Red River Rebels Men’s Volleyball – 2018 Season Preview
Head coach: Lindsey Habib, 2nd season
Keys for the Rebels:
Key Additions: Curtis Duester, Paolo Racano
Key Returnee: Josh Goossen
Key Losses: Andrew Lysack, Reese Meixner
Season Preview: Goal number one for the Red River Rebels men’s volleyball team is to qualify again for the playoffs in the 2018-19 season.
The return of team’s MVP Josh Goossen is a huge boost, as he will be playing a full year after playing the second half of last year. Goossen, who also played with the Manitoba Bisons at the U SPORTS level, was the team leader in kills when he arrived. Head coach Lindsey Habib – named Volleyball Manitoba Elite development coach of the year for 2017 – commented, “With Josh Goossen, we have arguably the best player in the league. When we put him in a good position it doesn’t really matter what the other team does, he’s a hard guy to stop. If we can pass well, we will always have a chance.”
The season starts against the ACC Cougars at home on Nov. 2 and this will be a first chance to see where the team will stack up against the Manitoba Colleges Athletic Conference (MCAC) competition. Another challenge is back-to-back champions, the CMU Blazers, and the Rebels will match up with them at the end of the first half and start of the second half of this season and will be a good test for this year’s squad.
There is a ton of parity in the MCAC and the Rebels expect to be improved from last year and can match up against anyone this year.
As with every year, the Rebels will have some unique challenges. As Habib stated, “The main challenge will be how we can integrate the guys we pickup for the second half of the season. Red River is unique in that students have varying start times throughout the year, so the team we start with isn’t usually what we finish with. We are very unpredictable from that standpoint which makes it hard for other teams to prepare for us and get used to us. It’s also a great test for me to figure out where everyone fits and how best to put that puzzle together.”
With that said, the Rebels are poised to be right in the mix to battle for a top spot and be one of the teams to look for come the end of the season and make a long playoff run.
The season ends with the 2019 MCAC Men’s Volleyball Championships on February 24 and the Rebels aim to be there to play for a title.
– By Chris Zuk