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Pilots Find Next Gear in Minneapolis

This past weekend, the Providence Pilots women’s volleyball team traveled down to Minneapolis, MN to participate in a pre-regional tournament at North Central University. This weekend serves as league games in the North Central region in the NCCAA.

The Pilots kicked off their weekend by facing Trinity Bible College from Ellendale, North Dakota. The sole Canadian team at the tournament seemed to be in mid-season form out of the gate. From start to finish, the Pilots were in control as they beat the Trinity in three straight sets, 25-13, 25-8, 25-21. Jodi Lepp of Rivers, MB led the way with 11 kills while Chelsea Needham of Winnipeg wasn’t far behind with 10.

The second match of the day had the Pilots face off against region rival Faith Baptist Bible College. Faith came into the contest as the top seed in the region and they weren’t about to give that up without a fight. In a long, exciting battle, Faith came out on top in 5 grueling sets. The Eagles flew higher on this night as they took the match 25-23, 15-25, 18-25, 25-17, 15-10. Needham had one of the best games of her career as she tallied 27 kills and 12 digs. Lepp added 17 kills of her own. Libero Katelyn Corbin kept the Pilots in the match with a 20 dig performance.

Providence took the court on Saturday against Finlandia University from Hancock, Michigan. The Pilots came out with a lot of energy in this contest. With a hiccup in the third set, Providence cruised to the four set victory 25-10, 25-15, 23-25, 25-9. Needham again led the offense with 15 kills while Clarice Martens chipped in with 15 as well. Corbin again showed stellar defense with 20 digs.

In the final contest of the weekend, the crowd gathered to watch the home team, NCU Rams, take on the visiting Pilots. In this marquee match, the visiting team rose to the occasion calming the opposition and crowd as they eased to a straight set victory. With a score of 25-13, 25-15, 25-19, Chelsea Needham put an exclamation point on her exceptional weekend. Leading the team once again with 17 kills (70 in 4 matches), Needham took home top offensive player of the weekend. Jodi Lepp added 15 kills and 9 digs.

“Overall, a very positive weekend. We were a few points away from going 4 and 0 this weekend,” Kyle Guenther stated after the weekend. “I thought our team responded well the first day being shorthanded. We can take a lot of positives out of these games but, of course, we can improve on a lot of areas as well. As we get further into the season, we will be able to shore up some fundamental errors and be mentally stronger.”

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