Kings open season with big win
The RDC Kings went into their Alberta Colleges Men’s Volleyball League home opener, Saturday, against the Grant MacEwan University Griffins with the idea of showing the hometown fans what they can look forward to this season.
And if their 25-8, 25-13, 25-19 victory was any indication it should be a rewarding season.
The Kings stormed out of the gate and never gave the Griffins a chance to get their feet on the ground.
“Our emotions were high for the home opener and the guys followed through,” said Kings head coach Aaron Schulha. “They (Griffins) may have had an off-night, but our first two sets were impressive. It gave us an indication of what we can expect when all our pieces are clicking.”
Newcomer Chris Osborn left the crowd in awe on a number of occasions in the opening set as he had six kills and four dominating stuff blocks.
“He was playing with a lot of energy, which was nice to see as he’s coming off a bout of E. coli, which saw him lose 30 pounds,” explained Schulha. “We still have to be careful with him, but he’s strong on the right side.”
Osborn finished with 10 kills and five blocks while Tim Finnigan had another strong game with 11 kills and three aces. In fact it was hard to find anyone who didn’t have a solid effort.
“Plus we have guys who can come in off the bench. I could go 13 deep,” said Schulha, whose squad beat the Griffins 3-0 Friday in Edmonton.
“The Griffins gave us more of a battle in Edmonton and they’ll improve as the season goes on as they’re missing a couple guys.”
Griffins 3 Queens 2
While the Kings were rolling at home, for some reason the Queens weren’t ready to play as they fell 14-25, 17-25, 256-23, 25-15, 9-15 to the Griffins.
“That’s not what I expected,” said Queens head coach Talbot Walton. “After last night (a 3-2 loss at GMU) where we were just a little away from winning in four I thought we’d play well in our gym, but we were further away than we were the first night.”
Walton made a couple of lineup changes after the second set, inserting rookie left side Amber Adolf and middle Shelby Bramall.
“Amber hit the ball well Friday and was even better tonight and Shelby can give us a little more offence and those two helped our offence,” said Walton. “The third set they (Griffins) may have let up a bit, but we played with desperation and then we carried that momentum into the fourth set.”
It should have carried into the fifth as well, but suddenly the Queens looked like they did in the first two sets.
“We made several poor decisions and didn’t execute,” added Walton. “We tried to do some things we’re no ready to do . . . we will be later in the year, but not now. So that was disappointing.”
Karissa Kuhr led the Queens with 16 kills and 10 digs while Brooke Sutter, who also turned her game up as the match wore on, had 15 kills and 15 digs. Maddi Quinn had 28 digs.
RDC visits the Kings University College Eagles Thursday and hosts them Saturday at 6 p.m.