Jenny CartmellBenkie
Affiliation: Pandas
Title: Athlete
Year Inducted: 2015
Sport(s): Volleyball
Degree(s): BPE (2003)
  • CIAU and Canada West Volleyball Rookie of the Year in 1995-96
  • Her teams won the CIAU Championship every year she competed from 1995 to 2000
  • In 1998-99 and 1999-2000, won the Bakewell Trophy as the U of A’s Most Outstanding Female athlete; Canada West Volleyball Most Valuable Player; CIAU First Team All-Canadian; and CIAU Women’s Volleyball Player of the Year
  • Received the Howard Mackie Award as the CIAU Female Athlete of the Year in all sports in 1999-2000
  • Member of the Canadian National B Team in 1996, 1997 and 1999, and the Canadian A Team from 2000 to 2002; played professionally in Europe from 2000 to 2002
  • Inducted into the Alberta Volleyball Hall of Fame in 2011
Full Bio

A Sherwood Park native, Jenny played her high school volleyball at Bev Facey Composite High School and club volleyball with both the Sherwood Park and Northern Alberta Volleyball Club programs.  She enrolled at the University of Alberta in 1995 and her outstanding talent was immediately recognized when she was named the CIAU, Canada West Universities Athletic Association (CWUAA), and the University of Alberta Rookie of the Year in 1995-96.  She served as captain of the volleyball teams in 1998-99 and 1999-2000.  All the Panda teams she played on from 1995 to 2000 were both Conference and National Champions, and Benkie remains one of a handful of players in Canada in any sport to win a national title in all five years of their university eligibility.

The Pandas’ volleyball teams that Benkie played on were inducted in the University’s Sports Wall of Fame as a “dynasty” team in 2008 for their unprecedented achievement of having won six consecutive national championship from 1994-95 to 1999-2000. These teams were inducted into the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame and Museum in 2001. Benkie was a key offensive player on the teams in the last five years of this streak, and her individual achievements as part of these outstanding teams were exceptional.  She was honoured in 1998-99 with the President’s Trophy as the MVP for Pandas volleyball. In both the 1998-99 and 1999-2000 seasons, Jenny received the following awards:  Bakewell Trophy as the University’s Most Outstanding Female athlete; Canada West 1st Team All-Star; Canada West Volleyball Most Valuable Player; CIAU Academic All Canadian; CIAU First Team All-Canadian; and CIAU Women’s Volleyball Player of the Year.  To cap off her university career, in 2000 Benkie was named the recipient of the Howard Mackie Award, presented to the CIAU Female Athlete of the Year in all sports (now called the CIS BLG Award).

In addition to her university career, Jenny was a member of a number of representative teams: Team Alberta during the summers of 1992, 1993 and 1994; the Canadian B Team in 1996, 1997 and 1999; the Canadian A Team from 2000 to 2002; and she was a member of the Canadian volleyball team at the FISU Games in 1997 in Italy (finished 4th), 1999 in Spain (finished 9th) and 2001 in China (finished 8th).  Benkie played professional volleyball in Belgium for the Temse Bells in 2000-01 and in the following year for the Swedish team Katrineholm that won the SM GULD Nationals.

Jenny played 289 games for the Pandas during her unique career.  She still holds the team record for single season kills per game (4.87), and she ranks in the top four in all-time Panda volleyball statistics for kills (867), attack attempts (2,237), service aces (95), digs (906) and career points (1,042).  Jenny Benkie graduated from the University of Alberta with a BPE in 2003, and she was inducted into the Alberta Volleyball Hall of Fame in 2011.

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