Wesmen have giant hole to fill

Plenty of talent available to fill void left by injury to Rose

Advertisement

Advertise with us

The University of Winnipeg men’s volleyball team was plotting to take a big step forward in 2022-23.

Read this article for free:

or

Already have an account? Log in here »

To continue reading, please subscribe with this special offer:

All-Access Digital Subscription

$1.50 for 150 days*

  • Enjoy unlimited reading on winnipegfreepress.com
  • Read the E-Edition, our digital replica newspaper
  • Access News Break, our award-winning app
  • Play interactive puzzles
Continue

*Pay $1.50 for the first 22 weeks of your subscription. After 22 weeks, price increases to the regular rate of $19.00 per month. GST will be added to each payment. Subscription can be cancelled after the first 22 weeks.

The University of Winnipeg men’s volleyball team was plotting to take a big step forward in 2022-23.

Those ambitions haven’t changed, but how the Wesmen execute those plans took a major detour Wednesday afternoon.

Playing an intrasquad game in front of a packed gym at Dakota Collegiate, 6-10 leftside Jaxon Rose crumpled to the floor during a play at the net.

MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Matt Klysh is one of several former Dakota Collegiate students that are now part of the University of Winnipeg Wesmen volleyball team.

A leaping Rose landed awkwardly on the foot of another player and suffered a broken ankle and fractured tibia while also sustaining damage his other ankle.

Rose, who starred for Manitoba at the last month’s Canada Summer Games, was scheduled for surgery to repair the damage Thursday afternoon.

His playing status for the remainder of the season was not immediately known. Rose could choose to take a medical leave and preserve the year of eligibility.

“I’ve seen guys roll their ankles before but I’ve ever seen someone do both and then also get a broken leg in the process,” said second-year setter Alex Krykewich. “It’s a freak injury…

“You’re allowed to step on the centre-line and unfortunately two guys stepped on it at the same time. That kind of thing can happen.”

The carnage on the floor was very unusual for volleyball at any level.

“I was sick because I’ve got a weak stomach,” added fifth-year setter Matt Klysh. “I don’t like seeing it but the season’s long, we have such depth and such awesome young guys, whether or not he makes remarkable comeback and plays this year or someone else steps up, I’m looking forward to seeing the guy that does it.”

Rose’s replacement wasn’t immediately known and interim head coach Rob Olfert, who is managing the squad until January while Larry McKay is away on sabbatical, will have a bevy of candidates to consider. It may even be a committee approach.

“I’ve just been trying to process everything and I feel really bad for Jaxon,” said Olfert, who was McKay’s assistant previously. “He would’ve been a very vital piece of the puzzle here and he will be when he comes back. Now, we’re just trying to figure out where we’re at.”

The Wesmen finished last season atop Canada West’s East Division with an 11-7 regular-season record before bowing out in the second round of the post-season and a top-six finish.

“I’m very optimistic about our chances this season and I don’t think it changes a ton for us,” said Krykewich. “Jaxon was gonna be a really strong asset for us on the left side but… we have a lot of really strong young guys I’m really confident can step up and fill the role.”

Coincidentally, the void could be filled by another Dakota grad. Six former Lancers — Rose, Krykewich, Justin Stecher, Klysh and Thomas Kiesman — are already on roster while another former Dakota alum, Josh McKay, is an assistant coach.

Klysh said the talent pipeline from the St. Vital school is not an accident.

Coach Phil Hudson began a volleyball dynasty at Dakota before retiring and that tradition has continued with his son, Ryan Hudson, and the school’s junior varsity boys coach Jeremy Stubler.

“There was a wealth of knowledge when I was there because Phil Hudson wasn’t retired yet,” said Klysh, in his fifth year of eligibility. “He’s such a historically successful, highly regarded coach provincially and nationally, and now he’s coaching the women’s team here.

“His son is head of the athletic program now and Ryan was huge for me. He stuck his neck out for me in a lot of ways and he was always there for me.”

Olfert, currently on leave from a teaching position at Highbury School, said the feeder system of players coming from area middle schools consistently provides talent for high schools.

“Now, it’s next man up,” said Olfert. “We need somebody else to step up and fill that role.”

mike.sawatzky@freepress.mb.ca

Twitter @sawa14

Mike Sawatzky

Mike Sawatzky
Reporter

Mike has been working on the Free Press sports desk since 2003.

Report Error Submit a Tip

Advertisement

Advertise With Us

Sports

LOAD MORE SPORTS