Queens crush Cougars

The RDC Queens have as much talent as any team in the Alberta Colleges Women’s Volleyball League, but it’s their experience that gives them that extra edge over their major opponents.

Mount Royal Cougar Andrea Price reaches up to block a shot from RDC Queen Danielle Newton on Saturday at Red Deer College. The Queens won 3-1.

Queens 3 Cougars 1

The RDC Queens have as much talent as any team in the Alberta Colleges Women’s Volleyball League, but it’s their experience that gives them that extra edge over their major opponents.

Such was the case again Saturday as they downed the Mount Royal University Cougars 25-20, 17-25, 25-20, 25-18 before 400 fans at RDC.

“We have that cohesion because we all know and trust each other,” said Queens fourth-year middle blocker Mandy Carroll. “That experience is huge, especially after we make a mistake or have a letdown. We don’t let it bother us and we’re able to change it around quickly.”

The Queens showed that after the second set as they fell behind 15-11 in the third set, yet didn’t panic.

“All four sets were tight in the middle, but in three of the four we got a push at the end when it was needed,” said Queens head coach Talbot Walton. “We were able to get someone to step up.”

Walton also made a good move in the third set when he inserted left side Jaclyn Neufeld.

“Once she got into the match she forced them to worry about her and they couldn’t cheat in trying to block our other hitters . . . they had to be honest and it allowed Quinn (setter Quinn Schulzke) to run an effective offence,” said Walton.

Katie Graves had 12 kills and 12 digs for the Queens while Jessica Clutton added 12 kills and nine digs. Carroll had six kills, seven digs and three stuff blocks while Danielle Newton had five kills and three blocks. Neufeld came on and finished with 1s1 digs as did Schulzke. Libero Tarah Truant had 14 digs.

The win gave the Queens and 8-0 record and guaranteed them of finishing first in the South Division at Christmas.

“That was one of our first goals,” said Carroll. “We set month-by-month goals at the beginning of the season, so we weren’t looking down the road. It’s small steps and this is one of them.”

The Briercrest Bible College Clippers are the only team to stand in the way of that goal as RDC will host BBC, Nov. 27-28.

Kings 3 Cougars 2

The Kings are continuing to pull out key victories when they’re needed the most.

Saturday was another one of those as they downed the Cougars 25-21, 19-25, 25-16, 23-25, 15-13.

The win left them tied with SAIT in first place at 6-2 while Mount Royal is 4-2. SAIT and MRU have yet to meet this season.

The Kings had to win if they had any thoughts of finishing first in the division at Christmas and earning the right to host the ACAC championships.

“We still need a little help, but we kept ourselves in the running,” said Kings head coach Aaron Schulha.

At times the Kings showed flashes of being the best team in the league while at others they’d let the Cougars grab the momentum.

“I liked the way we battled and I thought we made some smart choices at the right times,” said Schulha.

The Kings looked as if they would wrap the match up in the fourth set, leading 21-19. It appeared as if the Kings got a key point when former King Kyle Baird went well into the crowd to save a ball.

The Cougars earned the point, but it was ruled he was unable to go that far into the fans to keep the play alive. However, Cougars head coach Shawn Sky argued that he was able to play the ball anywhere in the gym and after a 10-minute discussion it was ruled in MRU’s favour.

“That seemed to take some of our momentum away,” said Schulha. “It wasn’t so much the call, but the break. Still we came back strong to start the fifth set.”

Trevor Gillis led the Kings with 18 kills while Mitch Irvine had 14 kills, seven aces and six digs. Taylor Hunt added 14 kills and Chris Wowchuk, who started at libero, had seven digs. Baird had 15 kills for MRU.

drode@bprda.wpengine.com

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