Blazers Women's Volleyball Get Setup for 2023/24 with Addition of Stewner
The CMU Women's Volleyball program is very pleased to announce the commitment of Chelsea Stewner for the 2023/24 MCAC season. The Sturgeon Heights Collegiate and Bandits Volleyball Club product will add some more top-level talent at the setter position for the Blazers.
Stewner will continue her volleyball journey at CMU after a very successful high school season, when she and her Sturgeon Heights Huskies teammates won the MHSAA "AAAA" Varsity Girls Provincials in December, a thrilling five-set victory that saw the team come back from being down 0-2 to triumph over the Vincent Massey Trojans at the University of Manitoba's IGAC. Her performance during the championships earned Stewner Provincial All-Star recognition, to go along with a Graduation All-Star nomination. The co-captain of the Huskies also landed in the Free Press Top 10 in Manitoba for 2022, which is a testament to both the talent and leadership abilities she will be bringing to her new squad.
Now in her 18U season for club volleyball, Stewner runs the offence for Bandits Volleyball Club, where she's played since her 16U season. Her team won bronze at club provincials last spring, and also saw plenty of high-level competition at Best of the West in Edmonton, and will look to gain more experience during this season's championships. Blazers Women's Volleyball have plenty of connections with the Bandits club system, with 2022/23 rookie Abby Cassidy the latest Blazer to have made the jump from the club.
Women's volleyball head coach Jayme Menzies has made a name for herself in the volleyball scene both in Manitoba and across the country, and it was Stewner who reached out to the Blazers' head coach looking for the opportunity to play post-secondary volleyball for her. Another nod to the newest Blazers' high-level ability to process the game and utilize her physical tools for positive results, Coach Menzies has been impressed by the way Stewner thinks the game, stating "Chelsea has an impressive sense of the game; she runs a very strategic offence and capably anticipates opponents on defence. Her execution and decision-making brings out the best in her teammates, which is a key asset in a setter." Stewner will join Paige Wright as the new setter duo for the Blazers' 2023/24 season.
Looking ahead to her post-secondary education, Stewner will use her time studying at CMU to prepare her for a career in nursing down the road. She's looking forward to continuing playing volleyball after high school, improving her skills, and contributing to the team's success.
Now done for the season, the Blazers will look 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 year's tournament held this past week 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).