Tuesday, February 20, 2018
A thrilling overtime victory saw the Providence Pilots men’s basketball team progress to Sunday’s final of the 2018 Northern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference tournament. The Pilots women lost in the first round of the Fort Totten, ND event. In volleyball, both Pilots teams finished their regular season campaigns atop the Manitoba Colleges Athletic Conference standings.
Jordan Lawson’s 21 points, including an important three-pointer in overtime, helped the men’s basketball team to a 92-85 win over Trinity Bible College on Saturday. Having previously beaten Oak Hills Christian College 95-90 in the quarter-finals, the Pilots faced Leech Lake Tribal College in the championship match. Kendall Perpall led Providence with 18 points, but Leech Lake prevailed 95-81.
“Overall, going into the NIAC tournament I felt we had a shot at bringing home the championship as the field of teams was incredibly tight,” analyzed head coach Tim Friesen. “I’m really proud of how we played. I think it puts us into a positive position heading into the National Christian College Athletic Association Regional Tournament this weekend in Ankeny, IA.”
The women, meanwhile, lost their first round game 61-52 to provincial rivals Red River College. Taylor Goodbrandon’s performance was a highlight, however, as she scored 15 points and added 5 rebounds and 4 assists.
“The game had seven lead changes and we had the lead heading into the fourth quarter but couldn’t hold it,” remarked head coach Joel Coursey. We were very disappointed with the outcome, but I hope that fuels us for the NCCAA Regional Tournament.”
In volleyball, the Pilots women beat Canadian Mennonite University in straight sets to ensure a first-place finish in the MCAC. Danella Alvaro led the way with 11 kills and 5 digs, and Shayna Staerk contributed 10 kills, 5 digs and 3 aces. Staerk, Sam Bridle and Caroline Seale were also recognized as graduating student athletes.
“I’m so proud of Shayna, San and Caroline for all that they’ve accomplished and for how they played against CMU,” said head coach Kyle Guenther. “Our team as a whole played one of the best matches of the season from start to finish. We are heading into the play-offs playing some of our best volleyball, which is all I can ask for.”
The men’s volleyball squad also finished atop the standings after seeing off CMU in four sets. Matt Friesen executed 19 kills in the victory while Lucas Pappel added 52 assists to the cause. Pappel and Willie Goossen were also recognized as graduating student athletes.
“This was a huge match for us for so many reasons,” reflected head coach Scott Masterson. “By winning in four sets instead of five we were able to overtake CMU for first place heading into the play-offs. It also gives us the confidence to know that we can beat CMU at this point in the season.”
The men will now take on Red River College in one of Saturday’s semi-finals in Winnipeg. The women will face Assiniboine Community College. All play-off games, including Sunday’s final, will be held at Red River College.