By Cassidy Dankochik
The Red River Rebels are once again Manitoba Colleges Athletic Conference champions in Men’s basketball. The team won a bye into the final and defeated the PUC Pilots 76-68 on Feb 9 to take home the title.
Mark Ridd was a force, picking up 29 rebounds in the victory, and was named finals MVP.
The Rebels have dominated their MCAC schedule since 2009, winning the championship every year but one.
Basketball season isn’t over for the Rebels, as they will head to the Northern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (NIAC) basketball playoff tournament in South Dakota, running from Feb 15-17.
Red River sits third in those standings, with a 10-4 record. They only sit behind undefeated Sisseton Wahpeton College and 11-3 Leech Lake Tribal College.
The Women’s Basketball team for the Rebels continues to come up a little bit short in MCAC play. They lost in the semi-finals to the PUC Pilots, 61-53. Czyelle Mas scored 18 points for the Rebels in the loss, and was named a player of the game.
PUC would go on to lose to the number 1 ranked CMU Blazers in the final 54-51.
The Women’s team is also heading to an NIAC tournament this weekend. Their 5-9 record in NIAC play is only good enough for seventh in the eight-team league. The Rebels only place above Winless Leech Lake Tribal College.
In men’s volleyball, the Rebels did not qualify for the final four, finishing fifth in MCAC play with a record of 2-13.
The Rebels were poor on both ends of the floor, leading to their spot in the standings. They had the lowest attack percentage in the league. Their solo blocks were respectable, but the assisted blocks were pitiful. They only managed 17 on the year. The second worst team in the conference had 46.
The semi-finals and finals will take place in Providence on Feb. 23/24, where the CMU Blazers will come in as favourites with a 15-1 record on the year. They have only lost 8 sets all year, while the second place Université de Saint-Boniface lost 23 sets on the year.
The women’s volleyball team fared a bit better, and qualified for the semi-finals in MCAC. The Rebels have managed a 6-9 record in regular season play, and will play one more regular season game against the already eliminated PUC Pilots.
The Rebels cannot fall behind fourth place ACC, as they won three of the four meetings between the two schools this year in regular season play.
The Rebels will take on the Université de Saint-Boniface in the final four. The Rebels dropped three of four meetings this year to Les Rouges, with USB holding a 11-6 set advantage in those meetings.
The Rebels fell down 2-0 in sets, in their second meeting with USB of the year, before battling back for a dramatic 3-2 victory.
The Final four will take place at the same time as the men’s final four, in Providence, Feb 23/24.
It’s been a tough slog for the Rebels in men’s futsal. Red River has only managed one win on the season, and sit in last place in the conference. Brandon and CMU are tied for first with six wins each.
The news isn’t all terrible for the Rebels though, as Eduardo Bardello was named MCAC athlete of the week. He has seven goals on the season, with two coming in Red River’s only win of the season. A 5-4 triumph over USB.
The Rebels will need to run the table to have a chance to make the final four, which is being hosted by Red River on March 9/10. It will be especially challenging – the Rebels play both CMU and Brandon in that three-game stretch.
The women’s futsal team looks to be on track for a playoff berth. Their 4-1-2 record is good enough for third in the conference, and they are nine points clear of the playoff line. They can even clinch a spot in the final four with any result against ACC this weekend.
Where they will finish in the top four is anyone’s guess, but the Rebels will decide their own fate. They play fourth ranked Brandon and second ranked CMU in their final three games of the season.
Red River has been lead offensively by Logan Bresciani, who is tied for second in the conference with 14 goals on the season.
Red River is hosting the MCAC futsal final four. Both men’s and women’s semi-finals and finals will take place in the North Gym at the Notre Dame campus on March 9/10.