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Erik Siksna named U SPORTS Top 8 Academic All-Canadian

Erik Siksna, Queen's Gaels volleyball player
Gaels men's volleyball team member Erik Siksna has been named a U SPORTS Top 8 Academic All-Canadian for the 2021-22 season, marking the third straight year a Queen’s student-athlete has been recognized with the award.

Erik Siksna, a member of the Queen's men's volleyball team, has been named a U SPORTS Top 8 Academic All-Canadian for the 2021-22 season.

Siksna, a third-year student in the Smith School of Business commerce program, was also named an Academic All-Canadian for the second time earlier this season.

“This award is a tremendous honour. To be recognized among the many outstanding student-athletes and Academic All-Canadians is truly special,” Siksna says. “I have always worked to prioritize both my athletics and academics, so this recognition is especially meaningful. With that being said, there is no doubt that my success wouldn’t be possible without the unwavering support from my teammates, coaches, and the university, which I am extremely grateful for.”

This marks the third year in a row that a Queen’s student-athlete has been named a Top 8 Academic All-Canadian, with Sophie de Goede (Women’s rugby and basketball) receiving the award in 2020-21, and Slater Doggett (Men’s hockey) in 2019-20. Overall, Siksna is the seventh Queen’s Gael to be recognized.

The Governor General’s Academic All-Canadian Commendation was founded by former Governor General of Canada David Johnston, who first honoured Canada’s Top 8 student-athletes in 2013. To achieve this award student-athletes must maintain an average of 80 per cent or better over the academic year while competing for one – or more – of their university’s varsity teams. Among these outstanding individuals, one female and one male student-athlete from each of the four U SPORTS conferences are selected annually to make up the Top 8. 

Siksna, an outside hitter for the Gaels, was named the OUA East Division Most Valuable Player for the 2021-22 season as well as a First Team OUA East Division All-Star.

“Erik Siksna has been one of our top student-athletes since his arrival on campus. He was named Rookie of the Year for Queen’s, the OUA, and U SPORTS in 2019 before competing with Team Canada at the FIVB Volleyball Men’s U21 World Championship this past summer,” says Leslie Dal Cin, Executive Director, Athletics & Recreation. “A natural leader and impact player on the court, Erik also excels in the classroom as a perpetual Academic All Canadian. Erik will continue to accomplish great things during his time at Queen’s, and serve as a fantastic example of what we celebrate in U SPORTS student-athletes.”

Off the court, Siksna volunteers as an assistant coach of a high school volleyball team, and helping mentor other student-athletes as a Gaels tutor.

In the classroom, Siksna is a two-time Academic All-Canadian and holds a 4.1 GPA and was a recipient of the Queen's University Excellent Scholarship for entering with an average above 90 per cent.

“It takes a special type of student-athlete to excel at the level Erik has been able to in just his first years both on and off the court. His calm, cool and collected demeaner has allowed him to manage the stress of both a heavy commerce work load as well as the big playoff moments,” says Gabriel deGroot, Head Coach of the Gaels men's volleyball team. “Erik’s success comes with little surprise when considering the time, effort and dedication he puts into every detail of his life.”

Visit the U SPORTS website for more information on this year’s Top 8 Academic All-Canadians.