Larson Named Week 15 Athlete of the Week

A freshman guard had a banner weekend for the Providence College Freemen as she helped her team to two wins over Assiniboine Community College.
20-year-old Kristina Larson posted career highs in points (18), rebounds (8), and assists (9) in her team’s 74-34 dominance of the Cougars Friday night. After Providence’s 70-46 win the following afternoon, Larson had averaged 14.5 points, 7 rebounds, 9 assists, and 2 steals over the weekend.
“Kristi has definitely come into her role as a quiet but great young leader in her freshman year,” said Freemen head coach Patti Parker.
“In the last few games she has really taken charge, becoming a threat offensively and still managing to lead her team in assists per game.”
The Biblical Studies student from Gardner, North Dakota, played her high school ball at Northern Cass School in the nearby town of Hunter. Northern Cass is located roughly 45 minutes north of Fargo.
For a first-year player, Larson is showing the qualities of a veteran college player.
“She has patience amongst pressure defense,” said Parker of her 5’5” newcomer. “And she has an amazing positive attitude that impacts our entire team.”

Larson and the Freemen are gearing up for a playoff run in front of a home crowd, as Providence College will host the 2011 MCAC Final 4 Basketball Championships on March 11 and 12 in Otterburne, MB.

By Darrin Bauming

Photos by Brenda Peters

Top MCAC Basketball Teams Impress Crowd

Thursday night in front of a crowd of over 200 at Red River College, the top teams in men’s and women’s MCAC basketball squared off in a preview of what is likely to be the two conference championship games.

Red River hosted the conference’s newest basketball teams from the University of Winnipeg – the College Wesmen. Heading into the night, both College Wesmen teams touted undefeated records.

The women’s game was close most the way, but Red River pulled away late and won 63-46. Rebels’ second year guard Tia Ruddock led the way with 22 points.

The men’s game was a back-and-forth battle that saw the two squads tied at 64 at the end of regulation. After a five minute foul-filled overtime, Red River prevailed 72-70 in front of an exuberant crowd. The win leapfrogged the Rebels past the College Wesmen for sole possession of first in the men’s conference standings.

The teams will meet again on Saturday, February 12 at Red River’s North Gym to determine the top seeds heading into the 2011 MCAC Final 4 Basketball Championships. The women’s game is at 2:00 p.m. followed by the men at 3:30 p.m.

The 2011 men’s and women’s conference championships will take place at Providence College March 11 and 12. Head coach Sukh Singh and the Rebel men will be seeking a third consecutive MCAC title this year.

By Darrin Bauming

Wyatt Anders Named Week 14 Athlete of the Week

When the Canadian Mennonite University Blazers men’s basketball team travelled down to Bimidji, Minnesota in late January to take on the Oak Hills Christian College WolfPack, MCAC history was made.
Wyatt Anders, a 6’7” freshman forward, put up the most impressive individual basketball stat line since the formation of the Manitoba Colleges Athletic Conference.
The 19-year-old amassed 47 points and 21 rebounds, including 9 on the offensive glass in CMU’s 95-81 victory that leapfrogged the Blazers over the WolfPack in the conference standings. Anders was deadly consistent on the afternoon, going 18/22 from the field, and 11/12 from the line.
“I did have a size advantage, and I felt good during the game,” said Anders. “In our half-court offense, we worked the ball around and tried to get it inside to me.
Oak Hills boasts a young team of mainly freshman who rely on a speed driven fast-break offence and pressure defence.
“I don’t quite remember the numbers,” said the humble Sturgeon Heights Collegiate grad. “With our shortage of guys I got in almost a full game.”
Anders, who is an assistant coach for the Sturgeon Heights varsity basketball team, had an impressive game the night before against Oak Hills. He put up 23 points and 14 rebounds in the Blazers 74-55 win.
“To me, it’s not about the stats,” said Anders. “It’s about playing good basketball and winning games.”

The Blazers, who currently sit in third-place behind Red River College and the University of Winnipeg, will attempt to make a third consecutive appearance in the conference championship game. They have not won a men’s basketball title since 2008.

The 2011 MCAC Final 4 Basketball Championships will take place at Providence College in Otterburne, Manitoba on March 11 and 12.

By Darrin Bauming

Kampen Named Week 14 Athlete of the Week

Kampen is a former CIS athlete
With the absence of the Blazers’ most-potent offensive weapon in Clare Schellenberg who is out with a knee injury suffered during the Adidas Cup in Oshawa, fourth-year left-side Evelyn Kampen has had to step up her game.
“She’s been very consistent for us,” said head coach Andrea Charbonneau of the 21-year-old River East Collegiate product. “We’ve definitely been suffering through a few injuries, but she’s been consistent all around for us. She’s a player we needed before Christmas, and now.”
Kampen, who was named the MCAC’s most valuable female volleyball player last season, put up 17 kills against second-place Red River College in the Blazers’ 3-0 win (25-14, 25-10, 25-19) on January 21. The Blazers also won the rematch the following night 3-0 (25-17, 26-24, 25-17), putting them at a perfect 10-0 on the season.
Before coming to Canadian Mennonite University at the beginning of last season, the 5’10” communications student spent two seasons with the Trinity Western University Spartans in the Canada West Division of CIS.
“We definitely look to her in key situations… especially with certain plays,” said Charbonneau. “She has the athletic ability and experience to run those plays, like the thirty-one.”

“It’s definitely been kind of up and down since (Schellenberg) has been out,” said Kampen. “It kind of threw our team for a loop, especially while in Ontario. So, I definitely feel like that role of having to take our team to a point where we can just focus in again and know what we need to do the rest of the season.”

When asked if she feels greater responsibility being the “go-to” outside hitter, Kampen displayed her established maturity and team leadership.

“No, I don’t feel the pressure because I know our team is there to hold it together. We have such a strong support system. Everyone that goes in does such a great job.”

The Blazers will be seeking their third-consecutive MCAC crown in just over three weeks when Red River College hosts the 2011 Final 4 Volleyball Championships on March 4 and 5.

By Darrin Bauming

Freemen Women Knock-Off Powerhouse Blazers

3-2 (19-25, 21-25, 25-23, 25-23, 21-19)
On Friday, February 4, the Providence College women’s volleyball team defeated a CMU Blazers squad that had not lost a match in the Manitoba Colleges Athletic Conference in two years. Friday’s win came close on the heels of a heavy defeat at the hands of the Blazers two days earlier, as CMU defeated Providence 3-0 Wednesday night (25-16, 25-20, 25-11). CMU looked to be in line for another straight set victory as they came out to a 2-0 set lead, when the home team began to play more consistently, gaining confidence as the match went on, and finally winning a five set classic. The Freemen stepped their game up in the clutch, saving five match-points before taking the final frame 21-19.
The Freemen were led by third-year middle Victoria Ryshytylo, a product of Lord Selkirk Regional High School, as she had 21 kills, 8 blocks, and 3 digs, while freshman power Chelsea Needham contributed with 11 kills and 4 digs. Freshman middle Madi Stott also had a strong performance with 11 kills, 9 blocks, and 3 service aces.
Head Coach Scott Masterson was high-spirited following his team’s upset performance.
“We’ve felt that all year we haven’t played to our potential and our only goal for this match was to get to the end and feel like we had put out our best effort,” said Masterson.

“We figured that if we did that, we would at least give ourselves a chance to be competitive with a very strong and talented CMU team. The fact that we came out with the win is obviously very rewarding and will hopefully give us the confidence to finish out the year playing our best volleyball.”

Providence’s 3rd-year middle Victoria Ryshytylo

Providence will face another challenge this weekend as they play a home-and-home series with the #2 ranked Red River Rebels. Friday night will see Providence visit the Rebels at 6:30 p.m., followed by the last regular season home match for the Providence women’s volleyball team on Saturday at 2:00 p.m.

The 2011 edition of the MCAC Final 4 Volleyball Championships will take place at Red River College’s Notre Dame Campus on the March 4 and 5.

Providence College Release

Photos by Brenda Peters