ACAC Hall of Fame bound for Kings volleyball and Gavin Schmitt

Nearly perfect decade for RDC Volleyball lands them in ACAC Hall of Fame class

The RDC Kings volleyball program for close to a decade was about as dominant as any in the sport and for their accomplishments will be honoured Saturday.

One of their most decorated athletes, long-time national team star Gavin Schmitt will also be inducted into the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference Hall of Fame on May 13.

From 1999-2000 to 2006-2007, an eight year stretch with eight consecutive national championships, RDC Men’s volleyball was the class of the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association. Each of those eight title winning teams will be elected into the Hall of Fame team category.

Head coach for seven of those eight squads, Keith Hansen said the honour reflects well on the competition they encountered in the ACAC.

“The commitment to excellence across all the ACAC institutions created wonderful competition that really did prepare us for national championships,” he said in an RDC press release.

“I think a lot of our successes had to do with being pushed by other colleges and the great programs they ran. This league is definitely one we can be proud of.”

Schmitt was a vital part of the Kings volleyball team that won their eighth consecutive championship title in 2007. He will be inducted into the ACAC Hall of Fame under the athlete category.

During his time at RDC, Schmitt led the Kings in kills and kills per game and hit the final ball to clinch the eighth straight national title.

The six-foot-eight, right side player was recognized with several honours that season, being named an ACAC all-star and a CCAA All-Canadian, as well as the CCAA National Championship MVP.

He went on the play with the Canadian Men’s Volleyball Team from 2007 to 2016 and was a key factor in building the program into a top 10 team in the world. Schmitt has also played in professional leagues internationally, including Korea, Turkey, Russia, Brazil and Poland.

RDC athletic director Diane St-Denis added that the ACAC Hall of Fame inductions mark a significant accomplishment for what they have and will continued to develop in the athletic department.

“We have so much to be proud of with our history, and such an exciting future with our current and upcoming student-athletes,” she said.

“As our programs grow and evolve, we will continue to instill the values of hard work, commitment and community contributions that will help our student-athletes during their time at RDC and throughout their future lives and careers.”

Also heading into the hall Saturday in the team category are the SAIT Trojans Men’s Hockey from 2006/2007-2009/2010.

In the athlete category two SAIT badminton players, Keith and Karyn Kadonaga will be inducted as well.

Coaches who got the nod included Joe Voytechek, University of Alberta-Augustana Vikings Men’s Hockey and Alvin Tietz, Lethbridge College Kodiaks Men’s & Women’s Soccer.

Builders who will be inducted are: Murray McAuley of the SAIT Trojans and Yvonne Becker, University of Alberta-Augustana Vikings.

The induction ceremony will take place in Calgary on Saturday night.

byron.hackett@reddeeradvocate.com

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