GREAT FALLS – Practice for the University of Providence volleyball team is in full swing. The team is coming off a 20-11 record and a loss in the second round of the Frontier Conference tournament last year. This year’s team will consist of more upperclassmen looking to keep the winning momentum going.
“I think this team will be a little bit more entertaining for the crowd. I think we’ll be in every match, just because of how hard they compete,” said head coach Arunas Duda. “So I’m really excited to see — last year we lost a lot of close ones, but I think this team has a little more grit — and I’m excited to see how that works out.”
“This is my fourth year here, and this is by far the strongest team that I’ve been a part of. I think that we have amazing energy and we’re all jelling really well together,” said senior setter Paige Jensen. “We all have the same exact goal, same passion of the sport, so I’m really excited for the season.”
The Argos were picked to finish fourth in the Frontier Conference in the coaches preseason poll, but this group feels they can surprise some people and be a very entertaining team to watch.
“I think those preseason polls are based on how everything finished last year. What I envision seeing is that it’s going to be a race down to the very end. The Frontier is a very good volleyball conference, a lot of people don’t think that, but it absolutely is. One through eight, you can win or lose every night if you don’t show up,” said Duda. “I see it going down to the last two weeks, and I think it’s anyone’s tournament to win. The possibilities are there, and we’ve got the team to do it. Hopefully we can stay focused throughout and end up on top.”
“One thing is that we’re a really loud group. We’re always talking and cheering each other on and we never let a ball drop,” said Jensen. “We always have bodies hitting the ground, we’re always getting there to every single ball. If you really want to come out and watch us hit the ground and never give up, we’re the team to come see.”
The team will open the season on the road against Dickinson (N.D.) State University on Aug. 17.