TORONTO — The RDC Queens headed into the Canadian Colleges Athletic Association women’s volleyball semifinal Friday knowing they had to play even better than they did Thursday.
Mission accomplished as they turned in a solid two-way effort in downing the B.C. champion Vancouver Island University Mariners 25-19, 25-16, 17-25, 25-22 to advance to the gold medal game today.
“It was better today, more like the way we played at the provincial championships,” said Queens head coach Talbot Walton. “We did a great job of digging the ball and winning rallies. We got the ball up to (setter) Bronwyn (Hawkes) and she did an excellent job of getting the ball into our hitters hands in good spots.”
The only set back was the third set.
“We got a little excited, but towards the end of the set I made a couple of substitutions and it changed the momentum. Even though we lost that set we had the momentum going into the fourth set and that carried over.”
The Mariners pushed the Queens right to the end in the fourth set, but the RDC squad used their experience to stay in control.
“We played like we knew we could,” said Walton. “Earlier in the season we worked on several different things and the girls did a great job of picking them up and bought into what we were trying to do. That had a lot to do in our success here.”
The Queens also played outstanding defence, not giving away any free points.
“We were focused and we forced the other team into what we were trying to do.”
The Mariners were the second B.C. team the Queens faced. They defeated the Capilano Blues 3-2 on Thursday.
“We knew going in it was a tough draw, but the B.C. teams play a similar style to ourselves, which helped,” added Walton.
The Queens will meet a familiar foe in the final as the Grande Prairie Wolves upset No 1 ranked Garneau Elans of Quebec City 25-23, 22-25, 25-21, 25-20 in the other semifinal.
“They’ll have a grudge against us after we beat them in the provincial final, but we have to continue to play our game and try to repeat what we did before,” concluded Walton.
Middle Alex Donaghy was the RDC player of the match with eight kills, an ace, five digs and two stuff blocks. Amber Adolf continues to dominate as she finished with 18 kills.