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Landmark Signing for Blazers Women's Volleyball

Landmark Signing for Blazers Women's Volleyball

The CMU Women's Volleyball program is very pleased to announce the commitment of Melanie Giesbrecht for the 2024-25 MCAC season. The Landmark Collegiate Institute grad is looking forward to continuing her competitive volleyball journey with the Blazers after a year of studies at the University of Winnipeg.

A graduate of Landmark Collegiate in spring of 2023, Giesbrecht joins Avery Cook as the second women's volleyball addition this offseason transferring from another big university in Winnipeg. Giesbrecht was a standout on her Landmark '96ers squad, and captained the team in her final varsity season which also helped earn her Female Athlete of the Year at the collegiate in her graduating year. Her head coach and uncle, Rob Giesbrecht, was influential in her volleyball journey and helped push his star middle to achieve bigger heights with her volleyball pursuits. Giesbrecht is also the second Landmark Collegiate signing in the last calendar year, as she joins former classmate and friend Victoria Welsh, who just completed her first season with the Blazers Women's Basketball program. In her time out of the classroom since graduation Giesbrecht has continued to stay active playing women's league volleyball in Southern Manitoba following a big final year in youth club volleyball.

Coming out of the same graduating class as many of the recruits during last summer's signings, Giesbrecht was a teammate of current women's volleyball student-athletes Chelsea Stewner and Bronwyn Holroyde at Bandits Volleyball Club. Their team won an 18U tournament in Sacramento during her final year of club eligibility, and went on to win Division 3, Tier 1 at Volleyball Canada Youth Nationals. Giesbrecht developed her game with Bandits for her 17U and 18U seasons, prior to that with Dynamo from 15U to 16U, after a start with the Jr Pilots program.

Perhaps her most notable volleyball accomplishment thus far has been as a part of last summer's North American Indigenous Games (NAIG) Team Manitoba as part of the 19U squad. A selection to the 16U team three years prior, those games were cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but the 2023 Games in Halifax were a huge success, with the team making semi-finals under head coach Jayme Menzies. Also on that squad was Blazers 2023-24 rookie outside Kiera Haney, who has just finished her first year at CMU and season with the Blazers. Giesbrecht proudly acknowledges her Metis heritage, and is honoured to continue playing under another proud Metis coach in Menzies with the Blazers.

An aspiring journalist, Giesbrecht is looking forward to continuing her studies in Communications and Media at CMU, and is excited to join such a close-knit team. Having seen them interact and train, she knows it will be a fun season. Coach Menzies is admittedly the best coach she has played under, and the Blazers bench boss is looking forward to working with Giesbrecht again this year stating "not only is Mel strong and athletic on the court, but I have witnessed her impressive ability to create a supportive environment and unite a team, on and off the court." The two will reunite when off-season training begins next month ahead of the upcoming fall term.

CMU hosts the MCAC Provincial Championships at the conclusion of the 2024-25 season, the winner of which will have the honour of representing Manitoba at the CCAA Nationals held next March in Oshawa, Ontario at Durham College. 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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