Kings and Queens volleyball downed in home opener

The RDC Kings hung tough on Friday night but weren’t able to push past the Lethbridge College Kodiaks.

RDC fell in five sets (25-23, 22-25, 25-15, 23-25, 15-12) to the Kodiaks in the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference home opener at the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre.

Two of the Kings’ fifth-year players Adam Turlejski and Regan Fathers were not available for the contest.

“I thought we pushed at times but any kind of pressure we folded,” said Kings head coach Aaron Schulha.

“With the guys we had out there, I expected more. Obviously missing Adam and Regan hurts. They’re a big part of this team. We expected other guys to step up.”

The Kings were looking to close the match out in the fourth set but fell just short 25-23 and in the fifth things unraveled early.

The Kodiaks scored the first six points in the final set and from there RDC was never able to climb back in.

“You could tell that guys were overthinking things. Their minds were working a million miles a minute. Tom (Wass), our setter was trying to place instead of just trying to set the ball,” Schulha added.

First-year middle Jace Martin was player of the game for RDC. He was solid in the contest with 11 kills and five blocks, while veteran Ben Holmes led the way with 12 kills.

“He’s improved a whole ton,” Schulha said about Martin.

“He’s a guy that we just need to keep giving him touches and he’ll keep getting better and better.”

First-year Australian Jayden Fathers also had a solid night with five kills in two sets and four digs.

“He’s a bit of a spark plug. He was the energy piece I thought we needed. Showed well in the third. Just didn’t happen for us later on,” Schulha said.

The Queens also got off to a tough start in ACAC women’s volleyball play.

RDC dropped their opening match in four sets (20-25, 23-25, 25-21, 25-17) to the Lethbridge College Kodiaks at the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre to kick off the season.

With a young lineup after all six of last year’s starters moved on from the team, there were a lot of youthful mistakes in the loss Friday.

“We played young. We were very undisciplined and it showed quite a bit. You can’t do that at this level. When you’re very young, you have to concentrate on your training. We failed to do that,” Queens head coach Chris Wandler said.

The Queens dropped the opening two sets to the Kodiaks before they bounced back with a third-set victory. In the fourth set after falling behind early, RDC was not able to regain any momentum.

“It’s about controlling your controllables. We did that inconsistently,” Wandler added.

“The emotion got up when we played well and rock bottom when we didn’t you can’t have a roller coaster. It’s got to be a flat line, consistent mentally of execution. There wasn’t enough of that out there.”

RDC Queens third-year outside hitter Britt Davis lead the Queens on offence. She had 16 kills and nine digs and was player of the game. Davis was the only Queen with double-digit kills in the contest.

“She was very consistent from point one to the last point and didn’t do anything out of her realm. That’s why she ended up with the stat line that she did,” said Wandler.

First-year, Red Deer products Sydney Rix and Emma Holmes were second on the Queens in kills with five each. Katrina Dawe also had five kills and two aces.

Both the Kings and Queens will play at home again Saturday afternoon against the Kodiaks.

Email sports tips to Byron Hackett

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RDC Queens Sydney Rix and Natalie Bloemen combine to try and block ad Lethbridge College Kodiaks player on Friday in Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference volleyball play at the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)

RDC Queens middle McKenna Olson tries to get a hit past a Lethbridge College Kodiaks blocker on Friday in Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference volleyball action on Friday. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)

RDC Queens Sydney Rix and Natalie Bloemen combine to try and block ad Lethbridge College Kodiaks player on Friday in Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference volleyball play at the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)

RDC Kings outside hitter Steven Keating hits past Lethbridge College Kodiaks blocker Dax Whitehead on Friday at the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre in Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference volleyball play. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)

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