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Providence volleyball team remains ninth in NAIA rankings; Montana Tech up to 17th

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Providence volleyball team remained at No. 9 in the latest NAIA national rankings released Wednesday.

It remains the highest ranking the team has reached in program history.

"I'm really pleased," Argos coach Arunas Duda said. "I think that's a good spot for us. There are some really quality teams up there in the Top 10. With the preseason that we had and then continuing to stay consistent throughout conference, I think it's a great spot for us."

Montana Tech (15-5) moved up two spots to 17th. Eastern Oregon is 13th.

Providence (17-2, 4-0) earned its 10th straight win Tuesday by defeating  Carroll in four sets. It was the team's first game in over 10 days.

"It took us a little white to find our rhythm last night," Duda said. "But the girls certainly responded so well. After that first set they were down a little bit, but they came out fired up and found a rhythm again. They are playing at a high level."

The night was special for senior libero Sacha Legros, who became the career digs leader after recording 26 against the Fighting Saints (10-11, 3-2) to put her at 1,699. She is sixth in the nation in digs per set at 5.91.

Another big part of the winning streak has been the emergence of Jenna Thorne. The outside hitter from New Zealand currently leads the team in kills (220) and kills per set (3.44). Sadie Lott has 205 kills this year, good for 3.20 kills per set.

"I think Jenna just keeps getting better," Duda said. "I think teams are focusing on trying to stop Sadie and now Jenna is stepping up. Now we're kind of a two-headed monster offensively. Our other players are on the court are stepping up and doing their job as well. I think when you put all that together we're a lot to handle."

The Argos will plan to make it 11 straight when they take on Rocky Mountain College at 2 p.m. Saturday in Billings.

"Everybody wants to beat a ranked team," Duda said. "Our girls are a mature group, and they know that they have to put their forward their best foot every time they have a conference match. We have to play our best every time."

Montana Tech faces tough competition this weekend at the Grand View Tournament in Des Moines, Iowa. The opponents are all ranked or receiving votes.

The weekend schedule includes No. 2 Viterbo (Wis.), No. 19 Columbia (Mo.), No. 24 Grand View (Iowa), and Ottawa (Kan.), which received votes.


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