Dr. Dale Iwanoczko Scholarship recipient boosts CMU’s women’s volleyball team

It’s been a big week for Paige Wright. On top of this announcement, that the Warren Collegiate-product has committed to play her collegiate volleyball at CMU with the Blazers, the 5’7 setter was selected as the recipient of the prestigous Dr. Dale Iwanoczko Award. The scholarship is awarded annually to a graduating high school volleyball player who demonstrates excellence on the court and in the classroom as well as leadership through well-rounded participation in school and community activities.

Wright’s high school career may have been cut short in 2020 but despite the lost pandemic season, she has managed to leave a strong legacy with the Wildcats program. In 2017, the then Grade 9 student who would be named a tournament all-star, helped her squad to a 2nd place finish in the ‘AA” junior varsity provincials. Two years later, Wright led the Wildcats to a 3rd place finish at the ‘AA’ varsity level, again being recognized as a tournament allstar and honoured with the “Player’s Choice Award” for excellence in team leadership and positivity.

“I am thrilled to see how Paige’s passion for learning and excellence will contribute to the team.” said CMU head coach Jayme Menzies. “She has the combination of maturity and competitiveness that is imperative in a setter and leader.”

Wright was selected to represent her home province in the summer of 2018 and 2019 on the Manitoba provincial team where she travelled to Richmond, BC and Halifax, Nova Scotia for Canada Cup competitions. The summer of 2019 was also highlighted with a gold medal performance by the Manitobans, as Wright and her teammates took home top prize at the Western Canada Games.

In the club circuit, Wright enjoyed two seasons with the Junior Wesmen, earning a provincial bronze medal in 2019, before moving on to Bandits volleyball club and Junior Bisons.

Wright will become the third CMU athlete to receive the Dr. Dale Iwanaczko scholarship. Current setter, Annika Loeppky (Lord Selkirk) received the honour in 2018 and men’s volleyball middle, Kieran Enns (MCI) was a 2012 recipient.

CMU and their provincial conference, the MCAC, are looking forward to new opportunities in the CCAA in in 2021-22. After a successful membership bid in 2018 followed by two years of probation in the national association, the forthcoming season marks the first opportunity for the MCAC winners to represent the province in a volleyball National Championship. The 2022 CCAA Women’s Volleyball nationals will take place in Halifax next March with representatives from across the CCAA’s six regions taking part.

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