MCAC Men’s Volleyball  – 2021-22 Season Preview

For the first time, not only is a Manitoba Colleges Athletic Conference (MCAC) men’s volleyball championship will be handed out but the champion now advances to the Nationals as being MCAC’s first representative at Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) Men’s Volleyball Championship hosted by Cégep Limoilou from March 9-12, 2022 in Québec City.

After a year hiatus due to the COVID-19, CMU Blazers seek to defend their MCAC championship won in the 2019-20 season. The other three MCAC men’s volleyball teams will compete for the conference title in a welcomed return to the court for the 2021-22 season.

Assiniboine Community College (ACC) Cougars

Head coach: Joel Small, entering 9th year as the head coach

Keys for the team: 

Key Additions: Tegan Nagorski and Josh Budach

Key Returnee: Carter Beattie and Vaughn Zimmer

Key Losses: none provided

Number of total team members to start the season: 12 players on roster

Record and MCAC championship history: 

2019-20 MCAC regular season record and placing: 9-11; 3rd place in regular season; Lost in the semi-finals to CMU in three sets

Last MCAC championship: none

Total MCAC championships (since 2000-01): 0

Season Preview with head coach comments: 

  • How is team/coach dealing with transition back into play after a year of not playing at this level.  “The team trained during the off-season when allowed due to restrictions and remained in the headspace that they would be back competing in no time. The transition into higher intensity training has been seamless as they amp up for the season start date.”
  • What games does the coach look forward to most. “The home opener next Friday has been a long anticipated game.”
  • What games does the coach feel will be a challenge and/or circled on the calendar.  “Every game will be a challenge, for each and every team as we get used to playing the new atmosphere with restrictions/guidelines.”
  • What does the coach expect from the League this year (i.e. competition, teams to watch for, etc.).  “We expect the league to be stronger as we achieved the goal of entering the CCAA to compete for nationals. We have built our team up and we assume that the other institutions have done the same over the off-season.”
  • What are the challenges they expect with the season.  “Remaining healthy and ensuring that everyone is able to play in a safe space.”
  • What are the team goals, expectations for the upcoming season /looking forward to.  “We except to win and do well. If the league looks the same as it did two years ago, we fully expect our team to thrive in the league.”
  • Please name a key performer for this upcoming year and why. Carter Beattie, Left Side –  “Beattie is extremely athletic and put in a ton of work while we were side-lined. He arrived this September in shape and we fully except him to be a big physical presence at the net.”    
  • Who is your team captains this year. Talon Frick (Middle)
  • Final comment/quote from the head coach.  “We are excited for the upcoming season, I can honestly say that sitting here now, this one of the strongest teams I have rostered in my nine years with the Cougars. Friday Oct. 28 will be a great showing for our program and the anticipation to get back on the court couldn’t be any higher.”

Canadian Mennonite University (CMU) Blazers

Head coach: Don Dulder, entering 3rd year as the head coach

Keys for the team: 

Key Additions: Nathan Penner (Left Side), Markus Martens (Middle)

Key Returnee: Tim Juvonen (Setter), Matt Page (Right Side), Cam Gayleard (Left Side), Levi Klassen (Libero)

Key Losses: Carter Hofer (Left Side), Matt Sawatzky (Middle), Makoy Penner (Middle)

Number of total team members to start the season: 14 players on roster, 3 redshirts to start the season

Record and MCAC championship history: 

2019 MCAC regular season record and placing: 17-3; 2nd place in regular season; Won championship final over PUC in five sets

Last MCAC championship: 2019-20

Total MCAC championships (since 2000-01): 3 (2016-17, 2017-18, 2019-20)

Season Preview with head coach comments: 

  • How is team/coach dealing with transition back into play after a year of not playing at this level.  “The team is training hard. We have roughly half the team as rookies who have not played in awhile but the rust is coming off. Training as usual with great anticipation of playing meaningful games.”
  • What games does the coach look forward to most.  “The teams in the league are all very much improved so every game will be challenging.”
  • What games does the coach feel will be a challenge and/or circled on the calendar.  “I believe the league will have good balance as I said but we look forward most to our matches with Providence.”
  • What does the coach expect from the League this year (i.e. competition, teams to watch for, etc.).  “Providence will be a very good team. All teams much improved.”
  • What are the challenges they expect with the season.  “With not having had a season last year and with a lot of rookies it will take time for the team to gel and the coaching staff to figure out players exact roles.”
  • What are the team goals, expectations for the upcoming season /looking forward to.  “Goals to improve as a team and individually and to win the MCAC and go to Nationals.”
  • Please name a key performer for this upcoming year and why. Tim Juvonen, Setter –  “The setting position is key and Tim brings talent, experience and leadership to the position and to the team.”
  • Who is your team captains this year. Tim Juvonen (Setter), Cam Gayleard (Left Side), Levi Klassen (Libero)
  • A comment/quote from team captain  “This upcoming season is one a lot of players and coaches have been looking forward to getting back to playing. After the long two years of an absence of team sports the anticipation has been building for this season, not only for our athletes but students and parents as well being able to come together and watch a sport we all enjoy being part of.” – Tim Juvonen, Cam Gayleard and Levi Klassen
  • Final comment/quote from the head coach.  “Just very excited for the players to finally have the opportunity to play some meaningful volleyball games again. Awesome to see the enjoyment they are having being back training and about to compete.”

Providence University College (PUC) Pilots

Head coach: Cody Quiring, entering 5th year as the head coach

Keys for the team: 

Key Additions: Austin Anderson (Left Side) and Nicholas Friesen (Middle)

Key Returnee: Adrian Kalyniuk (Setter), Colby Dyck and Jonas Friesen (both Left Side), Nate Martin (Opposite), Tyler Klassen (Middle)

Key Losses: Thomas Copland (Left Side)

Number of total team members to start the season: 13 roster players

Record and MCAC championship history: 

2019 MCAC regular season record and placing: 17-3; 1st place in regular season; Lost championship final over CMU in five sets

Last MCAC championship: 2018-19

Total MCAC championships (since 2000-01): 5 (2000-01, 2001-02, 2002-03, 2015-16, 2018-19)

Season Preview with head coach comments: 

  • How is team/coach dealing with transition back into play after a year of not playing at this level.  “The team is getting back into the groove of practices and taking part in some competitive pre season matches against both ACAC and PacWest competition. The excitement is growing to begin regular MCAC conference play.”
  • What games does the coach look forward to most. “The next one.”
  • What games does the coach feel will be a challenge and/or circled on the calendar.  “We are excited to get back on the floor and compete at a high level against all MCAC opponents for this coming season.”
  • What does the coach expect from the League this year (i.e. competition, teams to watch for, etc.).  “We are looking forward to having strong CCAA calibre competition from Day 1 to MCAC championships.”
  • What are the challenges they expect with the season.  “Our main goal is focusing on what we can control this season. The health, load management and well being of our team from September through to March is on top of mind.”
  • What are the team goals, expectations for the upcoming season /looking forward to.  “Being able to play the sport we love, at a high level and for a higher purpose is our utmost important goal this season.”
  • Please name a key performer for this upcoming year and why.  “We are excited to watch each individual guy make an impact for the team in their own role this year. Every Pilots MVB student-athlete has the ability to make a key impact on and off the court this season.”
  • Who is your team captains this year. Austin Anderson (Left Side) – team captain; Jonas Friesen (Left Side/ Libero), Tyler Klassen (Middle), Nate Martin (Right Side) – assistant captains
  • A comment/quote from team captain.  “I’m super excited to get the season rolling and go to battle with the boys. We have a great group of guys who push each other everyday and we’re excited to bring that into conference play. We’re ready to go and ready to make a push for the CCAA tournament.” – Austin Anderson
  • Final comment/quote from the head coach.  “This is a special group. With the past year and a half of uphill challenges, our coaching staff is excited to see the competitive energy and joy that the team will continue to bring on and off the court. We are stoked as a program to get the conference play underway and showcase our new home game facility at the Niverville CRRC.”

Université de Saint-Boniface (USB) Les Rouges

Head coach: Jean-Paul Carrière, entering 2nd year as the head coach

Keys for the team: 

Key Additions: Kaylen Desmarais-Joseph (Left Side/Libero) and Caleb Dupras (Middle) – Average experience of our team is 0.4 years, 7 1st year & 5 2nd year players.

Key Returnee: Marc Grant (Left Side) and Mathieu Chartier (Setter)

Key Losses: Nico Mcmullin (Middle) and Riel Guenette (Libero)

Number of total team members to start the season: 12 roster players

Record and MCAC championship history: 

2019 MCAC regular season record and placing: 7-13; 4th place in regular season; Lost in the semi-finals to PUC in three sets

Last MCAC championship: 2005-06

Total MCAC championships (since 2000-01): 1 (2005-06)

Season Preview with head coach comments: 

  • How is team/coach dealing with transition back into play after a year of not playing at this level.  “Making sure that body maintenance is a top priority and to focus on the fundamentals to build a strong base for the season.”
  • What games does the coach look forward to most. “CMU is always an enjoyable matchup as they always field a well coached and hard playing roster with loud fans to follow.”
  • What games does the coach feel will be a challenge and/or circled on the calendar.  “Home opener against CMU on November 19, as it will be an important game for the new players on our team to get accustomed to the electric home atmosphere.”
  • What does the coach expect from the League this year (i.e. competition, teams to watch for, etc.).  “A highly competitive league with no guarantees.”
  • What are the challenges they expect with the season.  “Longevity of players as well as getting adjusted to living their student lives through volleyball.”
  • What are the team goals, expectations for the upcoming season /looking forward to.  “To improve every single day and to have the work ethic to put us in the best possible position to compete for a championship.”
  • Please name a key performer for this upcoming year and why. Marc Grant (Left Side) –  “Being the vocal leader on the team and being a highly talented individual, it’ll be important to put him in the best position possible to make impactful plays for the overall success of our team.”
  • Who is your team captains this year. Marc Grant (Left Side), Mathieu Chartier (Setter), Dries Demaré (Right Side)
  • A comment/quote from team captain.  “After having lost the past season to the pandemic we’re really excited to be back on the court. Our team is very young and filled with potential, inevitably this will lead to a quality product on the court. I’m impressed with our teamwork and how we play as a unit.” – Marc Grant, Mathieu Chartier, Dries Demaré
  • Final comment/quote from the head coach.  “Very exciting to finally get back to volleyball after taking a year off. Feels amazing to be back.”