GRANDE PRAIRIE — The RDC Queens saved their best of last and they were impressive to say the least.
The Queens rolled over the host Grande Prairie College Wolves 25-17, 25-12, 25-19 to capture gold in the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference women’s volleyball championships Sunday afternoon.
It completed a perfect weekend for the Queens, who didn’t lose a set in their three matches.
“We played our best volleyball of the season,” said Queens head coach Talbot Walton, who won his third ACAC title. “We really brought it together at the right time.”
Despite being seeded No. 1 the Queens were underdogs in the eye of the large, noisy crowd, going into the final.
“I think we were a little nervous heading into the final, because of the Grande Prairie fans,” said Walton. “They’re notorious for their support. They were dressed up with a lot of thunder sticks. But we stuck together. We were strong over the first few points and it seemed to quiet the crowd down a bit.”
Outside of middle blocker Alex Donaghy the Queens have a veteran starting lineup, led by fourth-year outside hitter Brooke Sutter.
“Brooke was outstanding, she was on the money with her hitting, with over a .500 kill efficiency which is huge, and solid on defence,” said Walton. “Overall we didn’t make a lot of mistakes.”
Sutter and setter Bronwyn Hawkes were named to the first all-star team with power hitter Amber Adolf the tournament MVP.
Libero Maddi Quinn also drew praise from Walton, along with middle blockers Donaghy and Shelby Bramall and right side Karissa Kuhr, who was the Queens player of the game in the final.
Sutter and Adolf had 11 kills each in the final while Sutter added 12 digs and Adolf nine digs and two aces. Kuhr had seven kills, eight digs and Donaghy six kills and four aces despite playing with a broken finger. Hawkes had 31 assists.
“Bronwyn did a great job of putting the ball in the right places for our hitters,” said Walton.
The Queens went into the championships having lost three of their final four matches, including two to Grant MacEwan.
“We weren’t playing on a full tank against MacEwan, but our last week of practice before coming here we started to come together.”
The Queens reached the final with a 25-19, 25-17, 25-21 win over Briercrest Bible College Clippers with Adolf finishing with 11 kills, nine digs, two aces and a stuff block. Donaghy added nine kills and two blocks while Kuhr had five kills and six digs, Quinn 16 digs and Hawkes 20 assists.
Grande Prairie reached the final with a 20-25, 25-23,25-19, 23-25, 15-11 victory over Grant MacEwan.
MacEwan won the bronze medal with a 25-14, 28-30, 25-18, 24-26, 15-13 win over Briercrest. King’s took the consolation title with a 26-24, 25-19, 25-19 victory over Olds College.
Telaina Snider had 10 kills and Shael Bourne 19 digs for Olds, who downed NAIT 25-16, 25-16, 21-25,25-22 in the semifinal.
The Queens and the Wolves will both compete in the national finals, March 6-8 at Seneca College in Toronto.
“The nationals are a great experience, but this provincial championship is so hard to win,” said Walton. “It’s the measure of our development as a team.”