Pilots, Blazers Advance to MCAC Men’s Volleyball Final

#1 PUC Pilots vs #4 USB Les Rouges

The Providence University College Pilots swept the Université de Saint-Boniface Les Rouges 3-0 (25-9, 25-21, 25-20) to advance to Saturday’s MCAC final for a chance to win back-to-back titles.

Will Ramsey was one of the many Pilots players pounding the ball in the match and he was named PUC’s player of the game.

The Pilots came out strong in the first set, winning 25-9 and looking like they could do no wrong.

“It was so much fun, we had a lot of intensity right from the beginning,” Ramsey said. “… Also, the fact we’re all well rested.”

Providence led 5-3 early on in the opening set, before firing off 10 straight points to push them to the set victory. Pilots’ left side Thomas Copland slammed down two kills and converted a tip during the 10-point swing.

All-conference players Willie Goossen and Jonas Friesen were also a force on the court, converting kills throughout the match.

Ramsey said the depth of this Pilots team forces defences to choose who to block more, allowing the others to have more open looks. Also, if someone is struggling, the team knows the next man will step up.

Les Rouges middle, Colin Boissonneault, did all he could in the second and third set, slamming down kills and energizing his team and the crowd.

The Pilots are set to play in the final at 1 p.m. on Saturday, and Ramsey said the team needs a repeat performance of today’s game.

“Same thing come out flying … and go out swinging,” he said.  

#2 CMU Blazers vs #3 ACC Cougars

The host Canadian Mennonite University Blazers topped the Assiniboine Community College Cougars 3-0 (25-14, 25-17, 25-17) on Saturday. With the win, the Blazers will look for revenge against the PUC Pilots — the Pilots beat the Blazers in last year’s final.

“They’re a really good team and I think we’re also a really good team. It’s a really even matchup and I’m excited for it,” said CMU left side Carter Hofer.

Hofer made plays when he needed to and was a key player and leader for the Blazers in the win. Prior to the game, Hofer and left side Cameron Gayleard were presented their MCAC all-conference team awards.

“Those two recognitions for me and Cam, they just mean that we play with a really good team, I think that’s all that it means,” said Hofer.

CMU slowed down league MVP Paycen Warkentin, not allowing him to get many open looks throughout the three sets.

“I think that it just requires a bit more focus, we have to know where he [Warkentin] is on the court and I think we did a really good job of shutting him down,” Hofer said. 

ACC all-conference player Braden Campbell took advantage of the extra attention put toward Warkentin. He slammed down multiple kills in every set, keeping ACC in the game, earning him ACC’s player of the game honours.

The Blazers cruised to a 25-14 first set win but faced a heavy resistance from the Cougars in the next two sets.

CMU led 6-4 early in the second set, before Matthew Page rifled off three straight kills. Matt Sawatzky followed with back-to-back aces, before Page converted two more kills. Gayleard finished off the 8-0 run with a kill of his own.

In the third set, Hofer and Sawatzky combined for a massive block on a on a jumping Warkentin kill, forcing the crowd to erupt.

The Blazers and Pilots will battle for the MCAC championship Sunday at 1 p.m., and Hofer thinks his Blazers can pull off the win.

 “We just go out there and have fun … when we’re having fun, I don’t think many teams can stop us,” he said.

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