Pilots continue to battle in collegiate athletics


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The Providence Pilots are flying through their seasons across three different sports.

In the women’s volleyball Manitoba Colleges Athletic Conference (MCAC), Providence picked up a couple key victories against the Canadian Mennonite University (CMU) Blazers Jan. 21/22, solidifying their second-place position in the standings.

Bothwell’s Amanda Bergen helped lead the Pilots up front, picking up 73 assists across seven sets, adding 22 digs. She was named the MCAC athlete of the week thanks to her big performance.

“Amanda gave us a steady presence from the setting position and executed our game plan against CMU really well all weekend,” head coach Kyle Guenther said.

“She had her best game of the season on Friday night setting up our offense well all night. On Saturday, she stepped up on the defensive side of the ball keeping plays alive all night and adding a few big time blocks at crucial times. When our serve receive was struggling, Amanda kept our offense going with her athleticism and smart play calling.”

Providence would fall in both games against conference-leading St Boniface Jan. 27/28.

Both Guenther and men’s volleyball coach Cody Quiring have announced they will be leaving the Providence program at the end of this season.

The Pilots are also in second place in the men’s volleyball standings, after splitting a pair of straight-sets decisions against conference-leading CMU. On Jan. 21/22, Providence picked up consecutive straight-sets victories over basement-dwelling St Boniface.

After spending the beginning of 2023 in the United States playing part of their Northern Intercollegiate Athletics Conference (NIAC) and National Christian Colleges Athletic Association (NCCAA) schedule for the season, Providence fans got a chance to see their basketball team once again Jan. 27.

Fans who were starved for collegiate basketball got their money’s worth in Niverville on Jan. 27, as both the men’s and women’s team provided entertaining matches against CMU, with the women coming out a little short against the MCAC leaders, and the men’s team picking up a big win.

The Pilots battled with CMU for three quarters before fading in the final stretch to lose 72-63 in Niverville at the Community Resource and Recreation Centre. The next day they also put up 63 points in a loss to CMU in Winnipeg.

The men’s team, who are undefeated in MCAC play, put on a clinic to open the game, before letting the Blazers back in it. Up two points with 30 seconds to go, shooting guard Raphael Rhys Maestre knocked down a dagger three-pointer to seal the victory.

Riley Paul was also outstanding in the victory, with head coach Pierre Dubreuil playing a crunch-time lineup of Paul, Maestre, Nathan Ens, Joshua Armstrong and Ilijah Roque for the final seven minutes to seal the victory.

It was a more comfortable game in Winnipeg the next day, as the Pilots sealed a 88-70 victory.

After a week off, the futsal teams will be back in action this weekend, with the men’s team looking to improve their record in Brandon. The men’s futsal team is at the bottom of the MCAC standings with an 0-3-1 record. The women’s team will be in Brandon as well, at Assiniboine Community College. They are in a three-way tie for top spot in the league alongside St Boniface and Brandon University.

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