GREAT FALLS — The University of Providence volleyball team is continuing to dominate this season with a 13-2 record and No. 10 ranking in the NAIA, and their all-American leader Cydney Finberg-Roberts is one of the main reasons why. This week she just won her second NAIA National Setter of the Week Award as she continues to grow and still get better.
“It’s really incredible to watch the growth. She stepped in on our team as our third setter, we asked her to redshirt,” head coach Arunas Duda said. “Her weaknesses she’s turned into some of her strengths. It’s really tough to find a setter that moves the ball around as well as she does but at the same time play really good defense.”
When people see the laundry list of awards Finberg-Roberts has received, it’s easy to think that it’s her physical skill that sets her apart. While that is a key component, it’s her superior mental strength and cerebral planning that give her the edge.
“I often say after games I’m obviously physically tired but mentally I’m exhausted,” Finberg-Roberts said with a laugh. “So I have to try and think of every play, you know who I want to set and how I can get them in the best position to make a play.”
“She’s a coach’s kid as well, understands the game as well and just picks up on things that most people don’t,” Duda said.
Finberg-Roberts is even receiving recognition from her peers with former Argo basketball sensation Zaccheus Darko-Kelly chiming in on her dominance with a tweet essentially petitioning for the Frontier Conference Setter of the Week Award to be named after Finberg-Roberts.
“He’s such a high caliber athlete so it was exciting to get that tweet from him. I talked to him a few times when he was here and stuff and it’s just cool he recognized that for me and I was appreciative of that,” Finberg-Roberts said.
Luckily, for Duda and the rest of the team, the all-American is never finished getting better and never satisfied with where she is as a setter.
“It’s nice we can get on her a little bit and push her to get better and she wants that so she’s had an amazing career here so far and hopefully it continues.”
The Argos first conference game is Friday, Sept. 24 at No. 15 Montana Tech at 7 p.m.