Kings 3 Mariners 1
LONDON, Ont. — The stage is set for the two winningest programs in Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association men’s volleyball history to meet once again in the national final.
The RDC Kings, who have 12 national titles to their credit, advanced to the gold medal game with a 25-18, 25-11, 27-29, 25-19 victory over the Vancouver Island University Mariners of Nanaimo Friday and will face the 10-time champion Limoilou Titans of Quebec City.
The Titans advanced with a 25-12, 25-23, 25-13 victory over the Camosun Chargers of Victoria.
“They’re playing at a high level and this is the third straight year they’ve been in the final and so far they have two silver,” said Kings head coach Aaron Schulha, whose squad beat the Titans 3-0 in last year’s championship game.
“They’ll be looking at changing that color plus getting back at us. Still we’re looking forward to meeting them. Both programs bring in talent with the idea of making it here and winning a national championship.”
The only blemish on the day for the Kings came in the third set when they let a 24-20 lead slip away.
“We let up a bit and our passing tightened up a bit,” said Schulha. “But they also played hard as they were up against it.”
Still Schulha wasn’t worried about the one blimp, in fact he felt it might be good.
“We faced a bit of adversity and I was pleased with the way we reacted. They caught us off guard a bit, but we didn’t let it bother us. Instead we came out strong in the fourth set. Earlier this year we may not have reacted as well and let it bother us in that fourth set.”
The Kings stars once again shone bright, led by middle Ty Moorman, setter Luke Brisbane and right side Regan Fathers.
Moorman finished with 13 kills, including the match winning point, and five blocks. Brisbane was the RDC player of the match with two kills, 51 assists and 11 digs while Fathers had 22 kills, an ace, four digs and two blocks.
“Ty was dominant in the middle,” said Schulha. “In fact the whole team played well … I was pleased.”
Matt Lofgren finished with 12 kills and three digs, Adam Turlejski seven kills, Brian Grenier four kills and three digs and Michael Sumner 10 digs.
On the other side, the Medicine Hat Rattlers remained in contention for a bronze medal, beating the Holland Hurricanes from Charlottetown, P.E.I. 25-13, 25-14, 25-23 while the host Fanshawe Falcons downed the Mohawk Mountaineers from Hamilton 22-25, 25-16, 20-25, 27-25, 15-12.
Danny Rode is a retired Advocate reporter who can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. His work can also be seen at Danny’s blog at rdcathletics.ca