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Volleyball News Update

Over this past weekend, Providence University College hosted the MCAC Championships. On the men’s side, teams advancing to the Final Four were the University of Winnipeg College Wesmen, the Red River College Rebels, The University of St. Boniface Voyageurs, and the Canadian Mennonite University Blazers. For the women’s side, it was the CMU Blazers, RRC Rebels, College Wesmen, and Providence Lady Freemen who advanced as the Final Four.

Penner at the service line

At the MCAC Awards banquet, three of Providence’s players were recognized for their outstanding play throughout the season. Second year setter, Christa Penner (Rosenort, MB), first year right side Lauren Toews (Winnipeg, MB), and fourth year middle Victoria Ryshytylo (Selkirk, MB) earned All Conference awards.

The #2 ranked Providence Lady Freemen started the tournament with strong play in the Semi-final as they dominated the #3 RRC Rebels. Ending the game in 3 solid sets, the score for the game was 25-10; 25-12; and 25-17. Toews was awarded “Player of the Game” recording 12 kills, 4 blocks, 3 digs, and 1 ace. Other notable contributors were Chelsea Needham (Winnipeg, MB) with 8 kills, 2 digs, 2 aces and Penner with 29 assists.

Following the match Head Coach Scott Masterson commented, “I was really impressed with how we played. We showed focus and executed our game plan at every level. It seemed like there was nothing they could do to faze us and we were able to play our game. This will help
us to bring a lot of confidence into the championship final.”

Ryshytylo (left) and Dueck (right) at first line of defense
On Saturday evening, the women’s Championship final was an anticipated matchup between the undefeated CMU Blazers and the #2 PUC Lady Freemen. CMU was entering the final having lost only two matches in the preceding two years. Both of these losses were at the hands of Providence, one of which was in last year’s MCAC Championship final.

Coach Masterson explained, “Although CMU was going into this match undefeated, it was in our last regular season game against them that we had four match point opportunities but simply failed to convert them. So, even though we hadn’t beaten them this year, we were coming into the match with full belief that we could pull it off.”

And with such belief, the Lady Freemen sprang into action against the Blazers. The Championship game was no disappointment as the two teams battled for two and a half hours in front of the packed house [with standing room only]. With history repeating itself, Providence prevailed in a tough 5 set barn burner (25-19, 24-26, 20-25, 25-13, and 15-12).

Lady Freemen huddle up to celebrate a big play
Full of pride, Coach Masterson commented post game, “Tonight we showed a lot of character and heart even after going down 2 sets to 1. We had a slow start in the third set but felt as though we had been the better team 2 out of the 3 sets. Heading into the fourth, our character really shined through and we were able to come out and play the best set of our season. And then being able to finish off the fifth set under such pressure made me extremely proud of the girls.”

For the Championship final, Penner was awarded Player of the Game, while senior Ryshytylo earned the tournament’s Most Valuable Player. Penner hauled in 32 assists, 5 blocks, 3 kills, and 2 digs and Ryshytylo contributed 8 kills, 8 blocks, 3 aces, and 2 digs. Also stepping up were Providence’s two power hitters, Amanda Dueck (Rosenort, MB) and Needham, both putting in the best numbers of their College careers. Dueck recorded 10 kills, 3 blocks, 3 digs, 2 aces and
Needham had 8 kills, 1 block, 3 digs, and 2 aces.

Overall, it was the best possible way for the Lady Freemen to cap off their season.

MCAC All Conference Selection

Christa Penner Lauren Toews Victoria Ryshytylo 
(Tournament MVP)


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