Kings edge Clippers in volleyball opener

There were more positives than negatives for the RDC Kings as they opened their Alberta Colleges Men’s Volleyball League regular season against the Briercrest Bible College Clippers at RDC Friday, but just barely.

The Queens' Makenzie King powers the ball past the outstretched fingers of the Briercrest Cilppers' Aryn Lesher.

The Queens' Makenzie King powers the ball past the outstretched fingers of the Briercrest Cilppers' Aryn Lesher.

Kings 3 Clippers 2

There were more positives than negatives for the RDC Kings as they opened their Alberta Colleges Men’s Volleyball League regular season against the Briercrest Bible College Clippers at RDC Friday, but just barely.

On the positive side the Kings pulled out a 25-20, 25-15, 10-25, 21-25, 15-11 victory over the defending ACAC champions. It was also the first time in five meetings they’ve got the better of Caronport, Sask., squad.

On the negative side the Kings fell apart for the third and fourth sets.

Then again they did come back in the fifth.

“We started very well and then they started putting more pressure on us in the third set and we stopped competing. It was tough to watch,” said Kings head coach Aaron Schulha. “We tried to do some different things in the third and nothing worked. The fourth we were better, but let them pull away at the end after we were tied at 20. They also jumped into the lead in the fifth, but then the guys buckled down and showed a lot of character.”

Tucker Leinweber played a major role in the Kings strong fifth set and finished the match with 18 kills, an ace and 11 digs. Rookie libero Pat McIntyre also was solid with 11 digs.

“It was nice to see the guys come back in the fifth,” added Schulha. “And finally getting that win against them is a load off our kinds.”

Queens 3 Clippers 1

The Queens also letdown in the third set before recording a 25-13, 25-22, 17-25, 25-21 victory over the Clippers.

Queens lost third-year middle blocker Danielle Newton late in the second set with an ankle injury, which seemed to affect the whole team.

“Danielle is our true returning veteran and her loss affected a lot of players,” said Queens head coach Talbot Walton. “It was a new situation for most of the other players, not having her out there. It was a bit unnerving.”

The Queens were simply out of it early in the third set, falling behind 18-3.

“We called time out and talked about getting some momentum back. They (Briercrest) also let down a bit and we were able to gain that momentum heading into the fourth set. I felt we had good confidence from the start of the fourth set.”

Walton also inserted rookie middle blocker Shelby Bramall from Sylvan Lake into the lineup and she paid dividends as she had a kill, a block, an ace and three digs.

“There was something missing out of the middle most of the match and Shelby came in and hit with a little different tempo and (setter Kirsten) Sorensen was able to find her which also seemed to open up the outside hitters,” said Walton.

The Clippers started slow, but gained some confidence as the match wore on. “They serve the ball well, but we didn’t respond. Our serve receive wasn’t good and that cost us in that third set,” said Walton.

Brooke Sutter led the Queens with 10 kills and 17 digs while Makenzie Quinn added nine kills and nine digs and Sidney Ponto had eight kills and 12 digs. Megan Brouwer had 20 digs and Sorensen 11.

Carlee Leclerc had eight kills for BBC while Erin Anderson had seven kills and Mikayla Reinhardt seven kills and 21 digs.

The teams play again today with the women starting at 1 p.m. and the men to follow.

drode@bprda.wpengine.com

– copyright Red Deer Advocate