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01/22 - The Freemen men’s volleyball squad lost their first match of the season in Manitoba this past weekend but bounced back to take a weekend split as they hosted the St. Boniface Voyageurs.
On Saturday the Freemen came out strong but finished weak as the Voyageurs took the match in five sets 18-25, 22-25, 25-20, 25-23, 15-8. Providence then rebounded with a strong showing Sunday as they swept in three straight games 25-12, 25-23, 25-14.
Providence started out Saturday’s match with a fire lit under them and took the first set 25-18. They continued the momentum behind some powerful kills from sophomore Kevin Hildebrand (12 kills, 2 blocks) to take the second set 25-22. But the Voyageurs bounced back after that and never looked back.
St. Boniface took the third set 25-20 and took control of the match’s momentum. The Freemen fought back and kept it close in the fourth but the Voyageurs had the clutch touch to win the set 25-23. St. Boniface then finished off the Freemen in decisive style 15-8 in the fifth set to take the match 3-2.
“Our serve receive was poor and we served the ball equally as bad,” Freemen head coach Jason Peters says. “We played as poor a match as we have in years. We need to do a better job preparing for our matches and will make sure that we correct the problem.”
Steve Schapansky added 5 kills and 4 blocks while Captain Paul Warkentin added 3 aces and 2 blocks. The Freemen looked a lot more alert in Sunday’s match as they kept strong play throughout. Hildebrand (11 kills, 4 blocks, 3 aces) once again led the way with key cross-court kills to help Providence gain momentum early with a 25-12 set win. The Voyageurs mounted a comeback attempt in the second set but the Freemen were able to cut them off when it counted as they took the set 25-23.
Providence then fired out their best set of the weekend to finish off the Voyageurs with a 25-14 score and a three-set sweep. Dallen Klassen also had a strong match 8 kills, 3 blocks.
“We controlled the match from start to finish and the result was never in doubt,” coach Peters says of Sunday’s match. “Our veterans responded very well and led us to a better result.”
“I commend the group on bouncing back and responding to a match that we needed to put in the past.”
The Freemen next return to action next weekend when they travel to Red River College for games.
Written by: Kaiten Critchlow
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