#2 Canadian Mennonite University Blazers (7-5) vs #3 Red River College (6-6)
Saturday, 6:00 p.m.
Red River College will come in this weekend having won last year against Providence, 3-1 in the championship final. But with a 6-6 record the Rebels will have to prove to the rest of the league that they are better than their .500 record with 23 total wins and 23 total losses, might imply. They will also have the task of shutting down CMU’s 6’5” middle John Neickarz, an All-Conference selection who hopefully matches up with Red River’s 6’4” Jarrell Taylor Babb in the middle. Taylor Babb and first-year setter Zac McCarthy also were named All-Conference along with Neickarz’s teammte on the left side, Joel Kliewer.
#2 Providence University College Pilots (16-4) vs #3 Assiniboine Community College Cougars (12-8) Saturday, 12:00 p.m.
These two teams both handed the University of Winnipeg Wesmen their only two losses of the 2016 this season, and both would like one last shot at them should U of W make it through to Sunday.
PUC’s head coach, Scott Masterson, looks forward to what has already been a competitive season. The quality of the league has improved this year where each of the top 4 teams are playing some great volleyball and have a chance to do well.”
After falling to the Wesmen in the 2015 final 3-1 in sets, the Pilots will no doubt have a chip on their shoulders to go along with a home crowd this weekend. Providence also features more All-Conference selections than any other women’s team in the MCAC with Shayna Staerk, LaRae Penner and Sam Bridle all being named.
The Cougars enter the weekend having last seen the Pilots in a 3-0 loss on January 29th. After a 12-8 season, head coach Beth Clark is confident that her team can play with any other in the MCAC.
“We’ve had ups and downs this season but ultimately we’ve beat every team in the league at least once. We’ve proved we can be a real contender for the title and we hope to do just that”.
The Cougars were lead all season by the 2016 MCAC Most Valuable Player, Brooke Huculak. They will no doubt need a huge game from the left side, something opposing teams came to expect this season.
#1 University of Winnipeg College Wesmen (18-2) vs #4 Canadian Mennonite University Blazers (8-12) Saturday, 4:00 p.m.
The University of Winnipeg College Wesmen lost only two games in the MCAC regular season, neither of which belonged to the Canadian Mennonite University Blazers. They also carry the last two MCAC titles with them into the weekend, something head coach Tanner Owens is confident in his team given their recent history.
“This year we will be looking to grab our third straight conference title. With 80% of my team being in the final the last two years – and winning – shows we know how to get there and how to play in high pressure situations.”
The second semi-final will feature three All-Conference selections in U of W’s Jocelyn Bartos,
Talia Paestch and CMU’s Kim Town.
#1 Providence University College Pilots (10-2) vs #4 Assiniboine Community College Cougars (1-11) Saturday, 2:00 p.m.
Providence lead the competition this season finishing with three more wins than second place Red River College. MCAC MVP Erik Wiebe and All-Conference selections Lucas Pappel and
Greg Dueck were standouts this season, but the Pilots feature a dangerous all-round package that will be definitely be tough for the Cougars to crack.
Beth Clark, athletic director for ACC, sees a lot of potential in her men’s program even if they may still be building something.
“Our team is young and raw and the men’s league is strong this year. The Cougars have a deep bench, pushing everyone to improve and the team as a whole has improved a lot from the beginning of the season and have put up good games against the top teams.” The Cougars men’s team got an All-Conference nod this season to 6’4” middle, Jordan Scott.
Story Courtesy of Kelly McGuiness/MCAC