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Providence teams win five of six matches during standout weekend
The Providence Pilots basketball and volleyball teams won five of six matches during the first weekend of December and are all positioned to make the Manitoba Colleges Athletic Conference play-offs.
In fact, the four squads are either first or second in the MCAC standings as the fall semester draws to a close.
Tied for a share of second-place with Red River College ahead of Friday’s showdown with the Rebels, the women’s basketball team pulled out a 62-60 overtime victory and improved to 3-3 on the provincial circuit.
Down 20-4 at one point, the Pilots regrouped and outscored the Rebels by 18 in the second half. Isabella Selk led the way with 18 points, 16 rebounds, and four assists, and Courtney Engel added 12 points and nine boards.
“This was a character win for us,” said head coach Joel Coursey. “I hope it gives the girls some momentum going into our final two games of the semester.”
Next up for the Pilots is this weekend’s trip to Minnesota, where they’ll take on Faith Baptist Bible College and Association Free Lutheran Bible School and Seminary in National Christian College Athletic Association action.
The men’s team will face the same opponents in Minneapolis and will look to draw on the form that saw them beat Red River 91-70 on Friday. Nick Treleaven scored 22 points for the Pilots and sunk six of 10 three-pointers while Romeo KC compiled 16 points and seven assists.
With the University of Winnipeg having lost to Canadian Mennonite University earlier in the week Providence is now alone atop the MCAC table.
“I was really happy with our defense for the majority of the game,” analyzed head coach Colten Gryba. “We made everything really difficult for Red River, which led to steals for us and easy buckets. We still need to work on a few areas but overall we are starting to play better.”
Like their men’s basketball counterparts the Pilots men’s volleyball team took sole possession of first place after beating Assiniboine Community College in straight sets on both Friday and Saturday.
Erik Wiebe executed 21 kills over the two matches while Lucas Pappel helped out with 68 assists and six blocks.
Head coach Jason Peters admitted that while his players weren’t as sharp on Saturday as they were on Friday he was generally happy with the performances.
“We still have work to do in terms of playing a complete match, but overall I was pleased with both wins,” he said.
On the women’s side the Pilots—already NCCAA runners-up—rebounded from a Friday loss to ACC with a 3-1 win on Saturday. Shayna Staerk, a First Team All American, made 31 kills in the victory and also contributed 10 digs. Sam Bridle provided 50 assists.
“We started the match slowly, but once we started to play with more intensity we took control of the match,” remarked head coach Scott Masterson. “We made some tactical changes that also played a role, and the players did a great job executing on those changes.”
The ladies are now 28-6 on the season, having lost just two of their last 16 matches.
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