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Pilots playoffs-bound as MCAC regular season comes to an end
The Providence Pilots basketball teams are headed to the Manitoba Colleges Athletic Association play-offs.
With weekend wins over the University of Winnipeg College Wesmen (67-64) and the Canadian Mennonite University Blazers (69-47), the men’s outfit secured the province’s second seed while the women’s side finished third, having beaten the Wesmen (56-27) on Friday before losing to the Blazers (62-45) on Saturday.
Cash Blanca put up 41 points for the men in the pair of victories while Daniel Dekleva recorded a double-double against the U of W. Anthony White contributed 13 points and six rebounds against CMU.
“This was a great weekend for us,” remarked head coach Colten Gryba. “We had a very high compete level and were able to get two big victories heading into the playoffs. I was really proud of our defensive effort all weekend; it put us in a position to win both games.”
Statistically, Dekleva finished the regular season as the MCAC’s fourth-highest scorer, with teammate Romeo KC close behind in fifth. Dekleva also led the league in defensive rebounds.
The women’s team also picked up an important win over the Wesmen—led by Lauren Wiebe’s 24 points.
“It was fun to watch Lauren have a strong shooting night,” reflected head coach Joel Coursey. “It was one of those games where she just couldn’t miss.”
Amber Harms led the way with nine points for Providence against CMU, while Courtney Engel compiled five rebounds, five assists, and five steals.
Harms also finished third in MCAC scoring and topped the overall rebounding chart.
The women will now face the Red River College Rebels in one of Saturday’s semi-finals at Red River, with the potential of a Sunday final against either the Wesmen or Blazers to follow.
The men will be up against the Blazers in their final four appearance and will be anticipating a championship match against either the Rebels or Wesmen.
In volleyball, the Pilots men concluded a strong schedule by falling in four sets to CMU on Friday, although they had long ago sewn up first place in the MCAC. They’ll take on the Assiniboine Community College Cougars in a playoff semi-final, to be contested at Providence, on February 27.
“We now have to put the regular season behind us,” analyzed head coach Jason Peters. “We are looking ahead. We are on to the play-offs.”
As are the Pilots women, who, with a 3-1 victory over CMU on Friday, put the finishing touches on their second-place finish in the MCAC.
They’ll also host ACC in one of the volleyball semi-finals and will be hoping to add to a National Christian College Athletic Conference regional title and national final appearance earned earlier in the campaign.
“I thought we had a great week of practices, and the team did a great job of bringing that intensity into the match,” said head coach Scott Masterson. “We were focused and determined, and it showed with how we played.”
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