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Women's Volleyball Come Up Just Shy of Championship

The women’s volleyball team from Providence had a dominant MCAC regular season in 2015. Only dropping one match heading into the Championship weekend, the Pilots were poised to make a run for a fourth title in five years.

The Pilots semi-final match saw them face off against the host school, the ACC Cougars. Even though the Pilots hadn’t dropped a match to ACC all season, the Cougars were on home soil and bring a very high level to every match. In the first set, the Pilots showed why they were the top ranked team presenting a well balanced attack and great defense. The first set was all Pilots as they quickly captured the first set 25-12. Providence kept their foot on the gas while not letting the host team into the match at all. The second set was much like the first with the Pilots winning it 25-16. The match was ultimately put away in the third set as Providence took the set 25-12 and punched their ticket in to the Championship match with a straight sets win.

Lauren Toews led the Pilots with 13 kills, 5 digs and an ace. MCAC league MVP Shayna Staerk also had a big game with 12 kills, 5 aces, and 3 blocks. Senior Katelyn Corbin added a game high 15 digs. Freshman Kennedy Koop was great in the middle with 8 kills, 2 blocks and 3 digs.

The Championship final was a rematch of last year’s final with the Pilots up against the University of Winnipeg College Wesmen. The Wesmen are the only team to beat Providence all season and have played them tough all year. The Pilots could not have dreamt of a more perfect start to this match. Everything was working right out of the gate for Providence as they raced to a one set to none lead, taking the first set 25-12. The second set started quite similar with Providence taking a 16-9 lead. After a U of W timeout, the Wesmen started to pick up their game and play with confidence. Providence held 3 set points at 24-21 but the resilient Wesmen fought back and won 5 straight points to take the set 26-24. This seemed to be the turning point in the match as U of W carried the momentum into the third set and they were the team that could do no wrong all of the sudden. The Wesmen’s aggressive play led to a 25-12 third set win and two sets to one lead over the Pilots. In the fourth, U of W sprinted out to a 6-0 lead. This would force the Pilots into playing catch-up all set. Late in the set, Providence found their game again and eventually took the lead 19-18. At that moment, it looked like this match would be heading to a fifth set. It was shortly after that the College Wesmen grabbed hold of the set again and didn’t allow Providence to force a fifth. U of W won 4 of the last 5 points to stamp their name on the trophy for the second straight year.

Final score in the final was 12-25, 26-24, 25-12, 25-21 for the Wesmen. Player of the Game Lauren Toews once again led the Pilots with 15 kills, 8 digs, 1 ace and a block. Libero Katelyn Corbin had a big performance with 18 digs. Shayna Staerk had 10 kills, 9 digs, and 2 blocks while Kennedy Koop added 6 kills, 7 blocks, 2 digs and an ace.

“Although we are very disappointed that we could not finish this weekend off by winning the Championship, I am very proud of our team and how we fought hard until the end,” Head Coach Scott Masterson commented after the weekend. “We played very well against ACC in the semi-final and continued that momentum into the final against U of W. But they did a great job of staying in the match and stealing that 2nd set away from us. From there they really seemed to always be one step ahead and we couldn’t ever seem to get the momentum back. I want to congratulate U of W on a great season and for winning two MCAC Championships in a row. It is well deserved.”

“Looking back on our entire season, I think we did exceptionally well for having such a young team.” Masterson continued. “I would say this is the most talented team I have ever coached. Through all the ups and downs we had this year we finished with a very positive group of players that were motivated and played hard for each other. We will definitely miss our two seniors, Katelyn Corbin and Lauren Toews. They brought so much to this team both on and off the court. With most of our remaining players being quite young, we are hopeful that we get a good number returning next year as the experience and maturity they gained this year will go a long way in helping us continue the overall success we had this year.”


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