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Carrying Momentum From Manitoba, Men's Volleyball Looks For Milestone Western Win

Finalists for each of the past two years at the Western Canadian College Volleyball Championships, Men's Volleyball appears poised and are more than ready to put their top performance together this weekend in Swift Current as they pursue their first Western Championship.

The Blazers showed a new level of experience and a new ability to overcome a moment of self-doubt in Tuesday night's home court win. Their opponents, the defending Western Canadian Men's Champions and defending MCAC Champions, Red River Rebels, who are also the early leaders this season with a record of 5-1.

In the fourth set and on match point, the Blazers saw their 24-22 lead slip away as the Rebels surged back to steal the set, even the score, and bring all kinds of momentum with them into the tiebreak set.

"The fourth set was a clear reminder of how quickly things can change in volleyball," said veteran libero Thomas Friesen, "just when you think it is over, well, everyone saw what happened."

Even at the side-change in the fifth-set, it was Red River who held a commanding 8-4 advantage and everything pointed to the match ending with a result that CMU would have a hard time recovering confidence from.

"We haven't had much success in fifth sets the last few years and falling behind like we did is never a good thing." explained Friesen, "we learned that everyone in our rotation is capable of stepping up.  Jacob (Janzen) and Makoy (Penner) (both pictured), sparked us with two massive stuffs then Nieckarz finished them off with two big kills."

In the home win, the Blazers broke their two match streak of losses and now carry a 4-2 record in conference play along with a major boost of confidence in themselves and in their ability to overcome small set backs to win matches against top opponents.

The first serve on day one of the 2015 Western Canadians for CMU will be against the Prairie Pilots, then onto a match with the Kelsey Amaruks. The round-robin finishes Saturday morning with Great Plains Sundogs as the opposition. The Blazers hope that with a positive start and with Tuesday's big win behind them, they will find themselves riding home with their first Western Canadian Men's Volleyball Championship banner.

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