It was a somewhat surprising start to the 2011 MCAC Final 4 Volleyball Championships at Red River College as the highly favoured and #1 ranked Canadian Mennonite University Blazer women met the #4 seeded Assiniboine Community College Cougars in Friday’s first semifinal match.
It was a seesaw first set that saw ACC take a surprising 18-17 lead before a CMU run to a 25-21 win on the strong serving Evelyn Kampen and Breanne Giesbrecht.
The second was another close battle with ACC coming back to tie things up at 17 and 22 after trailing 12-6 early. CMU took the set 25-23.
ACC took a 9-5 lead in the third as the Blazers showed somewhat sloppy play and had several costly communication errors. The Cougars took the set 25-23 on potent back row attacks from Amanda Chambers, who was eventually named ACC’s player of the game.
The fourth set proved to be the last as CMU tightened their game with crisp setting from freshman backup Heidi Epp who came in to replace Jodi Plenert. Plenert, who was filling in at setter for injured starter Kathleen Vitt, recently familiarized herself to the position following Vitt breaking her elbow a couple weeks ago.
“We’re adjusting to a few injuries,” said Blazer head coach Andrea Charbonneau following the match. “Communication, I think we struggled with, and at moments it kind of showed.”
Last year’s regular season MVP Evelyn Kampen was awarded player of the game for CMU.
The defending MCAC champion Blazers will battle #3 ranked Providence College in Saturday’s women’s championship at 6 p.m.
By Darrin Bauming