Tuesday, February 19, 2019
After losing by three points to the Canadian Mennonite University Blazers last week in the MCAC Championship final, the Pilots women’s basketball team were hungry for another opportunity at a championship. They entered the Northern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (NIAC) Championships, held in Sisseton, SD, as the #2 seed.
The Pilots faced Red River College Rebels in the quarter-final and proved to be the stronger team with a 65-36 win. In the semi-final, the Pilots faced a tough opponent as they played the host school, Sisseton Wahpeton College Mustangs. After a hard-fought battle, the Pilots earned another opportunity to play for a championship with a 74-68 win.
Waiting for the Pilots in the NIAC Championship game was the Trinity Bible College Lions, who upset the #1 seed, CMU Blazers, in the semi-final. The Pilots would enter the championship game as the favourites but faced a team that was playing with a lot of confidence.
In the final, the Pilots led from the beginning, holding several leads of up to 12 points. However, the Lions never gave up and cut into the lead multiple times, even tying the game midway through the third quarter. In the end, the Pilots proved to be too deep, and too strong, as they won their first NIAC Championship in 12 years by a score of 73-60!
Katelin Thiessen, 2nd year guard, commented on the weekend: "Providence was represented so well this weekend. We had rookies stepping up [to] the plate for crucial moments of our games, multiple awards given out to teams. We had a crowd who travelled and made sure their voice would be heard, and a Coach of the Year award to none other than our head coach, Joel Coursey. It really does take a village. We truly played a selfless style of basketball this weekend and did it for each other, the Providence community, and to glorify God in all we do. I’m honoured to be able to play alongside these girls and coaches."
Several Pilots received All-Conference awards. Taylor Goodbrandson, Hannah Van Schie and Katelin Thiessen were named to the NIAC All-Conference team, with Joanne Schwarz receiving an honorable mention. Pilots head coach, Joel Coursey, was recognized as the NIAC Coach of the Year!