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10 in a row for Pilots men’s volleyball team
2016-02-03
 
The Providence Pilots men’s volleyball team won its 10th match in a row last weekend, defeating Red River College in straight sets and strengthening its hold on top spot in the Manitoba Colleges Athletic Conference standings.
 
“Our goal this weekend was to put a firm grip on first place, and we were able to do that,” remarked head coach Jason Peters. “We know we will have to raise our level of play for the play-offs, so we won’t rest on regular season achievements.”
 
Given that the Pilots have dropped just two sets since their last defeat in November, the notion of them improving further is one that surely frightens their provincial opponents.
 
Peters, who will be leaving the team after this month’s play-offs (and would no doubt prefer to conclude his 13 years in charge with a championship), singled out Greg Dueck and Erik Wiebe for their left-side play against the Rebels, and middles Hans Fehr and Willie Goosen for their strong showings in Friday’s 3-0 win over Assiniboine Community College.
 
He added: “We are now turning our focus to closing out the season strong, and to getting better each day.”
 
On the women’s side, the Pilots rebounded from a Wednesday defeat at the University of Winnipeg with victories at ACC and at home to Red River. Presently second in the MCAC, they’re a comfortable six points clear of ACC but trail the U of W by four points.
 
“Obviously we’ve been struggling to come out with a win against the U of W, but they are a very talented team that has a lot of weapons,” reflected head coach Scott Masterson. “We still feel like any given day we have a chance to come out with a win, so hopefully we get an opportunity to play them again this year.”
 
They just might. Providence will host the MCAC volleyball play-offs on February 27 and 28.
 
Meanwhile, the men’s basketball team dropped to second in the province after losing two of the three games they played in four nights last week.
 
Sandwiched between a solid, 82-73 win at Red River were losses to the U of W and Canadian Mennonite University, the former of which took sole possession of first place after beating Red River on Saturday.
 
“Although we didn’t get the results we were hoping for the guys battled hard all week,” analyzed head coach Colten Gryba. Our defensive effort was there in each of the games. We just weren’t making some of the shots we normally make. I’m looking forward to seeing how the team responds.”
 
Richard Rodgers of Adelaide, Australia compiled 19 points and 10 rebounds for Providence in Fridays’ victory over the Rebels.
 
In women’s basketball the third-place Pilots dropped to 4-6 on the season after losing to both Red River and CMU. Courtney Engel, however, delivered impressive performances in both matches, posting 13 points and 10 rebounds against the Rebels and 11 points and 12 rebounds against the Blazers.
 
“CMU is 9-0 this year for a reason, and I was very impressed with the girls’ performance after suffering two tough losses in our last games against them,” said head coach Joel Coursey following Saturday’s 54-46 defeat. “I think we are all confident moving forward and can compete with the strongest teams in our conference.”
 
The Providence basketball teams will travel to Minnesota and Missouri this weekend in National Christian College Athletic Association action.
 
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Otterburne, Manitoba, Canada, R0A 1G0
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