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Providence Pilots 2017-18 Season Preview
At the heart of athletics at Providence is a commitment to nurture the young women and men who compete as part of Pilots teams. Last season was the first in 25 years in which those teams didn’t celebrate a National, Regional or Provincial Championship, but the campaign was a success nonetheless.
“Our goal is to glorify God with how we live daily while continuing to foster a Christ-centred culture that impacts the communities we’re a part of,” explains Scott Masterson, head coach of the men’s volleyball program and Director of Athletics at Providence. “We have great groups of players that our coaching staffs are excited to invest in.”
Naturally, all six Pilots teams also want, even expect, to win trophies, and with the 2017-18 season having commenced with a pair of soccer alumni matches on Sunday, the Providence community can look forward to supporting competitive squads over the coming months.
Providence Athletics
Teams: Basketball, Soccer/Futsal, Volleyball
New League: Both basketball teams will be rejoining the NIAC after an eight-year absence
Trophy Cabinet: 5 NCCAA National Championships, 19 NCCAA Regional Championships, 16 MCAC Championships
Broadcasts: Many Pilots home games are streamed live on the Internet.

Women’s Basketball

Last Season: MCAC semi-finalists, ACCA semi-finalists
Key Returnee: Alison Zajac averaged 8.3 games last season and averaged 1.5 steals per game.
NewPlayer Profile: Kiera Foster is accustomed to success, having won Provincial Championships at Sisler High School (Winnipeg) with both the junior varsity and AAAA teams.
Head Coach Joel Coursey: “This is expected to be a big year for us. Our new schedule puts us on the road a lot this year, but ultimately that should bring us closer together as a team.
First Home Game: November 10, 2017 vs. Oak Hills Christian College (MN)
(Pictured: Alison Zajac.)
Men’s Basketball
Last Season: MCAC semi-finalists, ACCA consolation round semi-finalists
Key Returnee: Chris Dick was named Most Improved Player at the Pilots Awards Banquet in March.
New Player Profile: At 6’4” Alex Doyon can play both guard and forward and, according to his former coach with the Sanford Collegiate Sabres, is a “natural” leader.
Assistant Coach RJ MacKenzie: “This season's team is looking forward to playing a fast-paced, high-scoring and entertaining brand of hoops. Led by head coach Tim Friesen, we're also looking forward to mentoring this group of young men in faith and life."
First Home Game: November 10, 2017 vs. Oak Hills Christian College (MN)
(Pictured: Chris Dick.)
Women's Soccer/Futsal
Last Season: Soccer MCAC semi-finalists, Soccer NCCAA Regional Finalists, Futsal MCAC semi-finalists
Key Returnee: Julika Kehler scored 17 goals on the soccer pitch in 2016 and was named MCAC Futsal’s co-MVP for 2017.
New Player Profile: Selina Steiger is an explosive midfielder with a great first touch and has previously played for Winkler’s Northlands Parkway Collegiate the Winnipeg SC Hurricanes club side.
Head Coach Tory Walker: “We have added some very good young players who will help push us to the next level. Right from the start of training camp we will need to get ready as our team will have games every week until the NCCAA Regional Championship and, hopefully, the NCCAA National Championship.”
First Home Game: September 16, 2017 vs. Red River College
(Pictured: Julika Kehler.)
Men’s Soccer/Futsal
Last Season: Soccer MCAC semi-finalists, Soccer NCCAA Regional quarterfinalists, Futsal MCAC finalists
Key Returnee: Braeden Owen was the Providence Pilots Male Rookie of the Year last season and was named to the MCAC All-Conference Futsal Team.
New Player Profile: Jorge Alva Vilchis likes to control the rhythm of a match and has played competitive soccer in both Mexico and Spain.
Head Coach Joey Passi: “Our goal is to continue establishing a strong culture—a culture that is invested in impacting the community and glorifying God through our actions on and off the field. We are putting expectations on ourselves to challenge in both MCAC and at the NCCAA National Championship.”
First Home Game: September 16, 2007 vs. Red River College
(Pictured: Braeden Owen.)
Women’s Volleyball
Last Season: MCAC finalists, NCCAA Regional finalists, NCCAA National finalists
Key Returnee: Shayna Staerk is entering her forth and final year at Providence and led the Pilots with 406 kills last season.
New Player Profile: LaDawn Friesen is a former Linden Christian School Wings captain and two-time AAA High School MVP
Head Coach Kyle Guenther: “After two straight NCCAA National Championship final appearances our goal is to get back there again and hopefully have a better result this year. One of the highlights of our schedule is a pre-season tournament in Red Deer, AB, where we will play some of the best teams in Canada.”
First Home Game: October 27, 2017 vs. Canadian Mennonite University
(Pictured: Shayna Staerk.)
Men’s Volleyball
Last Season: MCAC semi-finalists
Key Returnee: Lucas Pappel won the Providence Men's Volleyball Leadership Award last season and was an important contributor in the Pilots' MCAC-winning team in 2015-16.
New Player Profile: Jacob Brown is a 6’3” right side from nearby St-Piere-Jolys who brings a heavy arm and experience as a Providence Junior Pilot.
Head Coach Scott Masterson: “We have a great mix of returning and new players and are hoping to improve our results from last year. Our pre-season schedule is very strong and will do a great job of preparing us for the season.”
First Home Game: October 27, 2017 vs. Canadian Mennonite University
Pictured: Lucas Pappel.)


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