Tuesday, February 6, 2018
With less than a month remaining in the Manitoba Colleges Athletic Conference volleyball season, both Providence Pilots teams are looking to enter the play-offs as the top-ranked squads in the province.
Most recently MCAC champions in 2016, the Pilots men won twice against the Assiniboine Community College Cougars in Brandon last weekend, recording straight-sets victories on both Friday and Saturday to keep four points above the Canadian Mennonite University Blazers atop the standings. Matt Friesen compiled a combined 21 kills for Providence over the two matches and Lucas Pappel contributed 71 assists.
“We have been focusing on a couple of areas this past week, and I thought we came out and executed much better in those areas,” analyzed head coach Scott Masterson. “We seem to be focused on the big picture of getting to a certain level of play at the right time of year, and this past weekend was a significant step forward in that direction.”
The Pilots women also swept their weekend series at ACC—also in straight sets—and are currently four points clear of the second-place Red River College Rebels. Shayna Staerk recorded 19 kills in the back-to-back wins, and Caroline Seale added 21 digs. Pointing out her 2.4 passer rating, head coach Kyle Guenther asserted Seale’s was “one of the best passing performances” he had seen in his eight years with the team.
“This was our best volleyball of the MCAC season,” he added. “We finally put a full match together on Friday night against a tough ACC team. The Cougars pushed back on Saturday which led to three tighter sets, but our passing continued to be the difference as we controlled more of the play. I am incredibly proud of how hard our team continues to work and the drive the players have to get better.”
The two Providence volleyball teams will now take their first-place records back to Otterburne, where they’ll host Les Rouges de l’Universite de Saint-Boniface on Saturday.