2020 was the last time the Manitoba Colleges Athletic Conference (MCAC) men’s volleyball championship was played. This 2021-22 season had four teams compete throughout the trying year to earn an opportunity at a championship title in 2022. Assiniboine Community College (ACC) Cougars is the host of this year’s MCAC Volleyball Championship on March 5-6 at the Victoria Campus in Brandon, MB.
ACC’s Athletics Manager, Lindsay McLaughlin stated about hosting the Championship: “It’s been a journey these past couple seasons to get to this point. The league as a whole has worked tirelessly to ensure the absolute highest standards for the athletes and coaches well being as we navigated through the unknown over the last couple years. The opportunity to pursue a national title brings a whole new element to the final weekend. The winner gets to continue on, representing Manitoba on a much larger stage and compete against some of the best teams in the country. We are grateful to be able to host the finals, to see the athletes and fans all back under the same roof. It’s a great feeling and I’m sure that energy and excitement will bring out some fantastic volleyball.”
Semi Final: #1 Canadian Mennonite University (CMU) Blazers vs. #4 Université de Saint-Boniface (USB) Les Rouges – 4 p.m. CT start on Saturday, March 5
Both semi final matches have 12-4 teams against 4-12 teams. The Blazers are rolling as they are on a six game match win streak and were first in the regular season while also moving up the number 13 spot in the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) national ranking.
CMU led all teams with three All-Conference selections. Second year left side Cameron Gayleard, second year setter Timothy Juvonen and third year right side Matthew Page all were recognized for their strong seasons. The Blazers hold a 4-2 season series margin over Les Rouges this season.
Head coach Don Dulder, in his eighth year, looks to guide the team towards another championship as they won the last one presented after a tough five set win over PUC in 2020.
This could be a long match as USB has played CMU very close throughout 2021-22. Les Rouges have given the Blazers two of their four losses this season and last won 3-1 at home on Jan. 28 and lost a close 3-2 margin also at home in their last contest on Feb. 19.
Rookie USB’s head coach Riel Guénette was also named 2021-22 MCAC Coach of the Year and has the team peaking towards a chance for the upset in the semis and make a run to a championship for the first time since 2006.
Semi Final: #2 Providence University College (PUC) Pilots vs. #3 Assiniboine Community College (ACC) Cougars – 6 p.m. CT start on Saturday, March 5
Can the home crowd spur on the Cougars to a win? PUC has won all six meetings so far this season against ACC but the playoffs and playing on their home court could prove to be a difference maker.
PUC’s third year left side/setter and captain Austin Anderson was named co-winner of the 2021-22 Men’s Volleyball Most Valuable Player and also named to All-Conference Team along with teammate second year middle Nick Friesen. The Pilots enters the post-season on a two game match win streak and earlier rattled off a four game winning streak in the first half.
Second year PUC’s head coach Cody Quiring wants to move up from championship finalist in 2020 to the top rung and win it all with this year’s team and have PUC as MCAC title holders for the first time since 2019.
The Cougars are led by first year left side Carter Beattie was named co-winner of the 2021-22 Men’s Volleyball Most Valuable Player and also named to All-Conference Team. ACC is also seeking their first home match win since Nov. 6 against USB.
Cougars head coach Joel Small, in his ninth year, has the team focused on the upset against PUC and to make program history with their first-ever championship win this year.
2022 MCAC Volleyball Championship hosted by ACC in Brandon, MB
Saturday, March 5 (all times are Central Time)
12 p.m. SF: #4 ACC Cougars vs. #1 USB Les Rouges (women’s match)
2 p.m. SF: #3 CMU Blazers vs. #2 PUC Pilots (women’s match)
4 p.m. SF: #4 USB Les Rouges vs. #1 CMU Blazers (men’s match)
6 p.m. SF: #3 ACC Cougars vs. #2 PUC Pilots (men’s match)
Sunday, March 6
1 p.m. Women’s Volleyball Championship Final
3 p.m. Men’s Volleyball Championship Final
Live webcast for all Championship matches at: https://www.youtube.com/ACCCougars