2022 MCAC Women’s Volleyball Championship Preview

Two years ago, the last Manitoba Colleges Athletic Conference (MCAC) women’s volleyball championship was held. This 2021-22 season had four teams compete throughout the trying year to earn a chance at the championship trophy 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 Université de Saint-Boniface (USB) Les Rouges vs. #4 Assiniboine Community College (ACC) Cougars – 12 p.m. CT start on Saturday, March 5

On paper, this looks like a miss-match. USB enters the playoffs as the top seed after finishing the regular season with a 14-2 record, a five game winning streak and holds the number ten spot in the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) national ranking. ACC has not won a match so far this season.

Les Rouges are led by three All-Conference players with first year setter Jenna Campbell, fourth year middle Brielle Grenier and third year setter Samuelle Lemoine. The squad has rattled off a five match winning streaks twice this year and are poised to make a run for a championship. The last time the program won a MCAC title was in 2003.

Head coach Evan Turenne, in his third year, was also named 2021-22 MCAC Coach of the Year and has the team focused on winning a championship and seeking to avenge a championship final loss to CMU in 2020.

The Cougars will have the hometown support on their side during this semi-final match-up. ACC lost all five meetings against USB but can be encouraged as they last battle hard against the Cougars and clawed their way to a set win and road loss 3-1 on Feb. 12.

Fifth year ACC’s head coach Jeff Maxwell is looking for the same effort as the last time the two teams met and that the playoffs are a ‘new season’ to pull off the upset.

Semi Final: #2 Providence University College (PUC) Pilots vs. #3 Canadian Mennonite University (CMU) Blazers – 2 p.m. CT start on Saturday, March 5

Both teams finished this season with identical 9-7 regular season records. In the head-to-head, PUC narrowly won the season series by a 3-2 match margin and won the last two meetings on Feb. 11 and 12 on the road.

The Pilots are led by the 2021-22 Women’s Volleyball Most Valuable Player Maddie Fehr. Fehr is a fourth year left side hitter who is a team captain and also All-Conference member and is joined with All-Conference recognition with PUC’s second year middle Alex Buhler.

Sixth year PUC’s head coach Kyle Guenther is looking to take down the reigning champ and have the Pilots play for a championship, one that they have not won since 2018.

The Blazers are the defending championship as they hoisted the MCAC trophy in 2020. CMU won three more overall sets than PUC but they have both played closely contested matches throughout 2021-22 but CMU did post a 3-0 win at home over the Pilots just before the holiday break on Dec. 3. Both co-captains, fourth year setter Renee Desroches and fourth year middle Chloe Friesen, were named to the 2021-22 All-Conference Team.

Third year CMU’s head coach Jayme Menzies guides the team to hopefully another championship against a tough field of competitors again 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