With three wins out of four last weekend in Minneapolis, the Providence Pilots women’s volleyball team looks set to continue a tradition of competitiveness that has taken it to a string of national championship tournaments in seasons past.
Kristen Taillon, in her first year with the Pilots, executed 39 kills, 35 digs, and 10 aces between September 7 and 8 and was named Tournament MVP. Providence posted straight-sets wins over Faith Baptist Bible College, Calvary University, and Oak Hills Christian College. They lost 3-1 to host North Central University at the event, which is part of its National Christian College Athletic Association schedule.
“I feel really good about how the weekend went and am feeling very optimistic for the season,” remarked Taillon. “We gelled really quickly as a team and I feel like we’re already comfortable and committed to each other.”
Head coach Kyle Guenther was also pleased with how his players came together as a group, saying, “We are young and a bit inexperienced, which showed throughout the four matches, but overall we played well. For being our first weekend of competition, I am very pleased with how we played.”
In soccer on Saturday, both Pilots teams opened their Manitoba Colleges Athletic Conference schedules against the Brandon University Bobcats in Brandon. The Providence women came out with a scoreless draw in the early match while the men were thumped 5-0 later in the afternoon.
“This was a great result for our first MCAC game,” analyzed head coach Tory Walker, who pointed out that he had six first-year players among his starting line-up. “I think we’re only starting to scratch the surface with the potential we have on this team.”
Men’s coach Joey Passi labeled his side’s defeat a “wake-up call,” adding that he was disappointed in his players’ lack of intensity. “Having said that,” he continued, “I’ve had the core of this group for a while and I know we’ll rebound well and learn from the loss.”
The soccer teams will host Red River College and Canadian Mennonite University on Saturday and Sunday, while the men’s volleyball squad will play a series of exhibition matches in Edmonton.