Blazers Best Pilots To Open Season

Monday, November 6, 2023


(WINNIPEG) – Opening weekend of the 2023-24 MCAC season didn’t go according to plan for the Providence men’s volleyball team, falling in four sets on Friday and four sets on Saturday to the CMU Blazers.

The storyline and recent history between the two teams, made for an exciting contest and a full house at CMU. For several years, the Pilots and Blazers have battled each other through the regular season with the results being a wash. It has been in the MCAC playoffs that the Blazers have shone brighter, until last spring when the lower-ranking Otterburne outfit surprised the defending champions, scoring a sweep and advancing to Providence’s first CCAA Men’s Volleyball National Championship.

Retribution on Friday came by way of a four set defeat, handed to the Pilots by CMU. Arturo Duran Tosta (San Pedro Sula, Honduras) helped Providence win the third set. The second-year scored back to back points, (a kill and a block), to overcome a 23-24 scoreline and win the set 26-24.

Duran added 4 aces from the service line in support of his 12 kills while 2022-23 MCAC Player of the Year, Noah Boschmann (Grunthal), topped the Pilots with 14 kills in the defeat.

The Pilots looked to rebound on Saturday but once again ran into a Blazers’ roadblock after the first set. Rookie setter, Marcus Zielstra (Niverville, MB) received his first start and despite counting 36 assists, wasn’t able to steer the offense to more than one set victory.

Providence took the first set 25-16, dropped a tight second set, 23-25 and an even tighter third, 24-26. With momentum largely on the side of the hosts, CMU completed the four-set comeback, winning set four, 19-25.

Boschmann continued to deliver the points for the Pilots, scoring a game-high 19 kills and adding 5 aces through four sets. Avery Bergmann (Winnipeg, MB) added 11 kills from rightside in Saturday’s loss.

New Pilots’ head coach, Paul Ambruster’s first MCAC win will have to wait until at least November 10 when Providence hosts their home openers against the ACC Cougars. Next weekend’s matches will take place at the Niverville High School. Next door to Providence’s regular home court, inside the Niverville Community Resource and Rec Centre (CRRC), the high school will serve as a temporary home to the Pilots on Friday and Saturday while they await maintenance to be completed at the CRRC.

Friday’s men’s match is scheduled for an 8pm first serve while Saturday’s Remembrance Day matinee goes at 3pm.

Author - Athletics