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All Roads Lead to CMU for Women's Volleyball's Latest Signing

All Roads Lead to CMU for Women's Volleyball's Latest Signing

The CMU Women's Volleyball program is very pleased to announce the commitment of Imani Rhoden for the 2024-25 MCAC season. The Vincent Massey Collegiate product is continuing her volleyball journey with the CMU Blazers after suiting up for the WVA Blazers for her final club season.

Coming off her final season of high school volleyball at Vincent Massey Collegiate here in Winnipeg, her Trojans team saw considerable success throughout the season with a number of final four tournament appearances, but made a second round exit at the MHSAA "AAAA" Provincial Championships late in 2023. However, the team went the distance in the Manitoba championships in her first year of varsity, eventually falling in the Provincial title game to the Sturgeon Heights Huskies; a team that featured current women's volleyball student-athletes Chelsea Stewner and Bronwyn Holroyde. She featured both as a left side and a middle with the Trojans throughout her time at Vincent Massey, and has seen action in plenty of big games already. Rhoden credits her high school coach Mandy Wolf for her development both as an athlete and as a person, which she looks to continue under Blazers head coach Jayme Menzies.

Like the team's first signing of the spring, Avery Cook, Rhoden joins CMU after having already represented the Blazers name with Winnipeg Volleyball Academy during her club career. She is an offensive force with with the Blazers where she primarily slots in on the left side, though fills in at middle or right side as needed. Having been with the team since her 17U season, she previously suited up for Bandits Volleyball Club during her U15 and U16 seasons. This year the team is looking forward to tournaments in Brandon, the provincial championships, and then Volleyball Canada Youth Nationals in Edmonton in May.

Rhoden also helps coach spring camp in her Winnipeg Volleyball Academy club system, and it was through Blazers Summer Camps that she first became aware of CMU's program, having attended the summer varsity camp two years ago, led by current Blazers student-athlete and now teammate Rachel Bartel, alongside David Nelson from the men's program. Getting welcomed by the team and also seeing former teammates and competitors at the ID camp this past month brought a feeling of comfort, and Rhoden knew she would be right at home in the Blazers family. CMU women's volleyball head coach Jayme Menzies sees a lot of potential in her latest signing, noting "I put a premium on players who love the game, have a desire to learn, and contribute to a positive team culture. Imani brings that, and athletic potential, in spades."

Apart from coaching grade six to nine athletes at Winnipeg Volleyball Academy, the bilingual English/French student-athlete keeps herself busy off the court, with a passion for writing french theatre, as well as for performance herself, as a member of her high school jazz band, who are touring to Kansas later this spring. You may even be able to catch her later this summer at the Caribbean Pavilion of Folklorama as one of the dancers on stage, proudly representing her Jamaican and Panamanian heritage.

Looking to the season ahead, 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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