Kings start off nationals with win over St. Clair Saints

Luke Brisbane backed up his selection as the best men’s college volleyball player in Canada in his very first opportunity. The Australian setter led the No. 4 Red Deer College Kings to a 3-1 (25-20, 25-22, 20-25, 25-11) win over the No. 5 St. Clair Saints on the opening day of the Canadian Colleges Athletic Association Men’s Volleyball Championship on Thursday.

CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. — Luke Brisbane backed up his selection as the best men’s college volleyball player in Canada in his very first opportunity.

The Australian setter led the No. 4 Red Deer College Kings to a 3-1 (25-20, 25-22, 20-25, 25-11) win over the No. 5 St. Clair Saints on the opening day of the Canadian Colleges Athletic Association Men’s Volleyball Championship on Thursday.

“It’s incredible, I do not remember the last time a first year player was named player of the year,” said RDC head coach Aaron Schulha. “Luke’s a pretty even keel kind of kid, it’s obviously a pretty prestigious honour, but I don’t think it will change how he is He wants to continue to improve and that will give him more motivation to get better.

“Pretty incredible first year for Luke, he’s more motivated for the team prize at the end if we can look after it.”

Brisbane finished the night with 33 assists, eight digs, three blocks and two block assists to go with three kills.

Kings captain Tim Finnigan, who starred on last year’s national championship team as an all-Canadian had a game high 14 kills while Nic Dubinsky had 11 kills and seven digs.

RDC played well through the first two sets, but seemingly lost focus at the beginning of the third set, digging five-point hole early that they were unable to dig out of. However, they played well towards the end of the set to build some momentum that carried into the fourth and then dismantled the Ontario silver medallists.

“The quarter-final is always a tough one, it’s your first match in a facility, you can practice all you want … but it’s a whole different animal when you’re in there with the pressure and a quality team against you,” said Schulha. “To work out some of those first game nerves and to get used to the facility and do all of those things is really important. The execution in the fourth set should really bode well for us moving into tomorrow.”

Key to the win was minimizing the impact of Ontario Colleges Athletic Association player of the year Jason Hernandez who had just 11 kills and six digs.

RDC now prepares to face the Pacific Western Athletic Association champion and No. 1 seed Camosun College Chargers out of Victoria, B.C., after a day of upsets.

The No. 2 University of Alberta-Augustana Vikings lost 3-0 (25-23, 25-18, 25-22) to the No. 7 Titans de Limoilou after the Vikings top player — Luke Ryan — was injured in warm up. The No. 6 St. Thomas Tommies out of the Atlantic Colleges Athletic Association then beat Ontario champion and No. 3 seeded Niagara College Knights 3-1 (20-25, 25-22, 26-24, 25-23).

The Chargers, however, did not continue the trend after being a surprise champion in B.C., they cruised past the No. 8 host Holland Hurricanes 3-0 (25-10, 25-15, 25-22).

“It really is anyone’s tournament and if you don’t look after each match in succession — you can’t start thinking too far ahead — the results won’t be in your favour,” said Schulha.

The semifinal starts at 5 p.m. MST and the winner advances to Saturday’s gold medal game at 5 p.m. The loser will play at 9 a.m. on Saturday in the bronze medal semifinal.

Just Posted

Sunny weather improves farmers’ prospects

A harvester kicking up dust. It’s a picture that will bring a… Continue reading

Rural transit pilot project being considered

Penhold, Innisfail and Red Deer County councils to decide whether to go ahead with project

Red Deer fire station up for sale

Home sweet home at Fire Station 4

Most surveyed Innisfail residents give urban chickens the thumbs up

Town of Innisfail will discuss whether to allow backyard chickens on Monday

‘Mom I’m in trouble:’ Canadian, Brit face 10 years in jail for alleged graffiti

GRANDE PRAIRIE, Alta. — The mother of a Canadian who was arrested… Continue reading

Coyote on the prowl near Penhold

This coyote was out on the prowl in a field just west… Continue reading

Sky’s the limit as Calgary opens testing area for drones and new technologies

CALGARY — The sky’s the limit as the city of Calgary opens… Continue reading

Hi Mickey, ‘Bye Mickey: 6 Disney parks on 2 coasts in 1 day

ORLANDO, Fla. — Heather and Clark Ensminger breathed sighs of relief when… Continue reading

Court weighs ‘Apprentice’ hopeful’s suit versus Trump

NEW YORK — President Donald Trump’s lawyers hope to persuade an appeals… Continue reading

StarKist admits fixing tuna prices, faces $100 million fine

SAN FRANCISCO — StarKist Co. agreed to plead guilty to a felony… Continue reading

Annual pace of inflation slows to 2.2 per cent in September: Statistics Canada

OTTAWA — The annual pace of inflation slowed more than expected in… Continue reading

Jury finds Calgary couple guilty in 2013 death of toddler son

CALGARY — A jury has convicted a Calgary couple in the death… Continue reading

Most Read