Rural Standout Reaching for New Heights with Blazers WVB
The CMU Women's Volleyball program is very pleased to announce the commitment of Kiera Haney for the 2023-24 MCAC season. The Major Pratt School and North American Indigenous Games Team Manitoba product has seen her game soar to new heights in recent months.
Hailing from Binscarth, Manitoba, a small community south of Russell where Haney played her high school and club volleyball, the 5'7" outside hitter has made a career of leading her underdog squads into big game situations. Haney competed for the Major Pratt Trojans throughout her junior varsity and varsity high school seasons, when the MHSAA "AA" school routinely punched above their weight class in competitions across the province. Since a bronze medal finish at "AA" Provincials in her first season of junior varsity, her Trojans have gone on to win back-to-back provincial titles following her COVID-cancelled grade ten season. Haney's varsity squads entered those provincial championships with a formidable record of finishes at tournaments across Manitoba, proving that those big championship wins were not a fluke. In her grade 11 year, Haney's Trojans attended ten tournaments and took home the title in an incredible eight of them, with the remaining two playing to second place finishes. Her play earned her a player of the game award in the provincial championships, and she was recognized as the most improved player on the team at the season's end. This past season Haney co-captained her Major Pratt team to another incredible feat of nine tourament wins including the aforementioned second consecutive provincial championship title, and also proved that the team could hang in with the best at the "AAA" and "AAAA" level, finishing top four in Niverville's "AAA" tournament, and top four in the Spartan Dig tournament in Brandon, which brings together "AAA" and "AAAA" teams in Manitoba. The Trojans also played to a second place finish in Regina, at a tournament with 32 teams competing. Haney was once again recognized as a player of the game at MHSAA Provincials, and earned herself a graduating all-star nod.
While Haney suited up primarily as a right side during her high school volleyball, she has shown that she has the versatility and skill set to be a factor on the left side as well, playing at that position for Russell Club Volleyball since she started her club career at 15U. The rural club has built a reputation as tenacious competitors despite their small catchment area. Haney received a "Player of the Wave" award at 17U Club Nationals in Calgary last club season, and took home her team's MVP honours. Now in her final year of club eligibility, Haney is hoping to use the season as a springboard for big things this summer when she suits up for Team Manitoba at the North American Ingigenous Games (NAIG) in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
It was at the NAIG tryouts and practices that Haney first got in contact with Blazers women's volleyball head coach Jayme Menzies, who immediately recognized her as a standout on the court. "I first met Kiera at Indigenous provincial team tryouts, where she stood out as one of the top athletes among 100 who were trying out," states Menzies, who is entering her sixth year at the helm of the Blazers. "Kiera is fast, explosive, competitive, and smart. She brings a reliable first contact, crafty offensive shots, and a determined work ethic. I am looking forward to competing with her at the North American Indigenous Games this summer and then in the MCAC."
Haney is excited to play under the tutelage of such an inspiring coach like Menzies, has felt very welcomed by the women's volleyball team at CMU already, and is looking forward to the challenge of bringing her game to the next level with the Blazers.
Looking ahead to next year, the Blazers will aim to improve on their MCAC playoff appearance this February and push for a Manitoba championship when the new season begins in October. The winner of the MCAC championship goes on to compete at a national level at the CCAA championship tournament, with this past season's tournament held in Nanaimo, BC. The CCAA is the national body for collegiate athletics in Canada, offering 10 national championships in seven sports. Now finished its second 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).