The Rebels men’s volleyball squad returned to Winnipeg a new team October 13th after competing in the Service Plus Inn and Suites Challenge Cup held in Red Deer, Alberta.
The team started the tournament with a 3-0 loss to a very tough Red Deer College Alumni team. The Alumni’s strong serving gave the Rebels trouble and the match was characterized by many unforced attack errors.
The team’s second match was against Grande Prairie Regional College. After learning from their errors in the first match, the Rebels played much more consistently in a 3-2 defeat. Very strong passing from Libero Manuel Hildebrandt helped the team score 47 kills. Matt Lux and John Tronrud would combine for 25, while Jeff Draper would lead RRC with 5 of their 17 blocks.
After the tough 5-set loss to Grande Prairie, the Rebels had very little time to prepare for their final round robin match against the Medicine Hat College Rattlers. The Rebels started strong and maintained a lead for the majority of the first set. Unfortunately, Medicine Hat eventually narrowed the gap and took the first set 25-22. The Rattlers then used their momentum to capture an easy 25-16 victory in the second set. In an effort to extend the match, the Rebels stepped up their play in the third set. Yet, like they did in the first set, the Rattlers rallied late to close out the match with a 25-23 win.
The first round of the playoffs saw RRC matched up against Columbia Bible College. After dropping the first set, the Rebels regrouped to take the match 3-1. Strong defence would keep the Rebels in the game as they finished with 22 digs – 6 of those coming courtesy of team captain Chris Morrissette. Matt Lux lead the way with 19 of the team’s 49 kills.
After advancing through the first round, the Rebels then faced Lakeland College. RRC controlled the first set winning 25-20, which included 10 digs and 17 kills. However, Lakeland would win three straight sets to defeat the Rebels 3-1. RRC had difficulty blocking as they only stopped Lakeland attacks seven times. Poor blocking would result in plenty of opportunities to dig balls on defence as the Rebels finished the match with 37. Of those, Kevin Brown and Rob Schneider combined for 18.
The Rebels finished the tournament with a 3-1 victory over Lethbridge College in the 11th place match. RRC displayed very strong serving, including 4 aces from Matt Lux. Chris Morrissette would contribute 8 of the team’s 28 digs, while Rob Schneider and Jeff Draper combined for 13 kills.
Overall, the tournament was a very positive experience for the team. Despite having limited practice time or exhibition play prior to the event, the RRC players adjusted well to the level of competition and worked very hard to implement the tactics and systems introduced to them prior to departure. It proved to be an excellent opportunity for the team to play some tough early season matches, as well as build a strong team chemistry.