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Lady Freemen Finish Opening Day Undefeated
11/12 – The Lady Freemen started their chase for the NCCAA Division II National Championship Thursday morning with an upset win against #3 ranked Kentucky Christian University in a thrilling five-set match. They then finished the day by defeating the #10 seed in West Coast Baptist College in a dominating performance.
Coach Becky Heidebrecht expected that her young Lady Freemen squad would have nerves to get over heading into the team’s opening day match-up against a highly touted KCU team, and those nerves showed in the first set as KCU took advantage of the inexperienced squad taking the set 25-14. However, the loss seemed to bring out the best from the talented Providence team as they came out strong in the next two sets winning them by scores of 25-22 and 26-24.
Providence then seemed to get too comfortable with their play, and allowed KCU to take the fourth set 25-19. The back-and-forth play meant that the two squads would have to take the game to a winner-takes-all fifth set where the Lady Freemen, pushed on by the boisterously supportive Freemen Men’s Soccer team in attendance, were able to take the final set 15-9 to earn the match victory.
“It was great for us to start the tournament by upsetting the #3 seed (KCU),” Coach Heidebrecht said. “They were a tough team, but I always believed that we would be able to pull off the win with our determination and perseverance.”
“This win is huge in getting us closer to earning a playoff berth.”
Providence then prepared themselves for a 4pm match-up against the #10 ranked West Coast Baptist College. The Lady Freemen came out and left no doubt as to who the better team was as they defeated WBCB in 3 straight sets 25-14, 25-19, and 25-19.
“I’m proud of the girls for starting off our tournament so strong,” Coach Heidebrecht commented after her team’s second straight win. “Our veterans Jill (Reimer) and Vicky (Ryshytylo) led the team in both matches and helped our young freshman get over their nerves.”
“We are looking forward to tomorrow’s games, and hope that we play to our potential against two tough teams.”
The Lady Freemen play their final round robin games tomorrow against #2 Clearwater Christian College (FL) at 10am (EST) and #6 Grace University (NE) at 2pm (EST). The top two teams in each five team pool advance to the play-off round being held Saturday. The Lady Freemen will need to win one of their two games tomorrow to secure a place in the play-offs.
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