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Putting out the Fire-
Men’s volleyball sweeps home-and-home with Blazers
10/25 - The men’s volleyball squad played a pair of exhibition matches against the Canadian Mennonite University Blazers this past week. The Freemen were able to walk away without as much as a lost set as they won six consecutive matches against Providence’s rival school.
Providence hosted the first match in a gym that was packed fuller than any other game for any sport at Providence in the past three years. The bleachers, stage, and extra seats put out throughout the gym were all full, and the blue men were out to make sure the crowd stayed loud throughout the game. Likewise, the men’s squad put out a performance that did not disappoint as they punished the Blazers’ defence with endless devastating spikes throughout.
Providence jumped out to an early lead in the first set, as they went up 10-5 early on, and then continued on to take the set 25-14. The Freemen then played another strong set as they jumped out to a 21-15 lead early on behind multiple howlitzers unleashed by Kevin Hildebrand (3 aces, 8 kills). Providence continued on to win four of the last five points, and sophomore Delmer Krahn ended the set at 25-16 with an emphatic cross-court spike.
The Freemen then utilized another game-ending blast from Krahn (11 kills, 2 blocks) to take the third set 25-15, and the match in three straight games.
The two squads then faced off again in CMU’s gym on Friday night, and just as the ‘true blue’ Freemen fans came out in the previous match, the Blazers sported their own gym full of supporters in the anticipated re-match.
Providence played their first two sets looking like a different squad than that seen on Wednesday night. The squad struggled with consistency throughout the sets, and allowed their resilient counterparts the opportunity to stay with them early in the match.
The first set saw Providence squeak themselves out with a 25-23 behind the always reliable arm of Hildebrand (10 kills, 2 aces). However, CMU came out and transferred their intensity into the second set to push the Freemen to the brink of losing their first set of the season. Sophomore Dallen Klassen (13 kills, 2 blocks) happened to have other plans though, and pulled out key receptions and kills late in the game to lead Providence to a 29-27 set win.
The final set had the Freemen return to the form seen Wednesday night, as they settled their play and finished rallies with powerful hits en route to a 25-19 set win, and their second consecutive three set sweep of the Blazers.
The convincing wins and strong play left Freemen coach Jason Peters pleased with his squad’s performance and extremely optimistic about where his squad can be by the time they start into tournament play next semester.
“We played a solid match to open our season,” coach Peters commented following the weekend. “We came out with good energy and were bolstered by a tremendous home crowd.”
“In terms of execution, we were far from perfect. We will continue to work on improving our game, especially in the back row and blocking at the net, but we were able to rely on our experienced players to make enough plays to win these games.”
Written By: Kaiten Critchlow
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