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Focused Freemen
Victoria Ryshytylo

The Lady Freemen volleyball squad travelled to Brandon this past weekend to face the Assiniboine Community College Cougars in back-to-back games on Friday and Saturday. The Cougars came out strong Friday night and caught the Lady Freemen off-guard to take the match 3-2, while Providence bounced back on Saturday to give a dominant performance and take the re-match in three straight sets.

“Our team came into the match (Friday against ACC) mentally unprepared and it showed by how we played,” Lady Freemen coach Scott Masterson said of the game. “We simply did not show up to play, and it cost us the match.”

The Cougars started out their opening match Friday night with two strong sets against an unfocussed Providence squad and took the opening frames 25-15 and 26-24. The Lady Freemen then seemed to re-focus in the third set when they put on a dominant 25-15 performance, but once again faltered in the fourth as they snuck out of it with a 26-24 score.

But unforced errors once again became the Lady Freemen’s best friend in the fifth set, and the Cougars took advantage winning the set 15-10, and the match three sets to two. 25-14 25-10 25-16

Providence then came out Saturday afternoon looking like a completely different squad. Freshman Chelsea Needham (13 kills, 6 digs) was firing on all cylinders, and at all corners of the court to lead her squad to a first-set 25-14 victory. The Lady Freemen then continued that momentum into the second set where they put on an even more dominant performance, winning it 25-10.

Freshman Christa Penner (4 blocks, 43 assists) then kept the offense calm and focussed in the third set with well-placed sets, and the Lady Freemen took it 25-16 to clinch the match 3-0 in consecutive sets.

While coach Masterson left Friday’s game unhappy with his squad’s performance, he left Saturday’s game with his feelings on the opposite side of the spectrum after seeing his Lady Freemen put in an impressive effort in the re-match.

“We were definitely much more prepared,” Coach Masterson said of Saturday’s game. “The girls were more focused and were willing to fight for every point. ACC has a very scrappy defensive team that keeps a lot of balls alive and makes it difficult to score. We made some lineup adjustments and I felt like the girls who played Saturday did a much better job in every aspect of the game.”

The Lady Freemen will now spend the rest of the semester re-kindling their game as they prepare for the second half of their schedule beginning early January.

Written By: Kaiten Critchlow

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