Take away the first set and the Lethbridge Kodiaks looked like a team fighting for second place in the Alberta Colleges Men’s Volleyball League South Division.
And that was just fine with the RDC Kings as it forced them to play at a higher level as they prepare for the ACAC championships in three weeks.
The Kings stormed out of the gate and won the opening set 25-9 before eventually taking the match 26-24, 23-25, 25-18.
“We knew they would gave us more of a battle today,” said Kings head coach Aaron Schulha. “They did give us a few points in terms of runs of errors, but they’re a good team and an aggressive team and because they are aggressive they will make errors. We’re guilty of that as well.”
Once again Kings’ outstanding setter Luke Brisbane was able to spread the offence around with three players in double figures in kills.
Riley Friesen finished with 15 kills along with four aces, six digs and a block while Nic Dubinsky had 13 kills, a block and 14 digs and player of the game Tom Lyon had 10 kills and seven blocks. Middle Ty Moorman had five kills while libero Michael Sumner had 13 digs. Kashtin De Souza, who came in in the second set for starter Matt Lofgren, who injured his ankle, had two kills, an ace and nine digs. Brisbane had two kills, 11 digs, an ace, a block and 39 assists.
The Kodiaks also spread their offence around more so than in a 3-1 loss to the Kings on Friday.
Dax Whitehead had 14 kills and Tim Taylor 12 for the Kodiaks.
“They had a better attack today and no doubt they will be in the mix at the conference championships,” said Schulha.
“They’re a confident group, but then so are we. I thought the last two and a half sets yesterday and parts of today we played pretty clean volleyball. Then at times today we got back to making too many errors and giving them too many free points, which has to be cleaned up in the next couple of weeks.”
Lofgren, who joined the team at Christmas, was taken directly to the hospital following the injury when he landed on the foot of teammate Moorman.
“We don’t expect him back before the championships,” said Schulha.
“Matt was one of our better defenders, although Kashtin can play that role. Matt is a bit more dynamic at the net, but Luke can utilize Kashtin in different situations.
“As well Kashtin is one of our leaders and it’s good to have a vocal leader on the floor.”
The Kings, the No. 1 ranked team in Canada, sits at 19-1 with Lethbridge at 12-10.
Queens 3 Kodiaks 0
For the second day in a row the Queens had little trouble downing the Kodiaks 25-14, 25-16, 25-10.
But despite the 3-0 win Friday, Queens head coach Talbot Walton wasn’t taking anything for granted.
“We watched video before today’s match as yesterday we weren’t as responsible defensively as we should be. Today we were prepared on defence from the start which helped us execute some stuff we wanted to do. Yesterday they scored from the back row, which we didn’t allow today.
“We were prepared to make the right choice and control what we could control and that resulted in better passes which allowed Ashley (setter Fehr) to run a good offence.”
Schulha liked the fact the Queens spread their offence around.
“Everyone did what they were supposed to do … what we wanted them to do. They were doing their job collectively as a team … as a cohesive unit not expecting an individual to have an exceptional match. This time of year we want everyone to be at their best.”
Kelsey Tymkow was the RDC player of the match with eight kills, two aces, three blocks and 12 digs while McKenna Barthel had another strong performance finishing with eight kills and five digs. Middle Hanna Delemont had seven kills, three aces, a block and four digs while Jessica Jones added four kills, a block and five digs and Whitney Zylstra three kills, three aces, two blocks and two digs in two sets. Fehr finished with 27 assists, two aces and eight digs.
Sara Gillis had four kills and seven digs for Lethbridge.
The Queens ran their record to 13-7 and sit in third place in the South Division while Lethbridge is last at 3-19.
RDC faces Olds next weekend – Friday in Olds and Saturday at RDC.