With a straight-sets win over the Red River College Rebels on February 8, the Providence Pilots men’s volleyball team assured themselves of at least a second-place finish in the Manitoba Colleges Athletic Conference regular season standings.
Matt Friesen executed 18 kills in the 3-0 win in Winnipeg, and Lucas Pappel contributed 46 assists and 4 blocks. The Pilots are now just two points back of the first-place Canadian Mennonite University Blazers, the team they’ll host on Friday in their final match before the playoffs later this month.
“We played well enough to win this match, but I don’t think we were pleased with our quality of play for this point in the season,” analyzed head coach Scott Masterson, who is looking to guide the Providence men back to the championship they last won in 2016. “We have a huge game coming up this Friday against CMU, and we’re looking forward to recognizing our graduating players.”
The Pilots women will also honour their graduating student-athletes in Otterburne on Friday, and although they lost 3-2 to the Rebels last week they remain two points clear of the second-place Blazers. Shayna Staerk put down 20 kills and made 17 digs in the defeat while LaDawn Friesen added 11 kills and 11 digs.
In futsal, the women’s squad opened last weekend with a 6-2 home defeat to CMU on Friday before rebounding with an important 4-2 victory over Les Rouges de l’Universite de Saint-Boniface on Saturday. The men, meanwhile, played to an entertaining 5-5 draw with the Blazers but were blown out 11-3 by Les Rouges.
“We had a tough weekend where we fought the top teams in our divisions,” remarked women’s head coach Tory Walker. “We will continue to show the MCAC just what time of teams we truly are.”
Next up for the futsal sides is a March 3 doubleheader at home to the Brandon University Bobcats and Assiniboine Community College Cougars.