Matched up against a hungry Canadian Mennonite University squad, the Red River College Rebels attempted to earn their fourth consecutive Manitoba Colleges Athletic Conference men’s volleyball title on Saturday night in front of 400 in Red River’s newly upgraded North Gym.
The first set was a tight one that saw ties at 8 and 19, with no more than two-point spreads until Red River found victory 27-25.
The second was also closely battled with two and three-point spreads, but a pair of service aces and several skying kills from second-year Blazer Todd Reimer lifted CMU to a 25-21 win.
The second set also saw an unfortunate incident when Rebel setter Curtis Sawatzky collided with a fallen Dave Glass that opened up his forehead. The packed house witnessed a brief delay before the floor was cleaned up and the action resumed.
The third set was tied at 6 before Red River turned on their serving prowess via Dave Glass and all-conference selection Erik Hansen. Jacoby Dueck, who was also voted a 2010-11 all-conference selection, had numerous banging kills that elevated the Rebels to a 21-15 lead, and to an eventual 25-20 win.
The fourth proved to be the final set as Jacoby Dueck continued his perfectly placed offensive attacks with Erik Hansen and regular season MVP Tom Oosterveen pitching in with effective attacks as well.
Curtis Sawatzky & Mike Kozoway accept the championship banner from MCAC president Larry Shannon & executive director Bill Wedlake
“The guys have always responded to adversity this year,” said Rebel head coach Dan Gilbert following the final. “With Dave (Glass) going out with that cut above his eye, and even though we dropped that set, it was the challenge that we needed to really spark us.”
Jacoby Dueck’s consistently dominating performance over the weekend earned him Final 4 MVP honours, while teammate Tom Oosterveen and Blazer Todd Reimer were named players of the game.
2011 Final 4 MVP Jacoby Dueck
By Darrin Bauming
Full tournament results, awards, and more here: http://bit.ly/VBallFinal4s