Queens 3 Clippers 1
The Red Deer College Queens went into their final two games of the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference women’s volleyball season with one goal in mind: Win at least once against the Briercrest Bible College Clippers and secure first place in the South Division.
The Queens came out of the gate with fire in their eyes and downed the second-place Clippers 25-12, 25-18, 22-25, 25-15 at RDC Friday.
“We came into the game wanting to win for sure, but both teams were close so we weren’t over confident,” said Queens veteran setter Bronwyn Hawkes, who was the RDC player of the match with three kills, two stuff blocks, eight digs and 33 assists.
“We had a good feeling and outside of the third set we played well. That set we wanted to come out and push ahead, but it went the other way.”
Queens head coach Talbot Walton felt the team was trying a bit too hard.
“We put a little too much pressure on ourselves to be perfect and as a result we were a little late and a little tight.”
But the Queens settled down by the end of the third set and carried that over to the fourth set.
“We definitely had to momentum heading into that fourth set,” said Hawkes.
“We weren’t focusing on the right things at the right time, but we were in that fourth set,” said Walton, who liked what he saw from the team in the early going.
“This was one of the first matches I remember where we were ready to go from the first whistle. They scored on a couple of spin serves, but we got through that sequence and once they missed a serve we settled in quickly and started playing to our rhythm.”
The win gave the Queens a 21-2 record while BBC dropped to 18-5.
“The win means we can go into tomorrow (today) not stressed and just focus on what we have to do and have some fun as it will be, for some of us, our last game together here,” said Hawkes, who is one of the graduating players.
“I haven’t thought about leaving yet … I’m sure it will be a bit emotional, but we’ve had a lot of success, which means we’re leaving on a positive note.”
Walton likes the fact the Queens are facing the Clippers in their final games before the playoffs, which open Thursday in Olds.
“Last year we faced Grant MacEwan and while that backfired a bit (RDC lost twice before going on to win the ACAC and CCAA titles) this year is different,” said Walton. “It’s good to be facing them so close to the playoffs. Last year we had a week off, this year we’re as close as we can get to the playoffs.”
Kelsey Tymkow had a strong game for the Queens with 14 kills, two stuff blocks and 12 digs while Miranda Dawe added 11 kills and eight digs and libero Maddi Quinn was once again brilliant with 15 digs.
Leah Koot chipped in with six kills, an ace, a block and five digs and Alex Donaghy added five kills, two aces, eight digs and a block.
Samantha Zacharias had 11 kills, four aces and seven digs for the Clippers.
Kings 3 Clippers 1
Unlike the Queens the Kings started a bit slow before recording a 21-25, 25-20, 26-24, 25-19 victory over the Clippers.
The win also wrapped up first place for the Kings (20-3). The Clippers slipped to 13-10.
The Kings didn’t play inspired volleyball until about the third set.
“It seemed like we waited for them to start chirping a bit at the net before we got into emotionally,” said Kings head coach Aaron Schulha. “We can’t be waiting for those things to fire us up, especially when we know we can lock down first place, we know we’re running out of time to play in our gym, and we know we’re playing without our inspirational and volume leader Tim Finnigan.”
Finnigan is resting a quad injury which has bothered him most of the second half of the season.
“After he warmed up a bit he told me could go if I needed him, but I’d rather rest him and have him for next week,” said Schulha, who inserted Kashtin De Sousza in at power.
De Sousza started a bit slow, but by the fourth set was playing at a high level. He had five of his eight kills in the final set and was also outstanding on defence.
“Kashtin looked dynamic and did a good job at the net against a potent attack, despite being a big undersized,” said Schulha. “I thought Kashtin and Regan (Fathers) did a good job on the left side. Although we still made a few too many errors, I thought it was a good team effort.”
Right side Nic Dubinsky turned in a solid performance with 14 kills, a block and six digs while Fathers had 13 kills, an ace, a block and six digs.
Setter Luke Brisbane was the RDC player of the match with two kills, an ace, 16 digs and 32 assists. De Sousza also added 10 digs as did libero Patrick McIntyre.
Middle Adam Turlejski had two kills, two aces, four digs and three blocks and Justin Lukacs added three blocks.
Zac Ens had 16 kills, three aces and eight digs for the Clippers.
The women open play today at 1 p.m., followed by the men.
Danny Rode is a retired Advocate reporter, who can be reached at email@example.com. His work can also be seen at www.rdc.ab.ca/athleticsblog.