Kings 3 Wolves 1
Although they’re relatively young head coach Aaron Schulha believes this year’s edition of the RDC Kings has one advantage over last year’s veteran laden squad — they have more depth.
That was evident Saturday afternoon as Schulha was able to mix and match his lineup to find the right combination in a 25-17, 25-20, 17-25, 25-20 victory over the Grande Prairie Wolves in Alberta Colleges Men’s Volleyball League action at RDC.
“I’ve said it before but we are deeper this year and we’re more confident in guys coming in and doing the job,” said Schulha. “We were able to switch guys off and on today and in that last set we moved Tucker (Leinweber) from libero to the left side and Dave (King) came in and did a very good job at libero. It’s nice to be able to mix up the lineups and show them different lineups.”
In the end it didn’t matter who Schulha had on the court the Kings were better than the Wolves, who stepped their game up from their 3-0 loss to RDC Friday.
“I didn’t think we were quite as good, but they were better, which we expected,” added Schulha. “They were more effective outside and their No. 10 (six-foot-10 Parker Jobin) proved hard to stop.”
Jobin finished with 11 kills and two stuff blocks, but he also had problems handling Kings six-foot-five middle Sean Tuff, who was the RDC player of the match with eight kills, three blocks and an ace.
“We made sure Nick (Bell) set the middle more today and Sean in particular,” said Schulha. “He’s a big jumper and when he’s on time he’s almost impossible to stop. When a six-10 guy can’t touch him there’s few guys in the league who can. Boston (Maris) is a little smaller, so we have to be craftier getting the ball to him, but Nick did a good job of staying with the system.”
Maris finished with four kills and a block.
One aspect of their game which wasn’t as sharp as Friday was their serve receive.
“It wasn’t as crisp as a couple of guys struggled, but it’s nice to find a way to win when all things aren’t working,” said Schulha.
Darcee Froese turned in another solid match and could well have been the player of the match for the second day in a row. He had 13 kills, two blocks and five digs. Taylor Hunt had 14 kills and one block. David Zeyha had 13 kills, two aces and two blocks for the Wolves.
Wolves 3 Queens 1
For the second day in a row the Queens did themselves in during a 22-25, 25-17, 17-25, 24-26 loss to the Wolves in women’s action.
The Queens, who finished with 73 errors in a 3-1 loss Friday, followed it up by making 66 errors Saturday.
“In the first set alone we made 19 errors,” said Queens head coach Talbot Walton. “We’re constantly talking about being patient on rallies and looking for opportunities to be dynamic to score. But we’re thinking about that too much and weren’t able to execute even at a moderate level. We got timid and Grande Prairie would capitalize on those points and take the momentum back when we did have it.”
Although there were more negatives than positives for the Queens, Walton didn’t want to just look at the negative side.
“It was a good match for us to look at how we’re progressing and whether we’re committed to all the small intricacies of our systems. We’ll see from the players standpoint if they learn from it. They do need to be more clean and precise with some of their movements and executional things. If they come out of this learning from it they’ll be better off.”
Overall the Wolves were slightly better than the Queens as they spread their offence around and played better defence, finishing with 56 digs compared to 49 for RDC.
“They do have a good team and forced us into some errors,” added Walton. “Right now we’re not experienced enough to deal with that. It boiled down to making the right decision at the right time and knowing what to do. Those errors were the result of making wrong decisions.”
Jaclyn Neufeld led the Queens with 12 kills, two aces and six digs while Robyn Denney had 11 kills and four digs, Danielle Newton six kills and three blocks and Tarah Truant was named RDC player of the match with 17 digs.
Katelyn Porta had 14 kills and 13 digs, Kacey Bowman 12 kills and 10 digs and Tony Dueck 12 kills for Grande Prairie.
RDC has next weekend off before visiting Lakeland Nov. 26-27.