Kings capture silver at nationals
WELLAND, Ont. — A lot of teams would be satisfied with the season the RDC Kings had.
The Kings won the Alberta Colleges Men’s Volleyball League title and placed second in the national finals.
But that’s not what they were looking for.
The Kings were more than a little disappointed following an 18-25, 21-25, 22-25 loss to the Nipissing University Lakers of North Bay, Ont., in the CCAA gold medal game Saturday.
“Unfortunately we weren’t at our best when it mattered the most,” said Kings head coach Aaron Schulha. “We had (six-foot-eight middle) Chris Osborn go down early with an ankle injury and while he tried to come back he wasn’t the same. It’s hard to say if that had a bearing on the outcome, but it didn’t help. Overall we weren’t where we needed to be against a solid Nipissing team.”
Schulha gave a lot of credit to the Ontario champions, who came into the tournament ranked third.
“They came into the final prepared and played well. Their blocking played a major role in the match.”
The Lakers were credited with 14 stuff blocks while RDC had six.
Other than that the statistics were fairly close, although the Kings did make 21 hitting errors, compared to 10 for the Lakers.
“Because of their big block we were trying to do too much and were making mistakes,” said Schulha. “As well our serving wasn’t as tough as it needed to be, and neither was our passing.”
Chris Jones led the Kings with 13 kills, an ace and 10 digs while Tim Finnigan added 10 kills, an ace, five digs and two stuff blocks. Braden O’Toole added seven kills and two blocks.
“This is the best result we’re had since I took over (six years ago), but it’s still a bitter pill to swallow,” said Schulha. “It was a good run and makes everyone that much hungrier for next year. We definitely want to continue to build on this and win the ACAC again and get back to the Canadians. This was OK, but not what we’re looking for at RDC and the guys know it.
“The guys who are returning understand what it takes.”
Kings setter Sam Brisbane was selected to the first all-star team with Finnigan and O’Toole on the second team.
The SAIT Trojans took bronze as they downed Vancouver Island University of Nanaimo 26-24, 25-18, 25-23. In the semifinals they stopped Capilano College of North Vancouver 23-25, 26-24, 25-17, 25-22.
Red Deer native and former King Darcee Froese was selected to the first all-star team and Scott Lesher of Lacombe was on the second team.
l Fraser Valley University of Abbotsford beat the homestanding Lakeland Rustlers 25-12, 25-10, 25-20 in the women’s final in Lloydminster.
FX Garneau took third, beating Edouard-Montpetit 3-0 in an all-Quebec match. Earlier Edouard-Montpetit downed NAIT 25-21, 25-14, 16-25, 25-16.