MVB: 2018-19 season preview

MVB: 2018-19 season preview

Canada West Communications

EDMONTON – The 2018-19 Canada West men's volleyball season opens this weekend, as 12 men's teams start the journey to the CW playoffs.

With 17 of the last 18 national champions coming from Canada West, the conference is once again poised to be the best in the nation. Among the favourites in the annual pre-season coaches poll are the defending CW champion Trinity Western Spartans, Brandon Bobcats, and Alberta Golden Bears. Don't forget about the defending U SPORTS champion UBC Thunderbirds, who are keen to make noise once again this season.

You can watch the entire CW men's volleyball season on Canada West TV – the official streaming home of the conference. You can purchase a pass by clicking here.

To get you set for the season, here's a look at every conference team.

Click here for the complete 2018-19 regular season schedule.


2018-19 CW pre-season coaches poll: 3rd

2017-18 CW regular season record: 19-5, 3rd

2017-18 CW post-season record: 4-1, lost to TWU in CW Final (U SPORTS 4th place)

Head coach: Terry Danyluk (26th season) / 399-87 (Career CW reg. season record)

Last CW championship / total CW championships: 2015 / 14

Last U SPORTS championship / total U SPORTS championships: 2015 / 8 

2017-18 CW regular season ranks:

  • Points per set: 16.0, 3rd
  • Kills per set: 12.02, 3rd
  • Hitting percentage: 27.3%, 3rd

2017-18 CW regular season leaders:

  • Kills: 362 – Taryq Sani, OH
  • Digs: 168 – Taryq Sani, OH
  • Blocks: 88 –Arran Chambers, M
  • Aces: 32 – Taryq Sani, OH
  • Assists: 676 – Luke Brisbane, S

Key additions (name / position / eligibility / hometown / last team):

  • Shae McIntyre / Left Side / 1 / Edmonton, AB / Harry Ainlay High School
  • Hunter Stewart / Left Side / 1 / Ardrossan, AB / Jasper Place High School
  • Braedon Friesen / Left Side / 1 / Swift Current, SK / Swift Current CHS
  • Jordan Canham / Outside / 1 / Newington, ON / Canadian Jr. Team

Key losses (name / position / hometown / years with program):  

  • Arran Chambers / Middle / Edmonton, AB / 5
  • Michael Goertz / Left Side / Edmonton, AB / 3 

Key performer:

Taryq Sani

Outside Hitter

3rd-year

Ajax, ON

After earning a spot on both the Canada West and U SPORTS First Team All-Star squads, third-year power hitter Taryq Sani returns to the Golden Bears in search of his first championship trophy. Sani led the Bears in both kills (362) and digs (168) last season, finishing in the top ten in the conference in both categories. Sani will now set his sights on leading the Bears to their first conference title since winning their 14th in 2015.

 


2018-19 CW pre-season coaches poll: 2nd

2017-18 CW regular season record: 17-7, 4th

2017-18 post-season record: 1-2, lost to Winnipeg in Canada West quarters 

Last CW championship / total CW championships: 2013 / 1

Last U SPORTS championship / total U SPORTS championships: none 

2017-18 CW regular season ranks:

  • Points per set: 15.5, 4th
  • Kills per set: 11.45, 5th
  • Hitting percentage: .228, 7th

2017-18 CW regular season leaders:

  • Kills: 272 – Seth Friesen, LS
  • Digs: 193 – Reece Dixon, Setter
  • Blocks: 91 – Mason Metcalf, Middle
  • Aces: 43 – Elliott Viles, LS
  • Assists: 829 – Reece Dixon, Setter 

Key additions (name / position / eligibility / hometown / last team):

  • Robin Baghdady / LS / 1 / Geneva, Switzerland / Volley Amriswil
  • Max Brook / LS / 1 / Oakbank, MB / Springfield Collegiate
  • Nathan Dyck / LS / 1 / Winnipeg, MB / Dakota Collegiate
  • Samuel Jackman / M / 1 / St Jean Baptiste, MB / Morris School
  • Liam Nohr / Lib / 1 / Brandon, MB / Vincent Massey 

Key losses (name / position / hometown / years with program):

  • Joel Makara / Lib / Selkirk, MB / 4
  • Liam Matheson / LS / Tauranga, New Zealand / 4
  • Matt Powell / RS / Melville, SK / 3
  • Daven Pascal / M / Brandon, MB / 4 

Key performer:

Eilliot Viles

OH

4th-year

Adelaide, Australia 

Viles is coming off a strong sophomore season in which he was named a second team All-Canadian. He and fellow outside Seth Friesen combined for a dynamic offensive attack as the Bobcats hosted a first-round playoff series against provincial rivals the Winnipeg Wesmen last season, but had hopes of returning to nationals prematurely dashed after the first round playoff upset. After posting the program's second best regular season record in history at 17-7, the Bobcats will look to elevate their game even further. Viles is expected to take an increased role on offense and from the service line.

 


2018-19 CW pre-season coaches poll: 4th

2017-18 CW regular season record: 20-4, 2nd

2017-18 CW post-season record: 3-2, CW bronze (U SPORTS champions)

Head coach: Mike Hawkins (1st season at UBC) / 2-22 (Career CW reg. season record)

Last CW championship / total CW championships: 1986 / 5

Last U SPORTS championship / total U SPORTS championships: 2018 / 4

2017-18 CW regular season ranks:

  • Points per set: 16.9, 2nd
  • Kills per set: 12.54, 2nd
  • Hitting percentage: .295, 3rd

2017-18 CW regular season leaders:

  • Kills: 300 – Irvan Brar, LS
  • Digs: 132 – Byron Keturakis, S
  • Blocks: 71 – Joel Regehr, M
  • Aces: 65 – Byron Keturakis, S
  • Assists: 963 – Byron Keturakis, S 

Key additions (name / position / eligibility / hometown / last team):

  • James Takken / multiple / 1 / Brisbane, AUS / Australia Youth Olympics beach team
  • Ben Hooker / Setter / 2 / Winnipeg, MB / Western University
  • Matt Neaves / Middle / 1 / Calgary, AB / Canada junior national team
  • Michael Dowhaniuk / Left side / 1 / White Rock, BC / Canada junior national team
  • Gerard Murray / Middle / 1 / Winnipeg,  MB / National Excellence Program
  • Zeid Hamadeh / Outside hitter / 5 / Ottawa, ON / Western University

Key losses (name / position / hometown / years with program):

  • Irvan Brar / Left side / Surrey, BC / 5
  • Byron Keturakis / Setter / Surrey, BC / 4
  • Keith West / Left side / Lethbridge, AB / 1
  • Fynn McCarthy / Middle / Outside hitter / Lake Country, BC / 1
  • Ben Chow / Libero / Surrey, BC / 5
  • Mat Guidi / Right side / Coquitlam, BC / 5

Key performer:

Joel Regehr

Middle

5th-year

Courtenay, BC 

The veteran middle from Courtenay, BC, returns for his fifth and final year with UBC. Regehr is one of two starters returning from last season's national championship-winning squad and is just one of two seniors on this year's roster. 

He will be expected to help lead the team's transformation in 2018-19, which includes a new head coach in Mike Hawkins. 

Regehr led the Thunderbirds last season with 71 total blocks, for an average of 0.81 per set. 

 


2018-19 CW pre-season coaches poll: 11th

2017-18 CW regular season record: 5-19, 11th

2017-18 CW post-season record: missed playoffs

Head coach: Brad Hudson (3rd season) / 14-34 (career CW reg. season record)

Last CW championship / total CW championships: none

Last U SPORTS championship / total U SPORTS championships: none 

2017-18 CW regular season ranks:

  • Points per set: 14.0, 10th
  • Kills per set: 11.29, 7th
  • Hitting percentage: .183, 11th 

2017-18 CW regular season leaders:

  • Kills: 339 – Lars Bornemann, OH
  • Digs: 225 – Eli Risso, LIB
  • Blocks: 60 – Caleb Funk, M
  • Aces: 20 – Lars Bornemann, OH
  • Assists: 446– Morgan Nichols, S

Key additions (name / position / eligibility / hometown / last team):

  • Ryder Kehler / LB / 1 / Regina, SK / Team SASK 
  • Noah Campbell / OH / 1 / Edmonton / Fog Volleyball Club
  • Jacob Dewolf / MB / 1 / Langley, BC / Fraser Valley VC
  • Cam Vanderveen / OH / 1 / Chilliwack / Orangemen VC
  • Matt Aubrey / OP / 3 / Brisbane, AUS / University of Regina
  • Johnson Yi / MB / 4 / Vancouver / Douglas College
  • Brennan Goski / OH / 5 / Moose Jaw, SK / University of Regina
  • Denham O'Reilly / S / 4 / Langley, BC / Vancouver Island University
  • Téo Ardanaz / MB / 1 / Tsawwassen, BC / Team BC

Key losses (name / position / hometown / years with program):

  • Lars Bornemann / OH / Victoria, BC / 5 
  • Jon Russo / S / Lake Country, BC / 4 
  • Joshua Harvey / M / Cochrane, AB / 5  

Key performer:

Max Heppell

Left side

2nd-year

Langley, BC

Max Heppell will look to take over as the featured left side in the UBC Okanagan offense in 2018-19. 

In his first year, the Langley product played in 53 sets and swung for 1.45 kills per set. Heppell took his time getting acquainted to the Canada West game, but by the end of January was becoming a solid option for the Heat as they were making a playoff push. Heppell tallied 39 kills in in a string of five matches. 

In the early part of the pre-season, Heppell has shown that he is ready for the challenge, notching double digits in kills in two of the three matches that were stated.

 


2018-19 CW pre-season coaches poll: 6th

2017-18 CW regular season record: 14-10, 6th

2017-18 CW post-season record: 0-2, lost quarter-final

Head coach: Rod Durrant (13th season) / 136-114 (Career CW reg. season record)

Last CW championship / total CW championships: 2011 / 9

Last U SPORTS championship / total U SPORTS championships: 2010 / 4

2017-18 CW regular season ranks:

  • Points per set:15.1, 6th
  • Kills per set: 11.39, 6th
  • Hitting percentage: .246, 4th

2017-18 CW regular season leaders:

  • Kills: 287 – Alex Bader, OH
  • Digs: 170 – Blain Cranston, S
  • Blocks: 92 – Liam Laidlaw, M
  • Aces: 23 – Blain Cranston, S
  • Assists: 807 – Blain Cranston, S 

Key additions (name / position / eligibility / hometown / last team):

  • Gavin Taylor / OH / 5 / Brampton, Ont. / Western University
  • Hamish Hazelden / M / 3 / Esperance, AUS / Red Deer College
  • Juan Becerra / M / 4 / Calgary, Alta. / SAIT

Key losses (name / position / hometown / years with program):

  • Alex Bader / OH / Calgary, Alta. / 3
  • Brett Bolin / M / Calgary, Alta. / 2
  • Calvin Siebert / OH / Calgary, Alta. / 5
  • Regan Fathers / OH / Adelaide, AUS / 1 

Key performer:

Blain Cranston

Setter

5th-year

Fort St. John, B.C.

The Dinos' floor general, setter Blain Cranston, wraps up his varsity career in 2018-19. Calgary's leader in assists, digs, and aces last year, the Grande Prairie College transfer joins fellow fifth-year, libero Derek Meeuwisse, as the team's co-captains for the 18-19 campaign.

 


2018-19 CW pre-season coaches poll: 12th

2017-18 CW regular season record: 3-21, 12th

2017-18 CW post-season record: Missed playoffs

Head coach: Brad Poplawski (8th season) / 11-85 (Career CW reg. season record) 

Last CW championship / total CW championships: None

Last U SPORTS championship / total U SPORTS championships: None

2017-18 CW regular season ranks:

  • Points per set: 13.4, 12th
  • Kills per set: 10.47, 12th
  • Hitting percentage: .178, 12th 

2017-18 CW regular season leaders:

  • Kills: 207 – Ryan Zachary, OH
  • Digs: 179 – Kai Hesthammer, OH
  • Blocks: 79 – Max Vriend, MB
  • Aces: 17 – Max Vriend, MB
  • Assists: 431 – Caleb Weiss, S 

Key additions (name / position / eligibility / hometown / last team):

  • David Morgan / LB / 3 / Brisbane, AUS / Grande Prairie Regional College
  • Mark Ritter / OH / 4 / Edmonton, AB / Red Deer College
  • Keenan Koss / MB / 1 / Calgary, AB / Ernest Manning
  • Dominic Losier / OH / 1 / Calgary, AB / Ernest Manning

Key losses (name / position / hometown / years with program):

  • Shane Kerrison / OH / Morinville, AB / 5
  • Ryan Zachary / OH / Airdrie, AB / 1
  • Kornel Kowalewski / MB / Poznan, Poland / 2
  • Liam Huth / MB / Sherwood Park, AB / 1 

Key performer:

Max Vriend

Outside hitter

4th-year

Barrhead, AB

The 2015-16 member of the CIS and Canada West All-Rookie team has blossomed into a booming big play threat for the Griffins in the middle.

Slated to spend some time at outside hitter this season, the 6-foot-8 Vriend figures to be a kill monster for a Griffins team looking to replace the production of rookie phenom Ryan Zachary, who is no longer with the program.

Vriend led the Griffins with 79 blocks last season (10th in Canada West) and his 1.11 blocks/game average was third-best in the conference.

It's clear he can net a few kills, too, finishing second on the Griffins in 2017-18 with 169 kills and 2.38 kills/set (both 27th in Canada West), despite playing in the middle.

A past member of Team Canada's national junior team, Vriend is precisely the leader a young Griffins program will lean on as it aims to secure its first playoff berth since entering Canada West in 2014.

 


2018-19 CW pre-season coaches poll: 10th

2017-18 CW regular season record: 11-13, 7th

2017-18 CW post-season record: 0-2, lost in Canada West quarter-final to UBC

Head coach: Garth Pischke (37th season) / 656-230 (Career conference reg. season record)

Last CW championship / total CW championships: 2003 / 1

Last U SPORTS championship / total U SPORTS championships: 2003 / 10 

2017-18 CW regular season ranks:

  • Points per set: 14.7, 8th
  • Kills per set: 11.02, 9th
  • Hitting percentage: .231, 6th

2017-18 CW regular season leaders:

  • Kills: 306 – Adam DeJonckheere, LS
  • Digs: 121 – Kyle Martens, LIB
  • Blocks: 112 – Brendan Warren, MH
  • Aces: 28 – Adam DeJonckheere, LS
  • Assists: 430 – Jack Mandryk, S 

Key additions (name / position / eligibility / hometown / last team):

  • Jeremy Kaminsky / M / 1 / Winnipeg, MB / WinMan Volleyball Club
  • Ben Carleton / L/R / 1 / Brisbane, Australia / Australian Junior National Team
  • Lucas Meyer / R / 1 / Winnipeg, MB / 204 Volleyball Club 

Key losses (name / position / hometown / years with program):

  • Adam DeJonckheere / LS / Winnipeg, MB / 5
  • Scott Vercaigne / L/R / Winnipeg, MB / 5

Key performer:

Dustin Spiring

Middle

5th-year

Winnipeg, MB

While the Bisons have a young roster, fifth-year Dustin Spiring will bring a veteran presence as a multi-dimensional player.

Playing middle, Spiring was second in the conference last season with 94 total blocks. He was fourth in the conference with 79 assisted blocks. This season, Spiring will have more opportunity to attack by moving to the left side, building on the 136 kills and 1.48 kills per set he had in 2017-18. 

"I'm very fortunate to have [Dustin] back here this year, and that was the big change I had," said Bisons head coach Garth Pischke. "He played middle for us the last couple of years, but a middle player is not on the court all of the time, he's coming off for half of it, and that kind of sucks. You can't really be a leader in that position, so I've switched him to the left side and now he's on the court all of the time."

 


2018-19 CW pre-season coaches poll: 7th

2017-18 CW regular season record: 7-17, 10th

2017-18 CW post-season record: missed playoffs

Head coach: Shawn Sky (15th season at MRU) / 62-70 (Career CW reg. season record)

Last CW championship / total CW championships: None

Last U SPORTS championship / total U SPORTS championships: None  

2017-18 CW regular season ranks:

  • Points per set: 13.9, 11th
  • Kills per set: 10.59, 11th
  • Hitting percentage: .207% 8th

2017-18 CW regular season leaders:

  • Kills: 283 - Tyler Schmidt, OH
  • Digs: 230 - Jonathan Phillips, LB
  • Blocks: 63 - Tyler Schmidt, OH
  • Aces: 21- Tyler Schmidt, OH
  • Assists: 791 - Tanner Greves, S

Key additions (name / position / eligibility / hometown / last team):

  • Trent Mounter / LS / 4 / Perth, Australia / SAIT
  • Joao Pedro Neto Freire / LS / 2 / Belo Horizonte, Brazil / Medicine Hat College
  • Luis Lange / M / 1 / Calgary, AB / William Aberthart HS
  • Paul Dionne / OH / 1 / Weyburn, SK / Regina Volleyball Club
  • Mitch Gorman / L / 1 / Grande Prairie, AB / Grande Prairie Volleyball Club

Key losses (name / position / hometown / years with program):

  • Lachlan Polson / M / Victoria,BC / 4
  • Lachie Pollock / OH / Christchurch, New Zealand / 4
  • Riley Friesen / OH / Calgary, AB / 5 
  • Nick Lightfoot / OH / Richmond, BC / 2

Key performer

Tyler Schmidt

Outside Hitter

5th-year

Calgary, AB

Tyler Schmidt and fellow fifth-year and best friend Tanner Greaves are without a doubt the leaders of this year's Cougars team and two players MRU will rely heavily on. Schmidt has been a mainstay on the outside for the Cougars throughout this time at MRU and while he's obviously an offensive focal point, he's the team's best blocker as well. Schmidt is already top 10 all-time for his CW career in kills & points. If he has a good season, he should move into top five this year and with a great year could potentially become No. 1 in CW history for points and kills.

 


2018-19 CW pre-season coaches poll: 9th

2017-18 CW regular season record: 10-14, 9th

2017-18 post-season record: missed playoffs

Head coach: Nathan Bennett (1st season) 

Last CW championship / total CW championships: 2004 / 10

Last U SPORTS championship / total U SPORTS championships: none

2017-18 CW regular season ranks:

  • Points per set: 15.3, 5th
  • Kills per set: 11.6, 4th
  • Hitting percentage: .200, 10th 

2017-18 CW regular season leaders:

  • Kills: 299 – Dylan Mortenson, OH
  • Digs: 162 – Etienne Hagenbuch, LIB
  • Blocks: 68 – Daulton Sinoski, OH
  • Aces: 37 – Daulton Sinoski, OH
  • Assists: 606 – CJ Gavlas, S

Key additions (name / position / eligibility / hometown / last team):

  • Cole Burkart / Outside Hitter/ 4 / Edmonton, AB / NAIT Ooks
  • Jake Rapin / Setter / 2 / Prince Albert, SK / Red Deer Kings
  • Cody Caldwell / Middle / 4 / Reston, MB / Regina Cougars 

Key losses (name / position / hometown / years with program):

  • Troy Wiebe / Setter / Grande Prairie, AB / 4 

Key performer:

Dylan Mortenson

Outside Hitter

3rd-year

Swift Current, SK

Dylan Mortenson will once again be a stalwart in the Huskies lineup in the 2018-19 season, as the outside hitter appeared in all 24 matches Saskatchewan played in last season. Mortenson was one of the top players at his position in the Canada West last year, finishing near the top of the conference in multiple statistical categories.

The Swift Current, SK native was seventh in the conference in kills with 299 and 15th in service aces with 24. Mortenson will be a key figure both on and off the floor for a Huskies team that will be led by new head coach Nathan Bennett.

 


2018-19 CW pre-season coaches poll: 8th

2017-18 CW regular season record: 11-13, 8th

2017-18 CW post-season record: 0-2, lost CW quarter-final to Trinity Western

Head coach: Pat Hennelly (12th season) / 115-141 (career CW reg. season record)

Last CW championship / total CW championships: none

Last U SPORTS championship / total U SPORTS championships: none 

2017-18 CW regular season ranks:

  • Points per set: 14.0, 9th
  • Kills per set: 10.67, 10th
  • Hitting percentage:.203, 9th

2017-18 CW regular season leaders:

Kills: 322 – Tim Dobbert, OH

Digs: 105 – Tim Dobbert, OH

Blocks: 89 – Sam Taylor Parks, M

Aces: 22 – Tim Dobbert, OH

Assists: 401 – Anton Napolitano, s 

Key additions (name / position / eligibility / hometown / last team):

  • Samuel Elgert / S / Edmonton, AB / Team Alberta 

Key losses (name / position / hometown / years with program):

  • Cole Keddie / L & OH / Edmonton, AB / 5

Key performer:

Tim Dobbert

Outside hitter

5th-year

Aichelberg, Germany 

The former Brigham Young player adjusted to Canadian volleyball with ease. The U SPORTS Academic All-Canadian was also a Canada West second team all-star while leading the league in kills. 

 


2018-19 CW pre-season coaches poll: 1st

2017-18 CW regular season record: 22-2, 1st

2017-18 CW post-season record: 5-0, CW champions

Head coach: Ben Josephson (12th season) / 175-57 (Career CW reg. season record)

Last CW championship / total CW championships: 2018 / 5

Last U SPORTS championship / total U SPORTS championships: 2017 / 5 

2017-18 CW regular season ranks:

  • Points per set: 17.1, 1st
  • Kills per set: 12.81, 1st
  • Hitting percentage: .311, 1st

2017-18 CW regular season leaders:

  • Kills: 356 – Eric Loeppky, LS
  • Digs: 171 – Carter Bergen, LIB
  • Blocks: 90 – Pearce Eshenko, MH
  • Aces: 54 – Eric Loeppky, LS
  • Assists: 920 – Adam Schriemer, S 

Key additions (name / position / eligibility / hometown / last team):

  • Brodie Hofer / OH / 1 / Langley, BC / Langley Christian 

Key losses (name / position / hometown / years with program):

  • Adam Schriemer / S / Winnipeg / 5
  • Mark Antoniuk / L / Langley, BC / 5 

Key performer:

Eric Loeppky

Outside Hitter

3rd-year

Steinbach, MB 

After an incredible second year with the Spartans in which Eric Loeppky led Canada West in points per set (5.0) and hitting percentage (.362), was second in aces (0.61) and fourth in kills per set (4.05), the star from Steinbach is back for a third year in Langley. Over the summer, Loeppky, who was a U SPORTS First Team All-Canadian last year, also proved himself on the international stage, as he represented Canada with the senior men's team at the prestigious Jerzy Wagner Tournament in Poland. A highly-touted recruit out of Steinbach Regional Secondary School, Loeppky arrived exactly as advertised over his first two years with the Spartans and after a summer playing alongside Canada's best, he'll be primed to lead TWU in 2018-19. 

 


 

2018-19 CW pre-season coaches poll: 5th

2017-18 CW regular season record: 15-9, 5th

2017-18 CW post-season record: 2-4, lost CW bronze medal game to UBC

Head coach: Larry McKay (30th) / 183-167 (Career CW reg. season record) 

Last CW championship / total CW championships: none

Last U SPORTS championship / total U SPORTS championships: 2007 / 10 

2017-18 CW regular season ranks:

  • Points per set: 14.9 7th
  • Kills per set: 11.12, 8th
  • Hitting percentage: .233, 5th 

2017-18 CW regular season leaders:

  • Kills: 194 – David Bommersbach, LS
  • Digs: 219 – Logan Brennan, L
  • Blocks: 90 – Ethan Duncan, MB
  • Aces: 29 – David Bommersbach, LS
  • Assists: 852 – Mikael Clegg, S

Key additions (name / position / eligibility / hometown / last team):

  • Nigel Nielsen / OH / 1 / St. Andrews, MB /Selkirk
  • Austin Anderson / S / 1 / Niverville, MB / Niverville Collegiate
  • Hudson Wall / OH / 1 / Narol, MB / River East Collegiate

Key losses (name / position / hometown / years with program):

  • David Bommersbach / LS / Winnipeg, MB / 5
  • Logan Brennan / L / Winnipeg, MB / 5
  • Taylor Howe / OH / Calgary, AB / 4 

Key performer:

Ethan Duncan

Middle / Left side

3rd-year

Winnipeg, MB

After two years as a middle, Ethan Duncan will move to left side, the position he played in high school. How Duncan's transition to the outside plays out will have a great impact on the effectiveness of Winnipeg's attack.