Sutter looking for redemption in return to RDC
Last season was the most disappointing of Brooke Sutter’s three-year career at RDC.
Not in terms of personal accomplishments, but rather in the way it ended for the team.
The Queens went into the Alberta Colleges Women’s Volleyball League playoffs as the top ranked team with an 18-2 record, plus they had home court advantage.
But it didn’t work out and the Queens not only lost the semifinal 3-2 to eventual champion NAIT, but dropped a 3-2 decision to Grant MacEwan in the bronze medal game.
Most everyone believed that would be the end of Sutter’s time at RDC. But she wasn’t about to go out on a negative note.
“This is a really good program at RDC and I love it here,” she said.
“Things just didn’t work out in my favour in terms of schooling and volleyball so I decided to take some classes here. It’s the right situation and, as a team, we wanted to redeem ourselves for last year.”
Sutter’s return not only gives the Queens one of the premier all-around players in the conference, but a true leader on and off the court.
The five-foot-eight power hitter from Sylvan Lake believes this year’s team could be better than last year. “We have a couple of changes and have a different look from what we’ve had the last three years,” she said.
“I think we have a bit more experience and depth and we’re grittier. We also have a few more options, so we don’t have to count on just one or two people to get all the kills.
“I know everyone is excited to get the regular season underway so we can prove ourselves in the league.”
The Queens looked sharp in the preseason, winning both the Battle of the Rockies in Cranbrook, B.C., where they defeated the University of Calgary Dinos in the final, and their own Wild Rose Classic.
“That win in Cranbrook was huge, as it was our first tournament and we were able to prove ourselves and show what we’re made of and what it’s going to be the rest of the year.”
The Queens open their regular season this weekend as RDC hosts Medicine Hat College Rattlers Friday and Saturday. The women get underway at 6 p.m. Friday and 1 p.m. Saturday with the men to follow.
Sutter would like nothing more than a championship team and a trip to the nationals with this being her final season, for sure.
“This is my last kick at the can, and I think it will be a good one,” she said.
The Queens beat the Rattlers in the preseason, but Sutter isn’t taking anything for granted this weekend.
“They’re a young team, with only a couple of veterans back, but sometimes when you have a bunch of first-year players they don’t have any expectations and they’re tough to play. It’s up to us to be ready.”
The Kings go in as the defending ACAC champions and Canadian silver medalists and have the majority of their starting lineup back from last season, in outside hitters Tim Finnigan, Braydon O’Toole and Chris Jones, middle blocker Chris Osborn and setter Sam Brisbane.
l The hockey Kings are at home for a weekend doubleheader against Keyano College of Fort McMurray. They play Friday at 7:15 p.m. and Saturday at 1:30 p.m. at the Penhold Regional multiplex.
l The hockey Queens open their regular schedule against the Grant MacEwan University Griffins at 7 p.m. at the Arena. The teams meet again Saturday in Edmonton.
l The soccer teams are both in the ACAC playoffs — the Kings in Edmonton the Jasper Place Bowl and the Queens in Medicine Hat.
The Kings go in as the South Division champions and received a bye into Saturday’s semifinals, where they meet the winner of the NAIT and Medicine Hat quarter-final at 2 p.m.. Grant MacEwan won the north and will meet the winner between Lethbridge and Concordia University College of Alberta.
The Queens tied SAIT for second in the south, but finished third on head-to-head records and will meet NAIT Friday at 2 p.m. The winner goes up against Medicine Hat on Saturday. The other quarter-final sees SAIT clashing with Grande Prairie with the winner meeting Grant MacEwan.
The third-place and final games go Sunday.
l The ACAC cross-country running championship is set for Saturday in Edmonton with defending champion Devin Woodland one of the favourites in the men’s division.
l The RDC basketball teams are on the road as they visit Keyano College Friday and NAIT Saturday. Their first home action is Nov. 1 against Olds.
l Soccer dominated the Boston Pizza RDC athlete of the week voting.
Second-year midfielder Tatiana Aspillaga received the top female award after two solid performances on the weekend against SAIT (1-0 loss) and Olds (3-0 win).
Mark Ibbotson, a first-year forward from Three Hills, who scored once in a 3-1 win over SAIT and twice in a 6-1 win over Olds, took the top male award.
Kings hockey received the Breathing Room team of the week award.