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Rebels Outlast Blazers In Thrilling MCAC Women’s Volleyball Championship

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Slow starts in the first and final sets proved to be too large an obstacle for CMU to overcome as the Blazers watched the Red River Rebels lift their first-ever MCAC Championship Trophy in Women's Volleyball on Sunday afternoon in Otterburne.

White-out conditions didn't stop a large crowd from gathering at Providence University College to witness the 2019 edition of the MCAC Volleyball Final Fours. Confident and coming off a straight-sets win on Saturday over the ACC Cougars and what was likely their most complete performance of the season, Women's Volleyball found themselves down 13-7 early on after Rebels setter Chloe Orteza served a run of six consecutive points, including an ace, to force CMU to their first timeout. Momentum in the opening set would continue out of the timeout, as Red River went on to take the first set in convincing fashion, with Championship Most Valuable Player, Ashley Goodwin, scoring off a block for the set-winning kill. 

After a back and forth start to the second set, Haley Ginter served for a run of five points forcing a Rebels timeout at 20-15 and ending with Ginter's first ace of the match as CMU took a commanding 22-15 advantage in set. The Blazer would go on to win the set 25-19, evening the match at one set each.

It was all CMU to start the third set as the number-one seeds jumped out to an early 10-2 lead. The Rebels swung back late in the set after Taylor Gray scored for a Red River sideout on 19-14. The former USport-athlete from the University of Waterloo would stand at the service line to record five points, ending with an Orteza stuff block to tie the match 19-19. Red River would go on to take the set 25-23.

The Blazers came within a point of letting the Championship slip away in the fourth. Down 2-1 in the match, CMU failed on three set-point attempts to put the Rebels away, eventually allowing Red River to tie the set 24-24. The Blazers would sideout on Jana Klassen's attack to bring up set-point at 26-25. The MCAC Women's Volleyball co-MVP followed her kill with a service ace to win the set for CMU and force a deciding fifth game. The fourth-year Calgarian would finish with a team-high 21 kills while adding 2 blocks and 12 digs.

Things went horribly wrong for the hopeful Blazers to start the tie-breaking set. Two Goodwin-kills followed and a third from Gray led to a Sara Meisner service ace and the Rebels found themselves ahead 8-2 when the teams changed sides. CMU would not sideout until the score was 9-2. Trailing 10-5, a trio of scoring plays from Klassen including back to back kills and a solo block forced a Rebels timeout at 10-8 but that would be as close as the Blazers would come in the fifth, conceding the set and the Championship to Red River by scores of 25-12, 19-25, 25-23, 25-27, 15-11.

Klassen and CMU setter Renee Desroches were selected to the 2019 MCAC Women's Volleyball All-Conference Team. Klassen and Goodwin would share Most Valuable Player honours. The recognition was Klassen's first selection to the MCAC All-Conference Team. For Dauphin's Desroches, it marked her second All-Conference honour in two seasons at CMU.

 

Manitoba Colleges Athletic Conference Northern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference

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