Kings and Queen remaining rulers of the (volleyball) court

Queens work on attack over holidays pays off

Queens 3 Broncos 0

The RDC Queens spent as much time as they could during the Christmas break working to fine-tune their attack as they look to make a run at the Alberta Colleges Women’s Volleyball League title.

And if a 25-14, 25-14, 25-9 victory over the Olds College Broncos at RDC Friday is any indication the hard work is paying off.

“It was smooth on our part,” said Queens head coach Chris Wandler. “We spent as much time as we could training after the end of the first half as we wanted to speed up our offence inside and control our first contact.

“When we did take a break on Dec. 9 I wanted to play the next week. And when we did get back after Christmas we had a good idea of the type of offence we wanted to run and the last couple of weeks we did a good job with that and it was evident tonight.”

The Queens ran a diversified offence and even inserted a back row attack by their power hitters – Brittney Davis and Miranda Dawe.

“Don’t tell anyone,” whispered Wandler with a laugh. “But that was one wrinkle we added as we wanted to get even more production out of our left side hitters.”

Davis started as the Queens lost veteran Jessica Jones during the break as she decided to return home to Australia.

“She’s a loss in that we lost depth and a good person,” said Wandler. “But we have some good players who are more than willing to step up.”

Davis saw a lot of action in the first half, playing on the right side for an injured Makenna Barthel. Now that Barthel is back Davis moved back to her natural left side and will battle Jade Van Dyke for the slot opposite Dawe. “Brittney did a good job, but she’s being pushed by Jade, which helps both girls to be better,” said Wandler.

Dawe led the Queens with 14 kills and nine digs while setter Chanelle Kayser was the player of the game with 34 assists, two aces and three digs.

Barthel had seven kills and six digs, Davis six kills and nine digs, Megan Schmidt five kills and an ace.

Hanna Delemont had six kills, four aces and five digs and Lauren Marshall five digs.

Janelle Neyron had six kills and four digs for Olds.

Kings 3 Broncos 0

The Kings were a bit shorthanded with setter Luke Brisbane and middle Adam Turlejski along with rookie power Ben Holmes resting injuries.

“It would be nice to have a full roster, but we didn’t want to push anyone back,” said Kings head coach Aaron Schulha following a 25-11, 25-19, 25-14 victory.

“Adam has a back issue while Luke has a quad injury and Ben a shoulder,” said Schulha. “Luke is the closest to returning and I expect him back by the middle of next week.”

Ryan Beatson worked at setter with Daimyn Biletsky and Ty Moorman in the middle.

While the Kings, who are ranked No. 1 in Canada, were expected to have an easy time, Schulha was happier to see some of the things they’ve been talk about as a team come through.

“We had a meeting on Tuesday and talked about our goals and the level of play and we said it wasn’t good enough. We needed less selfish errors and we needed to be good teammates and that came through tonight.”

Veteran right side Regan Fathers led the way with 18 kills and five aces while Beatson had three kills, 27 assists and three aces. Moorman had four kills while Michael Sumner had nine digs. Waylon Auger led Olds with nine kills and four digs while new setter Chris Auger had 17 assists.

Schulha felt the Broncos gave them more of a run than they did in the first half.

“They appeared more comfortable and are a better team. They still don’t have a ton of weapons, but looked more confident.”

The RDC teams play at Olds tonight with the women getting underway at 6 p.m.

Danny Rode is a retired Advocate reporter who can be reached at drode@bprda.wpengine.com. His work can also be seen at Danny’s blog at rdcathletics.ca.

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