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Volleyball News Update
Finally not finalists… but Champions! Over the last fifteen years, the men’s volleyball team has exhibited a remarkable history of NIVC Championship finishes, and over the past weekend, they added to the growing résumé! Since joining the Conference in 1998, the men’s team added to their 9 finishes as finalists, and recorded a 7th NIVC Championship title.
Competing in the city of Eau Claire, Wisconsin on March 17 and 18th, 2012, the Freemen displayed their best performance of the season to date. With fiercer competition than anticipated, the team of nine pushed hard to defeat four strong teams in Pool play winning 2 straight sets against the University of Wisconsin River Falls (25-13, 25-17), North Dakota State University (25-16, 25-14), St. Olaf University B Team (25-13, 25-9), and the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire (UWEC) (25-21, 25-21).
The tournament format included a double elimination Gold Bracket for the top 6 teams from the round robin. Providence advanced to the Gold Bracket and took out Winona State University 2-1 (25-17, 23-25, and 16-14) in the Semi-finals. In the first of three matches, the Freemen defeated UWEC 2-0 (25-20, 25-21) and went on to lose their first match of the tournament to UWEC 1-2 (22-25, 25-18, and 11-15). Since it was double elimination, UWEC had to beat out Providence in a final Championship match, but Providence refused to let that happen. Pushing to three sets, the Canadian team brought home the title with a 2-1 victory (24-26, 25-16, and 15-7).
Commenting on Krahn’s success, Peters explains, “Delmer was head and shoulders the best player at this tournament and should have been the MVP, no disrespect to Tom Moriarty from Eau Claire who won the award.”
Also worthy of mention, was Junior Kevin Hildebrand (Grunthal, MB) who was a tremendous right side presence throughout the tournament. Providence received solid play from all three middle hitters (Bryton Arnal, Josh Friesen, and Steve Schapansky) who played in a rotation much of the weekend, and Josh Doerksen (New Bothwell, MB) did a superb job playing both power, and at times spelling Paul Warkentin (Steinbach, MB) at setter. Coach Peters adds, “There wasn’t a guy on our roster that didn’t step up and play well when we needed them to, which was another indication of the quality of our roster from top to bottom.”
For the tournament, Krahn contributed 83 kills (.462 kill eff.), 5 aces, 4 stuff blocks, and 19 digs; Hildebrand had 47 kills and 5 stuff blocks; Warkentin hauled in 7 aces, 158 assists and 15 digs, while Ryan Hamm (Chatham, ON) brought in 15 digs, and a 2.50 serve receive percentage. Krahn, Hildebrand, Warkentin, and Hamm were all named to the 2012 NIVC All Conference team.
With a few weeks off, the men’s team will put in work fine tuning and improving their skills to be at their top level for the National Championship tournament April 5-7, 2012 (Kansas City, MO). The team is currently ranked 5th in the nation and will have to play at their best to have a chance at a title.
Selected to NIVC All-Conference Team
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