Rebels’ Dupuis Named Week 13 Athlete of the Week

Dupuis was All-Conference selection as a rookie in 2009-10

It might have been against the conference’s least successful women’s volleyball team from St. Boniface, but Red River’s head coach Warren Giles was more than simply pleased with the play of his second-year left-side Carley Dupuis.

“It was probably her best game of the year,” said Giles of the 20-year-old graphic design student out of Dakota Collegiate.

“She’s always a very good passer – but attacking against St. Boniface she hit really great shots and didn’t make any errors. She literally didn’t make a single hitting error in two (matches).”

Her elevated play comes as no surprise to those familiar with MCAC volleyball, as she was among only six players selected as All-Conference in 2009-10 – an elite honour for a rookie.

Dupuis and the Rebels took the home-and-home weekend series against Collège universitaire de Saint-Boniface in six straight sets; (25-23, 25-19, 25-12) on Friday night at Red River, and (25-17, 25-20, 25-15) Saturday afternoon at le Collège.

Despite the winless record of the Voyageurs (0-8) heading into the series against the 4-2 Rebels, Giles stressed getting the fundamentals right in the two matches.

“They’re a very scrappy team,” said Giles. “They throw a lot of things at you, so they’re tough to prepare for. When they serve, you need to be ready for anything to happen.”

Red River currently sits in second place in the MCAC behind the undefeated powerhouse Canadian Mennonite University Blazers. The Rebels will host the 2011 MCAC Final 4 Volleyball Championships on March 4 and 5.

By Darrin Bauming

CUSB’s Mogg Named Week 13 Athlete of the Week

Mogg was among two All-Conference setters that were selected last season
The 2-5 Collège universitaire de Saint-Boniface men’s volleyball team came back from holiday break with a major challenge on their hands – try to shake off some rust in a home-and-home series against the 6-0 Red River Rebels.
The Voyageurs fell in straight sets in both matches; (25-16, 25-23, 25-20) on the road Friday night, and (25-18, 25-20, 25-17) at home Saturday afternoon.
Despite the painful reality check for the team, there was a bright spot for Voyageur head-coach Guy Bourgeois to look back on.
Third-year setter Robert Mogg made some impressive plays at the net against the first-place Rebels. Beyond some excellent setting, Mogg put up huge blocks against Red River’s often imposing attacks, keeping the games close.
“He’s strong at the net and good in tight spots,” said Bourgeois of the 20-year-old business major student out of La Salle, MB. “He’s been around for three years now, so he’s really starting to understand the game as time goes on.”

Mogg, who was named to the 2010 MCAC All-Conference team as a setter, played his high school ball at Gabrielle-Roy in Lorette, MB.

“(Mogg is) usually blocking against left-side (attackers) and helping out with the middle,” said Bourgeois. “Anytime he can get a big block on the outside it is a plus for sure.”

Although the young Voyageur squad currently sits in third place behind both Red River College and Canadian Mennonite University, Mogg will use his leadership and experience in trying to get his team back to the MCAC Championship Final for a third consecutive year in 2011.

By Darrin Bauming

MCAC Student Athletes Also Excel in the Classroom

Student athletes competing in college sports in the Manitoba Colleges Athletic Conference (MCAC) achieved an extremely high level of academic performance during the conference’s 2009-2010 athletic season.

Across the conference’s six academic institutions that competed in 2009-2010, 58 per cent of student athletes achieved a grade point average of 3.0 or better during the 2009-2010 academic year. These individuals have been given the distinction of “Scholar Athletes,” a standard that has been established by the Canadian Colleges Athletic Association in which the MCAC is currently applying for membership with.
In comparison to the roughly 20 per cent of Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) student athletes who achieve a grade point average of at least 3.0, the MCAC has displayed unparalleled academic achievement for athletes in Canadian post-secondary institutions. These efforts clearly make Manitoba colleges highly sought after destinations for student athletes who wish to attain a high level of scholastic achievement and learning, all while competing at an elite level in college athletics.

“The outstanding level of academic excellence at our member institutions is truly amazing. Our student athletes have clearly demonstrated how excellence in sport can translate to excellence in the classroom,” said MCAC executive director Bill Wedlake.”

Of the six institutions that competed in 2009-2010, (the MCAC currently has eight members) three achieved scholar athlete status for over 65 per cent of their athletes, while no institution recorded lower than 45 per cent achievement.
Canadian Mennonite University – 62 of 89 student athletes – 70%
Steinbach Bible College – 13 of 19 student athletes – 68%
Assiniboine Community College – 26 of 40 student athletes – 65%
Collège universitaire de Saint-Boniface – 34 of 66 student athletes – 52%
Providence College – 25 of 52 student athletes – 48%
Red River College – 19 of 42 student athletes – 45%

University of Winnipeg – New member for 2010-2011
Oak Hills Christian College (Bemidji, MN, USA) – Rejoined for 2010-2011

Blazers Burn Bright Against Top Ontario Teams

Tournament all-star selection Kathleen Vitt sets up a Blazer attack

A new challenge resulted in a positive outcome and experience for the Canadian Mennonite University women’s volleyball team this past weekend when they travelled to southern Ontario to play in the prestigious Adidas Cup Challenge at Durham College in Oshawa. Undefeated in MCAC play (8-0), the talented Blazers were fully aware that the Ontario Colleges Athletic Association – the largest intercollegiate conference in Canada – would pose a challenge unlike any they have faced yet.
With two consecutive Adidas Cup titles to their merit, the Humber College Hawks breezed through pool play with a record of 5-0. Boasting an enrollment of over 21,000 students, the Toronto-based college is currently ranked #5 in the Canadian Colleges Athletic Association.

On the opposite side of the draw, CMU had a nice run of their own. The Blazers finished pool play with a record of 3-1-1, winning matches against Canadore College (North Bay), St. Clair College (Windsor), and host Durham College, while splitting sets with Georgian College (Barrie) and losing to the CCAA’s #12 ranked Mohawk College Mountaineers (Hamilton). This left the Blazers in second place in their group behind Mohawk, and gave them a semifinal berth against mighty Humber.
The Blazers jumped out quick, shocking the Hawks in the first set 25-18. But Ontario’s top team showed why they are among the nation’s elite, and battled back to take the next three sets; 25-14, 25-14, 25-16. Humber would go on to defeat Mohawk in straight sets to win their third-consecutive Adidas Cup.

CMU’s third-year setter Kathleen Vitt was selected a tournament all-star.

In the first half of the season, the Blazers displayed their ability to compete with the country’s best college squads by capturing the 2010 Western Canadian Volleyball Championship in November at the Saskatchewan Institute of Applied Science and Technology. The SIAST Kelsey Campus in Saskatoon hosted 24 college teams from Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba November 27 and 28.

By Russell Willms

Fourth Bahamian Set to Join Freemen Basketball Squad

Johnson signs his letter of intent

Mario Johnson, a 6’3″ senior guard/forward formerly of the GB Catholic High School and the Rand Medics of the Commercial League, has signed a letter of intent to join the Providence College men’s basketball program in Otterburne, Manitoba, Canada in January 2011.

“I want to thank my parents and coach Ray Evans for making this day possible,” said Johnson before signing the letter.

“I am just excited to go to work and play the game I love. I’m expecting a whole lot from myself. I am going to work hard and will push myself to the limit and I believe I will achieve a lot,” added Johnson, who plans to major in business.

The Manitoba College Athletic Conference has a long history of providing quality athletic competition for colleges in Manitoba. Providence has been a proud member of the MCAC for over 20 years and has developed friendly rivalries with many of the colleges in the league.
Johnson was recruited by coach Ray Evans of the Blazers Basketball Club, which started in 1992 after Evans received an injury while in college and had decided to come home and make a contribution to the young people.

The Club is a recruiting program that has assisted in sending over 200 young men to school and an additional 50 to 60 students in high schools.

“He will be basically getting his hands wet really quickly,” said Evans.

“He will join three other Bahamians already at Providence; Cleo Sears of Gateway Academy, and Jonathon Thompson from Doris Johnson who is in his second year, both of whom I have recruited. Another one of my recruits, PJ Brice of Doris Johnson will also join them in January so we will have the ‘Bahamian Four’ at Providence so I am very proud of that.”

“It is going to be a good thing for Mario and we expect great things from him,” said Evans.

“He is a slasher with a 29”-30” vertical leap. He has a decent outside jump shot, but we are still working on his mechanics because it is a little bit slow, but if you leave him open he is going to hit it.”

“He can play multiple positions. This is one of the reasons why Providence and other schools were interested in him.

“He has a tremendous upside which was something I noticed when I saw him play two years ago at the Hugh Campbell tournament in Nassau. His ball handling skill is very good for someone his size and who has played out of his position while in high school, but he has worked on his own game and it is getting better.”

Johnson’s father, Derek Johnson, was on hand for the signing and was very proud of the fact that even though he didn’t have the opportunity to go to college, his son now has.

“You know God is good, it happen just one night while playing in the commercial league, we begin to talk to coach Evans and he said he will make some calls and everything just started to fall into place.”

“But being a basketball player and not having the opportunity to play college ball – this is very good to see that my son will have that opportunity.” said a proud dad, who also played on the Medics commercial team.

“I am very proud of him he is very diligent. If he wants to do something, he has the initiative and he will do it on his own.

“He wants to be this exceptional person and with that mindset, I feel he will do very well, as long as he put the work in, I believe he will accomplish it.”

This season the Providence Freemen have a 1-4 win loss record in the MCAC, and are coached by Juan Larios.

“He has a lot of potential because he listens,” said Evans. “That is the problem for most of our Bahamian athletes is that when they go away to school they don’t listen. They believe they have already arrived. But he listens and he understands what is being said to him.”

By Buster Laing

Reprinted from The Freeport News