WESMEN CLASSIC AT A GLANCE
Winnipeg Wesmen: Ranked No. 7 in the country, the Wesmen have put together a superb first half of the Canada West season with one of the best records in the toughest conference in the country. The Wesmen are 10-2 on the season, just two points back of first place, and are coming off a hard-earned split against Brandon in a semester-closing home-and-home series last week. The Wesmen are led in attacking by fifth-year senior David Bommersbach, who has 166 kills, ranking fifth in Canada and in the Canada West.
Manitoba Bisons: A young Bisons squad is chock full of local talent, and it is led by one of the team's two fifth-year seniors, Adam DeJonckheere. The St. Paul's product is sixth in Canada West in kills per set at 3.52. The left side had 21 kills in a match against MacEwan earlier this season and followed that with a season-high 27 the very next night. The Bisons are one of the best blocking teams in the nation, ranking first in Canada West in total blocks.
Western Mustangs: In a tough OUA West, the Mustangs find themselves just a match back of McMaster for tops in the division. The Mustangs bring a pair of Winnipeggers back home, with fourth-year setter Matt Hooker, out of St. Paul's, setting the table for the WU attack, and Matt Stasiuk, a product of the Junior Wesmen program, in his second year at libero.
New Brunswick Varsity Reds: The Reds come in with a modest 3-3 conference record but do so having played a tough schedule that has included Laval, Montreal and Saskatchewan. The AUS representative at nationals the past two seasons, UNB is led by fifth-year senior Pascal McCarthy and his 3.24 kills per set.
Brandon Bobcats: The No. 4-ranked team in the nation, the Bobcats won five of their seven matches in November and closed the first half of the season winning three of their last four. BU is the only team this season to have beaten No. 1 Trinity Western. Libero Brady Nault, of Winnipeg, has become a defensive stalwart for the 'Cats with 103 digs, which ranks third in Canada West. Elliott Viles continues the pipeline Brandon has had to Australian talent. The Adelaide native is averaging more than three kills per set and is second in Canada West in aces.
Regina Cougars: At 1-11, the Queen City kids will look to the Classic for some grooming and potential momentum heading into the second half of the season. The Cougars feature four Manitobans — Eric Robb and Michael Corrigan of Winnipeg, Rylan Metcalf of Carman and Dryden Wall of Ste. Anne. Metcalf is the brother to the Bobcats' Mason Metcalf. The Cougars are led by second-year Aussie right side Matthew Aubrey and his 123 kills, followed by fourth-year outside Brennan Goski, who has 121.
Laval Rouge et Or: A perennial national contender, the Rouge et Or make a rare trip to Winnipeg and does as once again as Quebec's top team at 5-1 in conference play and having not dropped a set since Oct. 28 when they beat UNB in a RSEQ-AUS interlock match. A big portion of the Rouge et Or attack comes from 6-foot-4 import Vincente Parraguirre Villalobos, a member of the Chilean national team, who was a first-team all-Canadian last season and is second in the country at kills per set at 4.32.
Ryerson Rams: Coached by former national team member Adam Simac and sitting in a tie atop the OUA East Division are the 11th-ranked Rams, who recently had snapped a season-opening seven-match win streak, which included a non-conference win over Manitoba and an OUA-opening win at McMaster. Fifth-year senior Lucas Coleman leads the way for the Toronto-based squad at 3.76 kills per set.