The last time the RDC Kings and Camrose Augustana Vikings met on the volleyball court it was in the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference final.
On that date the Vikings came from behind to down the Kings 3-2 to win the championship. While Saturday’s meeting in the Ramada Inns and Suites ACAC Southern Challenge tournament at RDC didn’t have the same meaning, nor the same level of competition, it had a bit of the same excitement.
This time it was the Kings who stormed from behind to down the Vikings 25-27, 22-25, 25-19, 25-19, 15-10 to finish the tournament with a 4-0 record. Not all of the eight teams met during the three-day affair and there was no final, but the RDC-Augustana clash was possibly the highlight match.
With it being early in the season there were a number of mistakes on both sides.
“It was ugly for sure,” said Kings head coach Aaron Schulha. “A few guys had too many errors and I told them at one point if they weren’t going to pass the ball with consistency they’d be off the floor.”
As a result Schulha brought in back up power hitters Brian Grenier and Grady Mawer for starters Tanner Rehn and Regan Fathers, which seemed to kick start the Kings.
“They certainly didn’t hurt us and it was good for them to come in and contribute,” added Schulha. “They are depth guys who made the most of their opportunity.
“As well both (right side) Nic (Dubinsky) and (middle) Tommy (Lyon) are fifth-year guys and they stepped up to take a leadership role and be vocal about it. Then (middle) Ty (Moorman) came in and made a difference on both offence and defence. He’s an energy guy.”
Dubinsky finished with 22 kills while Lyon had eight kills, four blocks and two aces. Moorman came in in the third set and finished with five kills, a block and an ace. Setter Luke Brisbane had 41 assists, three kills, two blocks and an ace. Grenier had five kills and Mawer three kills and an ace.
They Vikings do have an experienced team, although they lost both middle blockers from last season.
“Right now they don’t have as much experience in the middle, but both their guys will grow as the season goes on,” said Schulha. “On the outside they are similar and have their top two go-to guys back along with their setter and libero. So they will be good once again.”
Schulha will spend time working on team passing this week.
“Our passing definitely needs to get fixed,” he said. “When Brian and Grady came in it was better and we’re tough when we’re serving tough and passing the ball. I definitely liked the way we grinded it out after the first two dismal sets. It will help us as we go forward.”
The Kings also defeated College of the Rockies 25-23, 25-14, 25-12 on Saturday.
The Kings will travel to NAIT on Saturday for an exhibition match and face the Mount Royal University Cougars in Calgary before opening their regular season Oct. 16-17 at home against Medicine Hat.
In other games Saturday the RDC Alumni downed Briercrest Bible College 25-20, 25-17, 19-25, 25-18 while Vancouver Island University stopped SAIT 3-2 and Briercrest 3-1, Medicine Hat downed Augustana 3-0 and SAIT defeated College of the Rockies 3-0.
The RDC Queens will host the Wild Rose Classic, beginning Friday.