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Blazers Cap Marathon Home Match

0T8A1847-XLDisappointed in the result of their season opening home match a week ago, the Blazers came through in the critical moments of their match with Providence on Wednesday night, to capture the win in thrilling fashion, by a score of 3-2 (25-18, 26-24, 16-25, 16-25, 15-9).

Undefeated through two conference matches entering Wednesday’s date with CMU, Providence were comfortable early leaders in the MCAC Men’s Volleyball Standings, with home wins against powerful University of Winnipeg and University of St-Boniface. With the loss, the Pilots fall to 2-1 while CMU climbs to a 2-2 record, as they embark on a weekend that takes the Blazers to Brandon for a double-dip with the Assiniboine Cougars on Saturday afternoon.

Roster depth has made the Blazers a force this year in what in the early stages appears to be a very competitive race for first-place and playoff-positions in MCAC Men’s Volleyball. The Blazers, College Wesmen, Rebels, Rouges and Pilots all appear poised and expecting to challenge for top-seed, while the ACC Cougars are also making plans to push for one of the four playoff positions.

Leading the charge for the Blazers in Wednesday’s win was the CMU 2012-13 Male Athlete of the Year, Shawn Franz (below) who had been kept out of action with a severe ankle injury since mid-summer. The 6’3 power returned to the rotation midway through Sunday evening’s straight-set loss to the University of Winnipeg, but his presence lifted his team to new heights on and off the court.

IMG_0358-XL“He is a calm, confident presence on the court for us, “says second-year libero Thomas Friesen of Franz, “He leads by example and can put the team on his back at any moment.” In just a set and a half, Franz racked up 7 kills versus the Wesmen and on Wednesday against the Pilots, Franz was again the offensive leader for the Blazers with 11 kills.

Friesen led the Blazers defense on Wednesday night, with 8 digs and along with Franz, Marc Murie and middle-blocker Kailan Janzen, the veterans have helped the rookie contingent familiarize themselves very quickly with the conference and kept the energy high in key moments, as they did in Wednesday evening’s tiebreaker after seeing games 3 and 4 slip away from them.

“We know we can compete with anyone we face” says Friesen, “and the key is maintaining a high energy level throughout the match.”

The Blazers leave tomorrow morning for Brandon, planning to return two-games above .500 as they prepare to host Les Rouges and the College Wesmen, November 15th and 16th.


Manitoba Colleges Athletic Conference Northern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association