It took Taylor Hunt some time before he found the right fit, but RDC is proving to be just what he was looking for.
The RDC Kings volleyball squad’s power hitter spent three years moving between Manitoba and Ontario and it was never the right feel, either academically or athletically for the six-foot-five native of Brocklin, Ont.
He attended the University of Manitoba during the 2006-07, returned to Ontario and spent the 2007-08 season at Algonquin College in Nepean before once again returning to the U of M last season.
“It just wasn’t the right fit for me in either place,” he said. “The first year in Manitoba I played, but didn’t enjoy it and I never did play my second and third years.”
But Hunt did have a couple of friends — Chris Wowchuk and Jeremy Stabler — who moved from the U of M to RDC and they recommended he look at the Central Alberta school.
“It’s a good fit academically,” he said. “I like the guys and it’s worked out well. Besides this is a great program. You can tell that by looking at the number of players who want on to the national teams.”
It did take some time for Hunt to get into a rhythm, especially after not playing anything but beach volleyball the last two years.
“Getting used to a new coach and system and playing with new setters takes a little time to adjust,” said the 21-year-old.
“But it’s coming and I’m feeling more comfortable all the time.”
Hunt is one of the premier hitters in the Alberta Colleges Men’s Volleyball League, averaging three kills per set, not bad considering he’s teamed with All-Canadian right side Mitch Irvine, who’s averaging 3.2 kills per set.
“We compliment each other,” said Hunt. “It’s a good situation in that both of us take some pressure off the other guy and the (opposition) middle can’t cheat toward one of us. It also opens up room for our middles as well.”
Hunt admits he still gets lazy at times, especially on defence.
“I played libero the second half of my first year at Manitoba so I know what it takes and I do take pride in my defence, but at times I get lazy.”
Kings head coach Aaron Schulha agrees.
“He does at times, but he’s a nice addition to our team,” he said. “He’s a good compliment to Mitch and our other power hitters.”
Hunt has been surprised at the level of play in the ACAC.
“No doubt. I watched college ball when I was in Algonquin and the Ontario league is nowhere near this level,” he said. “Here you have a tough test every time out.”
Hunt, who switched to kinesiology this year and could be with the Kings for at least two seasons, will be counted on this weekend as the RDC squad hosts Briercrest Bible College of Caronport, Sask., in a twin bill.
The two meet Friday at 7:30 p.m. in Rocky Mountain House as part of the 2A high school provincials and Saturday at RDC.
The Kings, 6-2, need to win both matches and hope SAIT and Mount Royal split their doubleheader. If the right scenario takes place the Kings will finish first during the first half of the season and host the ACAC playoffs.
Meanwhile, the Queens, who face BBC Friday at 7 p.m. and Saturday at 1 p.m. at RDC, have wrapped up first place in the south with an 8-0 record and are looking to post a perfect record at Christmas.
l The RDC basketball teams are on the road this weekend at Briercrest.
It’s a big weekend of the Queens, who are coming off a victory over the Mount Royal University Cougars. The Queens, 1-7, can take another step forward with a sweep of the Clippers, 0-8.
The Kings, 5-3, also need a sweep over the Clippers, 2-6, to maintain their hold on third place in the south.
l The hockey Queens have a week off from league play, but will host the Edge Hockey Academy of Calgary in exhibition play at 7 p.m. at the Arena Thursday.
l Curling took top honours in the Moxie’s Classic Grill RDC athlete of the week voting.
Cameron Krejici of the 6-0 men’s team and Brittney Raab of the 5-1 mixed squad — both leads — received the awards.