Eagles edge Kings to hold onto first

It was the type of match you expect between two teams that are battling for first place in the Alberta Colleges Men’s Volleyball League.

Eagles 3 Kings 2

EDMONTON — It was the type of match you expect between two teams that are battling for first place in the Alberta Colleges Men’s Volleyball League.

The RDC Kings and The King’s University College Eagles went into their meeting Friday tied with the Briercrest Bible College Clippers in first place at 10-2.

The Eagles came out of the opening half of the home-and-home series with a slight lead thanks to a thrilling 29-27, 25-27, 25-19, 23-25, 20-18 victory over the Kings.

“It was a good match, which you expect between two first-place teams,” said Kings head coach Aaron Schulha. “We left a couple of points on the table as we made a few too many errors. That was the difference. It’s something we need to correct tomorrow (at RDC).”

The Kings are also still without veteran middle blocker Boston Maris (ankle) which didn’t help matters, plus Schulha didn’t start power hitter Darcee Froese.

“I thought Darcee’s arm needed the rest, but we put him in the fourth set and he played well. He’ll start tomorrow.”

Taylor Hunt continued his hot pace finishing with 29 kills and three aces.

“But we have to stop relying on him to do everything,” said Schulha.

Queens 3 Eagles 2

Meanwhile the Queeens are without starting middle Danielle Newton for the weekend do to a sore arm and that set off a chain reaction through the lineup that caused RDC coach Talbot to spend most of the match looking for the right mix of girls.

In the end they managed to escape with a 25-23, 20-25, 25-18, 19-25, 15-8 victory over the Eagles.

“We ended up making three changes in our lineup because of that one change. It took us a little while to get comfortable with the lineups we were using and we ended up having to rotate a lot of people in to get that right feel,” said Walton. “King’s obviously played good against us but we also helped the cause when we couldn’t find our own tempo.”

Fifth-year starting left side Robyn Denney was RDC’s top player with 12 kills, two aces and six digs. Meanwhile libero Tarah Truant, setter Kristen Sorenen and middle Mandy Carroll did good job of helping pick up the slack.

Despite finally settling on a lineup late Friday, Walton says there’s no guarantee that will be the way they set up today when they host the Eagles at 6 p.m.

“I don’t know if the changes that we made are going to be the ones we use tomorrow,” he said.

“We have to kind of get a feel for where we’re at. But it was a good thing that we were able to go through as many people as we did and everybody we subbed in seemed to do their jobs. So we know that we can do it tomorrow with any lineup that we need to.”

The win left the Queens with a 8-5 record with the Eagles at 6-7.

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