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Lady Freemen Win Regional Championship

Providence Women’s Volleyball squad wins 3 straight to take the title

The Lady Freemen Volleyball squad entered their regional tournament hoping to play to their potential with dreams of flying to the sunny skies of Florida in their heads. After winning three straight matches in four sets or less to take the regional tournament, they more than earned their ticket to the NCCAA Division II National Tournament in Kissimmee, Florida.

The Lady Freemen came into the tournament ranked #2 and earned themselves an opening round match-up against North Central University on Friday afternoon in Ellendale, North Dakota. Providence came out strong and showed their opponents that they were going to be a tough team to beat as they took the first set 25-14. The girls then fought off an NCU surge in the second set to take it 25-22. Having a close set seemed to inspire the ladies to find their second gear as they finished off the match taking the final set 25-18.

The Lady Freemen then played a Friday evening game against the #1 seeded team in the Faith Baptist Bible College Eagles. The Lady Freemen came into the game confident and proceeded to shock their counterparts by taking the first two sets 25-12 and 25-17. The third set then saw Faith and Providence engaged in a tight battle, but it was the Eagles who were able to finish off the set 27-25. However, it was too little too late for the Eagles as the Lady Freemen finished strong in the fourth set winning it 25-14 to win the match 3 games to 1. The win earned the Lady Freemen a berth in the regional finals.

The Saturday afternoon Regional Championship game featured a match-up between #2 Providence Lady Freemen and #1 Faith Baptist Bible College Eagles. Providence, however, held the advantage as the tournament was a double-loss knockout set-up. This meant that, since Providence had not lost yet and Faith already had one loss, Faith would have to defeat Providence twice consecutively to win the championship, while the Lady Freemen only required one match win to eliminate the Eagles.

The Eagles came out strong and were able to start the match with a tight 26-24 set win. The second set was once again tightly contested but this time it was the Lady Freemen who were able to come out on top 25-23. Winning the second set seemed to calm the nerves of a young Freemen squad and they put together two of their season’s best sets winning the third and fourth sets 25-14 and 25-15 respectively to take the match, the Regional Championship, and a berth to the NCCAA Div. II National Tournament.

Lady Freemen Head Coach Becky Heidebrecht felt that her team picked a good time to start playing their best volleyball of the year, and is confident that her team will continue to improve as they prepare for the National Tournament.

“I am so proud of the girls this weekend,” Coach Heidebrecht said. “They played with heart and determination, never eased up and reached their true potential as a team. Each girl stepped up when needed and pulled together to win regionals.”

Four Providence athletes also earned regional awards for their seasons. Sophomore Vicky Ryshytylo was named region MVP, and Marianne Signer earned Libero of the Year honours. Also, freshman setter Devon Guenther was named First Team All-Region while senior Jill Reimer was named Second Team All-Region.

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