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Men's Volleyball Continue their Avalanche of Signings with Matthew Janzen

Men's Volleyball Continue their Avalanche of Signings with Matthew Janzen

The CMU Men's Volleyball program is very pleased to announce the commitment of Matthew Janzen for the 2024-25 MCAC season. The Linden Christian, Bisons Club, and College of the Rockies transfer is bringing his talents back to Manitoba after a year away with one of the top CCAA programs in the country.

A 2023 graduate of Linden Christian, Janzen spent the past year studying kinesiology and playing volleyball at College of the Rockies in beautiful Cranbrook, BC. He got his feet wet playing college ball under 2023-24 CCAA Coach of the Year Cisco Farrero in the ultracompetitive PacWest Conference, with a team that sat atop the CCAA National Rankings for a total of eight weeks during a long stretch of the season. Featuring at left side with the Avalanche, the hometown Winnipeg talent found himself yearning for a return to the prairies, and will certainly be a big factor in the Blazers' lineup this season.

Prior to his move out West, Janzen led the Linden Christian Wings to back-to-back MHSAA "AAA" Provincial Championship titles, and was named an all-star at both events. On a powerhouse squad for his grade eleven campaign, the Wings, led by head coach Manfred Glor, made the final fours at every tournament they entered, including several wins, many of those tournaments including "AAAA" level teams. During that season he featured primarily at right side, but for his graduating year he moved over to the left side where he could be a go-to attacker for the team. The Wings found similar success in his final high school season, winning the Spartan Dig tournament in Brandon, and making the final at the Piper Classic here in Winnipeg before going on to win the aforementioned Provincial Championships. Janzen was named an MHSAA Graduating All-Star, and was the 5th-ranked volleyball student-athlete in his year according to the Free Press' annual player rankings report.

Janzen began his club career with WinMan, but moved to Junior Bisons for his 17U and 18U seasons where he continued to have success on the biggest stages, capturing a Tier 1 fourth-place finish at the Volleyball Canada Youth Nationals in his final club season. He primarily slotted in on the right side with the Bisons, as well as with Team Manitoba for the 2023 Canada Summer Games held in Niagara, Ontario where he played alongside another Blazers MVB signing, Curran Chan. Matt will also be joining his cousin, Luke Janzen in donning the green and gold of the Blazers this upcoming season, and is excited to play with so much homegrown talent in front of friends and family here in Manitoba.

In a rather rare situation, CMU and COTR find themselves swapping student-athletes this offseason, with combo left side and libero Albert Francisco making the move out west, and Janzen moving home. With a number of veteran players moving on from their time with the Blazers after graduating or heading into their final few degree courses, CMU will certainly lean on Janzen to provide some instant leadership, coming back from a top-calibre program, as well as additional outside attacking versatility, having played quite a lot of time at both left and right side. "Matthew will be an excellent fit for our team in so many ways, and his versatility to play left side or right side gives our team several intriguing options," notes Blazers head coach Don Dulder, the reigning MCAC Coach of the Year and Volleyball Manitoba Hall of Famer. "We are super excited to have Matthew join our team. He has spent this past year on the roster of COTR, a team that was ranked number one in the country for a large portion of the season. When he left Manitoba he was already the fifth-ranked player in the province in his year, and training with a team of that calibre has no doubt made him an even better player. He is a powerful attacker, good passer, character guy, and all around top notch player."

Following a seventh-consecutive MCAC Finals appearance this February, the Blazers will once again look to make an appearance on the national stage next season when the CCAA Men's Volleyball Nationals are held here in Manitoba, hosted by the Providence Pilots. For the first time in CCAA history, two teams from Manitoba will make the championships in a bid to increase the middle province's visibility on the national stage and show why Manitoba is still a hot bed of top talent in the country. The CCAA is the national body for collegiate athletics in Canada, offering 10 national championships in seven sports. Now finished its third full year of participation, the Manitoba Colleges Athletic Conference joins five other established CCAA conferences; PacWest (BC), ACAC (Alberta-Sask), OCAA (Ontario), RSEQ (Quebec) and ACAA (Atlantic).

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