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Pilots Volleyball Kicks off in Iowa

The Providence Pilots Women’s volleyball team traveled down to Ankeny, Iowa last weekend for a pre-season tournament. After just 3 days together, the Pilots went down and played some tough opponents at Spikefest.

In their first match of the tournament, the Pilots were up against Presentation College out of Aberdeen, South Dakota. Considering it was the first match of the year for both schools, the level of volleyball excellent. Both teams came out swinging in this contest. With a great start, the Pilots captured the first set. A well balanced attack from Presentation had them answer by taking the next 2 sets. Needing a big comeback, Providence was able to take the fourth set in convincing fashion and force a fifth and deciding set. Presentation came out stronger to start the set and the Pilots could not overcome the early deficit. Lauren Toews of Winnipeg, MB and Clarice Martens from Boissivain, MB led the way with 12 kills each while Chelsea Needham added 10 kills, 5 aces and 10 digs. Score: 25-19; 13-25; 17-25; 25-15; 9-15

A few hours later, the Pilots took the court again as they faced off against Ozark Christian College. In a tough 4 set match, Providence came out on the losing end again as Ozark won 25-19, 29-27, 14-25, 25-20. Toews again led the team with 12 kills while Needham added 8 of her own.

The next morning, Providence got their first win of the season taking out the AIB Eagles in straight sets. Toews and Needham continued to be the 1-2 punch on offense as they had 9 and 8 kills respectively. In a 25-23, 25-21, 25-17 victory, freshman Jodi Lepp of Rivers, MB had 7 kills and 6 digs in her breakout game of the season.

The final game of the weekend saw the Pilots take on Grace University of Omaha, Nebraska. In an instant classic, these two teams battled to the very end. Being 2 points from victory in the fourth set, the Pilots could not close out the match. The team from Nebraska clawed back and forced a fifth. In the fifth, a key missed serve by the Pilots late in the set swung the moment to Grace’s side and they could not recover. The final score was 25-21, 16-25, 18, 25, 26-24, 15-11 for Grace University. Lauren Toews finished her monster weekend with 13 kills in this game. The defense was on display in this one as senior Christa Penner had 14 digs and libero Katelyn Corbin added 12 of her own.

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