It didn’t finish exactly how they would have liked, but there were more positives than negatives for the RDC Queens during the annual Wild Rose Classic volleyball tournament.
The Queens I finished second, losing 16-25, 20-25 to the SAIT Trojans in the final, while the Queens II finished seventh after defeating the Medicine Hat Rattlers 25-21, 25-10.
“Considering this was the first game action for us, we’re pleased,” said Queens assistant coach Mandy Carroll, who was on the bench for both teams and handled head coaching duties for the Queens II squad.
“We would have liked to play better at times but look at the final and SAIT has an older team, an experienced team. We were playing with half a squad, so this was a learning opportunity for us. Which was more important than the wins.”
Head coach Talbot Walton split the team in half so that everyone had an opportunity to play a lot and to see how they handled different situations, good and bad.
“That’s why we do it,” said Carroll. “It was a test to see where they`re at as players when it comes to tough situations. We`ve been together for only four weeks and haven`t had those situations come up.”
One of the battles this season is at setter between returnee Ashley Fehr and newcomer Maegan Kuzyk, who played at NAIT the past two seasons.
“Both improved as the weekend went on,” said Carroll.
“They both have different things to work on and both have different skill sets. They also looked good in different situations.”
Veteran power hitter Miranda Dawe stood out as did first-year middle Taylor Wickson.
Carroll was also impressed with a number of other newcomers such as McKenna Barthel and Kelsey Paton, who is just out of high school.
The Queens I reached the final by defeating Augustana 20-25, 25-21, 15-9, College of the Rockies 25-18, 20-25, 15-10 and Grande Prairie 25-27, 25-21, 15-11 on Saturday.
SAIT downed Lethbridge 2-0, Olds 25-17, 17-25, 15-10 and The Kings University Eagles 2-1.
The Queens II lost to the College of the Rockies 17-25, 26-24, 11-15 in the fifth-place semifinal before defeating Medicine Hat, who lost to the Olds Broncos 11-25, 23-25. Olds then downed College of the Rockies 23-25, 25-15, 15-6 to take fifth place.
Olds head coach Chris Wandler of Red Deer would have liked a higher finish, but wasn’t overly disappointed.
“We’re off to a decent start,” he said. “We have a few returning players but we’re still coming together as a group.”
The RDC teams will open their regular schedule Oct. 16-17 when they host Medicine Hat.