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Pilots season off to a flyer
The 2015-16 Providence Pilots season has officially taken off. The women’s and men’s soccer teams and women’s volleyball team were in Ankeny, Iowa (metropolitan Des Moines) last weekend and returned to Otterburne with a combined record of four wins and three losses.
The women’s volleyball outfit rattled off three straight victorise over difficult opposition before dropping a 1-3 decision to perennial National Christian College Athletics Association (NCCAA) contenders Maranatha Baptist University.
Women’s soccer also put Providence in the win column thanks to a 1-0 victory over Faith Baptist Bible College—the tournament hosts—and after a heavy defeat to Nebraska’s York College in their first match the men’s side rebounded with a narrow loss to Faith in their second contest.
The men’s team completed Labour Day weekend with a 3-0 loss at home to travelling Lakeland College.
“With a lot of new players we are still experimenting with positions,” explained soccer coach Martin Ward. “We saw improvement in our exhibition game against a strong Lakeland team and we were encouraged by that. We have some work to do but we have the potential to play some exciting soccer this year.”
Ward also pointed out that, following the 7-3 loss to York, the Pilots men outshot Faith 17-2 in the second half of a 3-1 defeat “but could not find a way through their disciplined defence.”
Providence had taken the lead in that match through a Gaetan Simard header from Herby Magny’s free kick.
The women, meanwhile, prevailed 1-0 over Faith in their lone match in Iowa. Renata Nyhoff notched the impressive winner on the turn in the 87th minute and in the dying moments goalkeeper Kiran Hodges made a vital save to preserve the win.
“We outshot them 17-5 and dominated possession in the second half,” said Joel Coursey, who coaches the women’s team alongside Ward. “I was very proud of how the girls showed in their first game. Faith was a classy opponent and I always enjoy playing their school.”
Finally, the women’s volley team looks poised for a promising campaign after winning three of their four matches in Iowa. They took the first 3-1 over Nevada’s Cottey College and then beat NCCAA regional rivals Faith in five sets.
But perhaps their most impressive performance came against reigning NCCAA champions Kentucky Christian University. Level at a set apiece going into the third, Providence won 25-14 before recording an identical scoreline to take the match 3-1. They did, however, fall 1-3 to Wisconsin’s Maranatha in their final outing.
“This tournament was great for our team as we were able to play against some of the toughest teams we will face in the NCCAA,” said coach Scott Masterson, who is also the Director of Athletics at Providence. “Our returners did an excellent job and our first-year players impressed me with their composure and ability to execute.”
Danella Alvaro completed 15 digs and 50 kills over the weekend while LaRae Penner made 22 digs, 40 kills, and three aces.
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