By Neil Noonan- Reporter

The young Rebels showed promise this weekend in their annual preseason volleyball tournament.

In its fifth year, the Annual Thanksgiving Weekend Rebels Men’s Volleyball Tournament was host to all five men’s teams in the MCAC at Red River College’s Notre Dame campus.

Rebels athletic director, Shane Ray, says it’s the perfect way to kick off the volleyball season.

“For a lot of these students, it’s the first time they’re playing on a college court,” said Ray. “It gives them a little wake-up call to what it’s all about.”

Typical of a college team full of athletes in short two-year programs, this year’s men’s volleyball team only has three returning players.

One of the three, Reese Meixner, is feeling good about this year’s squad after playing through a disappointing first season with the Rebels. He says this group of guys feels different.

“We’re keeping our heads up, cheering each other on,” Meixner said. “Our focus isn’t on the last one, and we’re always thinking about the next play.”

Meixner led the team in straight sets against the Pilots, Cougars, and Les Rouges.

“Right now, we’re rolling,” Meixner said. “We’ve never played together, and we showed up this weekend, and we’re putting balls away.”

Some of the teams in the MCAC have already travelled out of province to play in exhibition games of their own, but this was the Rebels first chance to compete against others.

Lindsey Habib, the first-year Rebels coach, thinks the tournament is a perfect set up for the season.

“You practice for a few weeks, then come play a bunch of games and see what you need to do,” Habib said. “Then you have another month to work out the kinks.”

Habib says the guys are getting that much smarter and learning how to play with one another with every practice.

“We’re not a super experienced bunch, so we’re just putting in a little bit of structure in right now and having some fun.”

The Rebels ended up falling to the defending champion Blazers, 25-21 and 25-20, in the tournament’s championship match.

They’ll be back in the gym this week building off a successful first stint on the court together as a team. Their first regular-season matchup turns out to be the perfect opportunity for revenge, as they visit the Blazers on their home court on November 4 at 7:30 PM