Queens wrap up first with win over Olds
Queens 3 Broncos 0
Olds College Broncos head coach Chris Wandler still has some ties to Red Deer College and Queens head coach Talbot Walton.
After all Wandler was an assistant coach with Walton for over a decade.
“It’s always nice to come back here,” he said. “I enjoy playing them as they’re the top team in the conference and it shows where we’re at. It also shows we still have some growing to do.
“We’re not that far off, but there are little things getting in our way and if we knock those off we’ll be fine.”
The Queens, 18-2, wrapped up first place in the Alberta Colleges Women’s Volleyball League with a 26-24. 25-21, 25-15 victory over the Broncos, who finished the regular season at 12-8.
The Broncos controlled play for the first half of the opening set, leading 15-10 and 17-14 before the Queens found their rhythm.
“The first two sets we were right there, but little mental mistakes got in the way of our performing,” said Wandler.
“We made some errors, but we kept fighting, especially in that first set,” said Walton, who believed a questionable call went against them as they led 23-21 in the opening set.
“A few of us saw it that way, but it went that way and we stayed composed,” said Walton. “We found a way to score when we needed to.”
Overall the Queens were the better team, but they had to work for what they got.
“When playing a team that’s throwing their arms out and making some digs that don’t look pretty you need to be careful with the ball or you lose a little of your edge and get into a hitting situation yoy don’t want to be up against. We were forced into some of those scenarios and they put pressure on us,” said Walton.
The Queens will go into the ACAC finals — Feb. 22-24 at RDC — riding an 18 game winning streak. They lost their first two games of the season 3-2 to Grant MacEwan.
“If we would have prepared a little longer we may have had a different results that first weekend, but we’re happy to be where we are,” said Walton. “It was a bit stressful for the girls and the coaching staff at times in that we had to keep winning, but in the end it was worth it.”
Brooke Sutter finished 16 kills, 11 digs, an ace and a stuff block for RDC while Amber Adolf had seven kills and 10 digs, Karissa Kuhr seven kills, eight digs, four blocks and an ace. Libero Maddi Quinn had 14 digs and setter Kirsten Sorensen nine digs.
Former Queen Telaina Snider had 14 kills and eight digs for Olds while Shael Bourne had 10 digs.
Kings 3 Broncos 0
The Kings went into their meeting with the last-place Broncos, knowing they only had to be steady to pull out a victory.
“Our guys came out strong in that first set as they felt they had something to prove after a poor third set last night (a 3-0 win at Olds),” said Kings head coach Aaron Schulha. “But it’s hard to sustain that level when the other team doesn’t bring back any energy. We did an OK job tonight and took care of business and that’s what this weekend was all about. We just wanted to make sure we weren’t sliding heading into the playoffs.”
The Kings recorded a 25-13, 25-18, 25-21 victory to finish the regular season at 19-1 and go into the provincials on Feb. 22-24 in Fort McMurray ranked No. 1.
“We’ll bring in the alumni sometime in the next couple of weeks to help us stay sharp,” said Schulha, who was pleased to finish first.
“That was one of goals done with the next two come quickly. Hopefully we’re up to the task and I think we are.”
The Kings only loss was in Medicine Hat.
“That was probably good for us. It made us continue to look after our side,” said Schulha.
Tim Finnigan had 15 kills, three aces, four digs and a block for RDC while Braden O’Toole added 11 kills, two aces, two digs and two blocks. Chris Jones had three kills and nine digs and setter Travis Czainski five digs.
Czainski played the match and was named the RDC player of the match with starting setter Sam Brisbane watching. As well starting middle Chris Osborn also saw limited playing time on the right side.
Tyler Olson, Damon Holmen and Lachie Pollock had five kills each for Olds.
l A number of athletes were honoured by the RDC clubs as it could be their final regular season matches at home . . . Sorensen, Leanne Price, Dani Van Alstyne, Sutter and Sidney Ponto were recognized on the women’s team . . . Czainski, Trent Schmidt, Patrick McIntyre, Jordan Gardiner and Chris Jones were honoured on the men’s side . . . There is a chance some of those honoured may return . . . “If they don’t we didn’t want them to leave without being recognized,” said Schulha.