GREAT FALLS — (Editor's note: University of Providence athletics media release)
The University of Providence volleyball team defeated Olivet Nazarene in straight sets in the opening round of the NAIA National Tournament on Saturday. The Argos (21-2, 18-2) defeated the Tigers (20-2, 17-2) 25-21, 25-12, 25-20.
With the win, the Argos are one of 24 teams that will advance to the final site of the National Tournament in Sioux City, Iowa.
"We looked good today," head coach Arunas Duda said. "We were charged up and ready to go. I was really pleased with the way they approached the game."
The game seemed headed for a barn burner during the first set, with neither team gaining much of an edge. The Argos eventually won 25-21, and that was all the momentum they needed. They ran through the second set 25-12, and survived a late run from the Tigers in the third to secure the three-set victory.
"We were going back and forth in that first set," Duda said. "I thought we started serving tougher and getting them out of system a little bit. They struggled to find the court a little bit when they were out of system and I thought that was a big difference maker for us."
Sacha Legros led the way defensively with 24 digs while Cydney Finberg-Roberts led the team with 28 assists. Sadie Lott led the way with 10 kills, while Ember Schwindt notched seven. Adysen Burns added six kills, and both Renae Davis and Jensyn Turner notched five.
Janelle Skinner led the way for the Tigers, recording 29 assists and six digs. Kaitlyn McMahan led the way defensively with 23 digs, while the Tigers were led offensively by Carleigh Johnson and Katarina Nikolic, who both recorded seven kills.
The NAIA National Championship will begin with pool play on April 27.