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Long Week For Prov Athletics
Providence University College had all their sports teams in action this past week. The basketball teams faced off with CMU on Wednesday and later against the Red River Rebels on the weekend, while the volleyball teams renewed their rivalry with the CMU Blazers.
Wednesday night was the kickoff of the PUC basketball regular season with what could not have been a better team to play but their arch rivals the CMU Blazers. The house was electric as the ladies tipped off the game. The girls looked good In their first game of the year as they took it hard to the Blazers and lead the game 50-17 at the half. The second half had a slow start for the Freemen, but it did not take long before it was raining baskets once again. The ladies walked off the court at the end of the night with an 82-41 win to kick off their season. This was the PUC lady Freemen's largest win since 2011.
The night was not done as the men kicked off their regular season action with a game against the Blazers. For many of the Freemen this was their first look at their arch rivals. With what looked to be a hockey team roster the Blazers who needed many extra chairs added to their large bench were subbing fresh legs constantly. Our much shorter basketball like roster was able to keep up with them as our boys were well conditioned. In the second half the fresh legs from CMU took over the game as our boys dropped their first game of the season.
Providence volleyball teams traveled to CMU on Friday night to take on their conference rivals. In four sets, Providence prevailed 25-15, 21-25, 25-14, 25-21. Saturday, Providence hosted the Blazers and took the match in three straight sets, 25-19, 25-11, 25-23.
Despite winning both matches, it was a tough weekend for the women’s team. Assistant coach Kyle Guenther admits, “We didn’t bring our best this weekend. We will need to bring more intensity and limit our mental mistakes if we want to have success against our competition in the MCAC. It was nice to pull out the wins under the circumstances.”
Top stat getters on Friday: Lauren Toews (Winnipeg, MB) 20 kills and 3 aces, Katelyn Corbin (Winnipeg, MB) 12 digs, and Christa Penner (Rosenort, MB) 43 assists.
Top stat getters on Saturday: Lauren Toews 8 kills and 3 aces, Clarice Martens (Boissevain, MB) 3 stuff blocks and 5 kills, Elysia Shumka (Selkirk, MB) 8 digs, 6 kills, and 2 aces.
The men from Providence had a tough night on Friday losing the CMU in 3 sets 25-27, 23-25, 15-25. It was a tough loss for the young squad as they squandered a sizeable lead in the second set and felt like they were up for most of the match.
Saturday was a much better effort for Providence as they took the match in 5 exciting sets 25-17, 25-27, 25-21, 21-25, 15-7.
Top stat getters on Friday: Kevin Hildebrand (Grunthal, MB) 10 Kills, Josh Doerksen (Bothwell, MB) 6 Kills, 5 Digs
Top stat getters on Saturday: Kevin Hildebrant 10 Kills, 3 Aces and 4 Digs, Josh Doerksen 8 Kills, Bryton Arnal (Starbuck, MB) 7 Kills and 3 Aces, Wyatt Plett (Grunthal, MB) 5 stuff blocks.
Friday night, the women’s basketball team played first at Red River. The game was tight the whole way but Red River always seemed to have the edge. The game was decided in the fourth quarter as the Rebels were able to get a bigger lead they never relinquished. Red River took the game from Providence by a final score of 53-43.
Saturday saw Red River make the trip to Providence. The women from Red River took advantage of a tired Providence team who was playing their third game on the week. It was all Rebels in this one taking the game 71-37.
The men’s team was looking to for their first win of the season on Friday night as they squared off against the undefeated Rebels. In a fast paced contest, the visiting Providence Freeman were able to keep up for most of the first half. The quick offense from Red River was just too much to handle on this day, however, as they pulled away in the second half and took the game 109-76.
After playing a tough game against Red River the previous day, the men’s team from Providence took a lot of confidence into Saturday’s game. The home team couldn’t have asked for a better start. Providence got the crowd off their feet with a 22-5 first quarter lead. The lead was cut down by half, however, as the teams went into halftime separated by only 1 point. Red River changed their defensive structure in the second half and shut down the Providence offense. The Rebels also used their size advantage down low to grab a lead they never relinquished. The final score was 79-49 for Red River.
“Despite playing without two key players I thought the team played with a lot of heart. Our two late additions to the team (Jon Janke and Troy Lydiate) learned our systems quickly and were able to contribute,” Men’s Coach Jeff Banman explains after the busy weekend. “Mark Ross and Jonathan Thompson carried the load in terms of scoring, while Rob Kilmartin and Eric Johnson grabbed a lot of boards, especially against a much bigger Red River team. Our guys proved that they can play with any team in this league and we are still nowhere near reaching our potential. We are staying patient knowing that the wins will come if we keep going in this same direction.”
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