Red River Rebels Women’s Volleyball – 2018 Season Preview
Head coach: Dan McGregor, 5th season
Keys for the Rebels:
Key Additions: Taylor Gray – middle, Brooke Paulsen – left side
Key Returnee: Ashley Goodwin – middle, Chloe Orteza – captain
Key Losses: Sydney Curell – setter
Season Preview: In his fifth year as Red River Rebels women’s volleyball head coach, Dan McGregor, also an accomplished coach at the club level while being named 2017-18 Manitoba Colleges Athletic Conference (MCAC) Coach of the Year, commented upon the prospects of the upcoming 2018-19 season, “Each year the team has gotten a little bit better and we are hoping that this is the year that we can take the next step to make it to the conference final.”
This program has had a dramatic improvement over the last two seasons as after a 0-20 season and out of the playoffs, the Rebels then went 6-14 record in the 2016-17 campaign and last year improved to 11-5 mark.
There are changes from last season when the squad made it to the semi-finals with departing second year setter Sydney Curell off-set with the arrivals of middle Taylor Gray and left side Brooke Paulsen. Gray finished playing two years at the University of Waterloo at the U SPORTS level while Paulsen was at the College of the Rockies and for the Providence Pilots. Both newcomers will bring talent, experience and leadership to this year’s team.
In addition, returning back to the Rebels are two strong players in Ashley Goodwin and Chloe Orteza. Goodwin was all-world as she was selected as 2018-19 MCAC MVP plus All-Conference All-Star and will bring her well-rounded game and leadership for another season. Orteza, a former Winnipeg Wesmen, is another key piece to the team as she exudes intensity and desire as the captain.
The conference will be as competitive as ever and the Rebels seek to improve on their 11-5 regular season record from the previous year but coach McGregor knows every match will be tough, hard fought and entertaining for the fans.
Red Rivers looks to crack the conference Finals, which has had CMU Blazers and Providence Pilots participate in the past two seasons, and the first step is hosting the ACC Cougars on November 2-3 weekend to begin the quest towards a championship.
The season ends with the 2019 MCAC Men’s Volleyball Championships on February 24 and the Rebels want to be playing at the end for a banner.
– By Chris Zuk