Les Rouges, Blazers Advance to MCAC Women’s Volleyball Final

#2 CMU Blazers vs #3 PUC Pilots

The Canadian Mennonite University Blazers advanced to the MCAC final after beating the Providence University College Pilots 3-1 (25-20, 25-11, 21-25, 25-17) on Saturday.

Pilots all-conference outside hitter, Maddie Fehr, went kill for kill with Blazers all-conference left side, Jana Klassen, throughout the match. 

Fehr had four kills, countered by Klassen’s five in a back and forth opening set. Neither team was able to get on a long scoring run, but CMU left side Sadie McTavish served up back-to-back aces to win the set 25-20.

McTavish’s service game was strong throughout the game, but her attacking presence was felt as well — earning her CMU’s player of the game.

“We had a very consistent, well rounded game today,” said McTavish. “Everyone contributed for the win.”

It wasn’t just McTavish and Klassen slamming down the kills on Saturday. Mackenzy Groot had a strong second set, highlighted by a monster kill that hit a Pilots’ player in the face. Tied 4-4 in the second set, the Blazers scored nine straight points to help ease them to a 25-11 win. Chloe Friesen served up two aces during the run.

The Pilots bounced back in the third with a strong showing from Fehr, Alex Buhler and Jacee Turner. Buhler was a presence at the net during the entire match, making multiple blocks. PUC stayed alive and won the third set.

However, the Blazers regrouped and took the match in the fourth set.

CMU plays the USB Les Rouges in tomorrow’s final and McTavish knows what her team has to do to beat the #1 team.

“We just need to do the same, we’re looking forward to it,” she said.

#1 USB Les Rouges vs #4 ACC Cougars

Down two sets, the Université de Saint-Boniface Les Rouges regrouped to win three straight sets to complete the comeback and advance to the MCAC final. The Cougars were close to upsetting the top-ranked USB team, but lost 3-2 (20-25, 17-25, 25-18, 25-22, 15-12) on Saturday.

ACC was getting strong performances all over the court in the match. All-conference left side Sami Love, and outside hitters Skyla Vanmackelbergh and Paige Donald were among ACC’s best players. Vanmackelbergh earned the team’s player of the game honours for her aggressive attacking and clutch kills. Captain Sami Love was also strong on the attack and showed leadership on the court. Every time there was a block on the court, Donald was usually involved in the play, showing her strong net presence.

The Cougars led 2-0 and had fans thinking they would complete the upset and even USB players were thinking it was a possibility. 

“Oh yeah, there were nerves for sure,” said league MVP Zoé Savoie. 

The third set was a back and forth battle, but a four-point swing to give USB their first lead of the set at 15-14, was the momentum swing. The run started with a loud Savoie block, followed by a Brielle Grenier ace and then a massive Sam Lemoine block to get the crowd on their feet. The Les Rouges went on to win the set and stay alive. 

Set four and five were similar and could have gone either way. Bendu Dukuly was a key player for Les Rouges in the last couple of sets, getting involved in every kill she could. The Les Rouges fought their way to win the last two sets — each stamped with a game-winning kill from the team’s MVP, Savoie.

Following a set-winning block in the third set, USB left side Caitlyn Kruk went down with an injury and didn’t return. She was seen on the bench with her ankle wrapped and elevated for the remainder of the game.

Savoie said it’s hard losing a player like Kruk.

“Just something you never think of happening, especially after having a good season injury wise,” she said. “A lot of things probably raced through everyone’s head.”

Savoie said it’s hard losing one of the team’s best left side’s but she’s confident in the team’s bench to step up.

The Les Rouges will play the host CMU Blazers in tomorrow’s MCAC final at 3 p.m. 

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