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Pilots come up short in MCAC basketball play-offs
The Providence basketball teams went out at the semi-final stages of this year’s Manitoba Colleges Athletic Conference play-offs—disappointments the Pilots volleyball squads will be looking to avenge this weekend.
The 2015-16 MCAC Volleyball Championship will take place in Otterburne on Saturday and Sunday, and both the men’s and women’s outfits are anticipating memorable conclusions to their campaigns.
The women, who began their season back in September, have already claimed a National Christian College Athletic Association regional title, and in November they finished second at the NCCAA National Championship in Kissimmee, Florida.
They’ll take on the Assiniboine Community College Cougars in Saturday’s semi-final (4:00 p.m.), and victory will put them through to Sunday’s final against either the University of Winnipeg College Wesmen or the Canadian Mennonite University Blazers.
The men, too, will host ACC in a Saturday semi-final (2:00 p.m.), after which they’ll hope to face one of CMU and the Red River College Rebels.
It was Red River’s basketball teams, incidentally, that defended their championships by claiming MCAC honours last weekend.
The Rebels women beat CMU in the final after defeating Providence 58-45 in a semi-final clash that was close until the fourth quarter.
Pilots co-captain Isabella Selk sustained a season-ending ankle injury in the second half, at which point Providence trailed by just a point. The Rebels ran away with it after that, although both Courtney Engel and MCAC MVP Amber Harms contributed eight points for Providence.
“I am very proud of our team,” remarked head coach Joel Coursey after the tournament. “We gave Red River the best game we could, and it came down to the fourth quarter. It was a disappointing end to our MCAC season, but I can rest knowing we gave them our best.”
On the men’s side, the Pilots lost a 67-66 nail-biter to CMU on Saturday—paced by the 23 points of Cash Blanca. The Blazers then fell to the Rebels in Sunday’s final.
“We struggled offensively at times, but our defense was solid all game,” analyzed head coach Colten Gryba. “I give CMU a lot of credit for playing as hard as they did. We just came out on the wrong end.”
Both basketball teams will now prepare for this weekend’s NCCAA regional tournament in Minneapolis, Minnesota, after which they’ll travel to Joplin, Missouri for the Association of Christian College Athletics National Championship.
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