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The West Will Be Won This Weekend

1470063_724285870934853_2001322740_nThe Men’s and Women’s Volleyball teams boarded a charter this morning for Saskatoon where they will be competing Friday and Saturday in the 2013 Western Canadian College Open Volleyball Championships. The tournament features teams from Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba College members, Assiniboine Cougars from Brandon and the University of St-Boniface Rouges.

The CMU women are now two years removed from their 2011 Championship that they captured in Olds, Alberta when they defeated the ACAC’s King’s Eagles of Edmonton, 3-1. The Blazers also took home first-prize in 2010 when the tournament was last hosted in Saskatoon’s Henk Ruys Soccer Centre.

The women are pooled with Palliser College of Moose Jaw (PAC) who they will play first at 2:00 PM Friday afternoon, Prairie Bible of Three Hills, Alberta (ACAL), Millar College from Pambrun, Saskatchewan (PAC) and USB, whom the Blazers have yet to take a win against in their two previous conference matches this season.

Organizers expect the Kelsey Amaruks and USB to carry the best chance to win Gold as the Westerns this year, but the young Blazers have been taking strides forward and they know that they are on the verge of breaking through. “We need to work hard, but most importantly we need to have fun and just do what we are going out there to do!” said third-year libero Erin Blaine (pictured above), who was a rookie with the Blazers in 2011, when the team took home their second Western Canadian Gold in Olds, Alberta.

The men find themselves in a pool of four with Ambrose University College of Calgary (ACAL) who they will match-up with on Friday at 3:00 PM, St-Boniface and the hosts, Kelsey SIAST of Saskatoon (PAC). The Blazers fancy themselves to have as good a chance as any to take top-prize this weekend, but expect strong challenges from the Ambrose Lions and the Great Plains Sun Dogs who finished second in 2010.

1422405_723753957654711_733959325_nThe men are poised to rebound after topsy-turvy performances last weekend in conference play. In perhaps their best display of the year, the Blazers dissected the Providence Pilots in front of a raucous Otterburne crowd, but came out flat on Saturday night, falling to Red River in three quick sets. They will count heavily on the drive and experience of fourth-years Kailan Janzen (left) and Shawn Franz, who have plenty of experience at Westerns as well as the dynamic duo of rookie setter, Jason Friesen and power, Joel Kliewer who continue to be the biggest first-year volleyball story in MCAC through 10 matches.

Follow the scores as the tournament progress on the CMU Blazers Facebook and Twitter accounts. The Women’s Final is scheduled for 7:15 PM and the Men’s for 8:15 PM in Saskatoon









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