The Red Deer Polytechnic Kings volleyball team has a history of fielding some of the best setters in the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference.
In the case of former national team setter Brock Davidiuk it was one of the best in the country.
Davidiuk and Luke Brisbane were both CCAA players of the year. Keith Hansen, who is one of the most successful coaches in CCAA history and was named a two-time CCAA coach of the year and a five-time ACAC coach of the year, was on the All-Canadian team twice as a player at RDC. Ryan Taylor was an All-Canadian in the 1999-2000 season.
Add the names of ACAC All-Conference players Tom Wass, Blake Henwood, Sam Brisbane and Ryan Oswald and you get an idea of the depth of talent at the setting position over the years.
Now you can add Maddux Greves to that list.
Greves, stepped into the RDP program this season after two years at Trinity Western University and one with the SAIT Trojans.
The native of Calgary is not only one of the premier setters in the ACAC but a true leader.
“It’s evident watching him play he’s one of the best setters and servers in the country,” said Kings head coach Aaron Schulha. “He’s a really big piece of our team in all aspects on the floor and as a leader. He thinks the game at a high level which is like having another coach.”
Greves, who played with the Trojans in the 2019-20 season before missing last year because of the pandemic, knew he was following in some large footsteps when he committed to RDP.
“I don’t compare myself to those guys but I can’t help but notice all the greats before me and the legacy they set,” he said, adding he feels the team is perfect for him.
“We have a motivated group of guys who enjoy being in the gym, enjoy working hard and enjoy improving which aliens with my values and my passions. I love it here and it’s home.”
Greves showed what he means to the Kings when he returned after sitting out 11 days after testing positive for Covid.
He tested negative well before the 11-day period but unlike the majority of other institutions and leagues where athletes can return after five days and testing negative, RDP forces their athletes to sit 11 days. It likely cost the Kings first place in the South Division.
They lost three matches in a row before Greves, and several other starters, returned and they defeated Ambrose and Lethbridge to wrap up at least second place, which gives them home-court advantage in the South Division playoffs.
Greves was their player of the match in both matches to end the year. He also set an ACAC record with 14 service aces against Ambrose, breaking the 20-year-old record of 12.
“Breaking a record is a nice accomplishment but I think it’s a testament to how hard the team has been working this semester,” said Greves. “Honestly I haven’t been serving great this semester so it felt good to get the monkey off my back.”
Greves was born and raised in Calgary and recruited by TWU. He spent two years with the B.C. university before returning home.
“I don’t regret my time at Trinity Western but I didn’t get much playing time as I was behind a great setter. I developed a lot there but in my second year because of mental health stuff I decided to take a year off and stepped away from volleyball.”
However, during his time at home, he decided he still loved the sport.
“The passion was still there so I attended SAIT for a year, then Covid hit and I took time off and worked,” he explained. But last August he decided to call Schulha.
“It worked out and I never looked back … I certainly don’t regret it.”
Coming up through club and high school volleyball Greves played practically every position which is noticeable. He’s not only smart with the ball but is strong defensively and at the net.
“I even played middle when I was 13,” he said with a laugh. “I played libero for a year in club which helps my defence for sure. Playing every positing allows me to be more well-rounded and to understand the game more.”
But it’s his decision-making with the ball in his hands that’s impressive.
“I set a game plan I like against our opponent and set an offence and what plays to run in certain situations. I’ve had a lot of good coaching which helps me get into position where I can set who I want, make the right decisions and make the right reads.
“But I feel I can continue to work on that and that I haven’t reached my maximum positional … there’s still room for improvement.”
Greves, who was an All-Conference setter in the 2019-20 season along with Wass, will finish his ACAC career next season at RDP.
“I’ve committed to this program for this year and next,” he said. I’m looking forward to it as we’ll have a lot of great pieces returning.”
After that, he hopes to play professionally in Europe.
The Kings could still finish first in the South if Briercrest loses twice at Olds.
The RDP Queens finished with a 16-0 record and first in the South and will host the South semifinal and with a win will host the ACAC Final Four.
Danny Rode is a retired Advocate reporter and member of the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame who can be reached at email@example.com