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Local athletes shine with ACC Cougars


Some Dauphin athletes were recently recognized for their efforts with the Assiniboine Community College Cougars.
Sami Love was named MVP of the Cougars women’s volleyball team after helping ACC to a 8-12 record, good for fourth place in the Manitoba Colleges Athletic Conference (MCAC) League.
In her first year with the Cougars, Love led the team in kills and passing percentage, finishing fourth in the MCAC league with 231 kills and she was named to the league’s all-conference team.
Love played two years with the Brandon University Bobcats before transfering to ACC. She decided to enter the LPN program at ACC and did not want to give up playing volleyball.
“So I decided to play with the Cougars this season,” she explained.
Love admitted it was sad they could not have the year-end awards banquet where they hand out the awards in person.
“But with everything going on, it was still nice to be recognized over the phone and through social media,” she said.
“I was really excited to win the award. It was a lot of hard work and effort this season playing a new position and trying things out with a new team. But I was really happy with how the season went.”
Normally a middle, Love played left side this season. In high school, she did more of an all-around position, but she was strictly a middle with the Bobcats.
“So I never got to pass or play in the back row,” she said.
That was not the case this year as Love was able to do both.
“And I had to swing at a lot more balls than Ia was used to. So it was definitely a transition. Lots of reps, lots of practice, but I was really happy with where I finished at the end of the season,” she said.
Given her experience, Love had a leadership role with the Cougars, which she feels was a factor in her MVP selection.
“And I was responsible for hitting a lot of balls, as well. So I had a lot of responsibility learning new shots and just touching the ball a lot more than I was used to,” she said.
“Of course, my team helped a lot, but it was nice to finally put my skills to work and have a successful season,” she said.
Love feels her game has improved over her college career. Her first year, she said, was tough coming from high school to the college level.
“It’s definitely a challenge. But I think that my skills have improved differently, for sure, just from last year to this year,” she said.
“Like I said, a new position and getting to learn skills that I had never done before. So it as awesome to learn those new things.”
The Cougars were to start practicing this month, but the current pandemic has shut down those plans. Love hopes they can return to the court in the fall.
Braden Campbell was named MVP of the Cougars’ men’s volleyball team after leading the league with 233 kills, while helping the team to finish third at 9-11.
“I was pretty surprised, because my teammate won the league MVP. So I wasn’t really expecting it,” Campbell said, adding it means a lot to him.
Campbell felt his competitiveness led to his selection as MVP. He feels his game has improved in his three years with the Cougars.
“I’ve got a lot of experience now,” he said.
Known for her skills on the ice, Marley Quesnel is also a talented soccer and futsal player and she was recognized as the winner of the women’s futsal Coaches Award.
“I was continuously impressed by Marley’s dedication to the team and her desire to improve her skills on the court. Throughout the season, her shot speed and accuracy increased, which resulted in her scoring her first goal, from an impressive 75 feet distance,” Cougars coach Mark Murray said in a press release.

Doug Zywina