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Host Pilots go back-to-back with men’s volleyball final sweep

The Providence University College Pilots were prepared to trail at some point. After all, they did just about every time they played the Canadian Mennonite University Blazers this season.
But riding some strong serving and passing, as well as a raucous home crowd, they overcame every deficit in time to sweep the MCAC men’s volleyball final 3-0, making it back-to-back crowns and trips to CCAA nationals.
“We talked before the game that we were going to show some adversity and we were hoping for that to happen. it was just controlling our side, keeping our mentality focused and engaged throughout the entire third set,” said final four MVP Arturo Duran.
“We were pressed and managed to overcome that pressure … we’re back-to-back champions, baby.”
Duran had five kills, five digs and four blocks while pressuring the Blazers all night with his spin serve and limiting CMU to just three aces all afternoon.
PUC coach Paul Armbruster said those two parts of the game were key against a bigger CMU lineup.
“I really felt like the game kind of tilted around how each team serve-passed and how each team got stops when the other setter was front row,” said Armbruster, who avoided that situation for part of each set by double subbing his starting setter Simeon Enns and right side Cole Doell for Avery Bergman and Marcus Zeilstra.
“We played … 10 guys today. I’m really proud of that component. We had another left side playing yesterday so 11 on the weekend.
“The fact that we’re a total team effort, I’m really proud of everyone contributing.”
Armbruster rested all-conference attacker Noah Boschman for half of his team’s 3-0 sweep of the Assiniboine Community College Cougars in the semifinals, then unleashed him for a game-high 18 kills and seven digs.
Brayden Griffith had 11 kills to lead a shorthanded CMU side, with Mika Feilberg posting 10. They were without player of the year Cameron Gayleard, still nursing an ankle injury from the first match of the second semester.
“It’s a really tough scenario for CMU to have one of their key players and leaders,” Armbruster said. “Cam’s obviously a big part of their squad and it’s super tough for them.”
The Pilots are off to nationals on March 7-10 in Victoria.

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