth-straight conference title earlier this afternoon.

Bauder and the Thunderbirds braved the elements on a frigid afternoon in Lethbridge, using a big second half effort to defeat rival Victoria 10-0 in a tightly contested defensive battle.

UBC coach Dean Murten was named the 2023 Rugby 15s Coach of the Year, adding another accolade to his impressive tenure at the helm of the T-Birds. Adia Pye of UBC was named the conference’s Rookie of the Year, while Victoria’s Soleil Brooks earned the Student-Athlete Community Service Award.

The Rugby 15’s 2023 All-Star roster has also been announced, highlighted by seven T-Birds earning All-Star nods.

Bob Frid / UBC Thunderbirds

PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Savannah Bauder (UBC)

  • Fourth-Year
  • Fly Half
  • North Vancouver, BC
  • Faculty: Arts

Bauder was simply unstoppable again this season, playing an instrumental role in helping lead the T-Birds to an undefeated season and the CW championship.

The fourth-year fly half led the conference in scoring with 70 points during the regular season, including seven tries and an impressive 16 converts. 

She also put forth a monster performance at the 2023 CW Championships, scoring three tries in the T-Birds 52-5 win over Lethbridge in the semifinals.

In a tightly contested gold medal game against Victoria, Bauder scored all ten of her team’s points in a 10-0 win.

The North Vancouver product has played a large part in building the T-Birds recent dynasty, as UBC have now claimed the past four CW championships.

Bob Frid / UBC Thunderbirds


  • First-year
  • Centre
  • Victoria, B.C.
  • Faculty: Biology

Pye burst onto the Canada West scene in a huge way for the Thunderbirds. Showcasing breakaway speed, the first-year Victoria product scored an incredible conference leading 11 tries for UBC, four more than any other player.

It didn’t take long for the Victoria product to establish her dominance offensively, as she was named the U SPORTS Rugby Player of the Week on Sept. 20 after putting up four tries against Alberta, all in just her second career conference game.

She stepped her game up to another level in the postseason, scoring three tries in the first half of the T-Birds semifinal win over Lethbridge, before eventually helping the T-Birds claim the conference championship with a win over Victoria in the final.


  • Third-year
  • Prop
  • Hometown: Abbotsford, B.C.
  • Faculty/Program: Indigenous Studies

Brooks has been awarded the 2023 CW Student-Athlete Community Service award, acknowledging her tremendous contributions both on-and-off the field of competition.

Since Soleil joined the Vikes, she has continually given back to the rugby community and strived to make her university a better place. 

She was named the Lt Col. W.D.C Holmes award recipient at the 2022 U SPORT Championships for her volunteer efforts, and has continued those tremendous efforts into this season. 

Soleil started the UVIC Collective for BIPOC Student Athletes, a group that aims to give Varsity student athletes of colour a space to connect and create change on campus. The goal of this group is to also build a mentorship program with young black athletes in the Victoria area.

Soleil also leads educational sessions regarding racism and Black History Month with other Vikes varsity teams , and has been involved with BC Grassroots Rugby, a non profit that connects Indigenous youth with rugby and their culture. She has also given back by coaching the Westshore RFC Minis.

Her coaches describe Soleil as an extremely passionate and hard working student-athlete who is always striving to making herself and those around her better. 

Her athletic goal is to play for the Canadian National team and this summer she was selected to the U20 Canada team.


  • Sixth season

Dean Murten earns his fourth-straight CW Coach of the Year title as his UBC Thunderbirds cemented their status as a modern day dynasty, taking home their fourth-straight conference banner on Sunday.

Murten has spent significant time growing the game of Rugby in Canada, as the national team coach for the 17 and under, 18 and under, and 19 and under squads. Under his guidance, UBC has now gone unbeaten in three straight Canada West seasons since 2020.


Rori Wood, UBC, Front Row

Zoe Williams, VIC, Front Row

Jordan McLeod, UBC, Front Row

Jada Holtcamp, LET, Lock

Daisey Shackley, CGY, Lock

Shelby Pierce, ALB, Back Row

Rachel Smith, UBC, Back Row

Madi Jumeau, VIC, Back Row

Alayna Scramstad, UBC, Scrum

Savannah Bauder, UBC, Fly Half

Sara Kaljuvee, UBC, Centre

Maggie MacKinnon, VIC, Centre

Kenya Richards, LET, Back Three

Olivia Sarabura, UBC, Back Three

Lucie Romeo, VIC, Back Three


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