All’s well that ends well.
The RDC Queens closed one chapter of their 2019-20 Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference season Saturday and will open a new one Thursday.
RDC finished the regular season second in the ACAC South with a 21-3 record after a win Saturday. They will open the ACAC provincial championships in Medicine Hat next week against the Lakeland College Rustlers, who are the third seed in the north division.
RDC rounded out the regular season with a convincing three-set victory (25-19, 25-16, 25-21) over the Medicine Hat College Rattlers.
“Didn’t quite go as well as (Friday), it seemed like everything was rolling pretty well. (Saturday), at times it was a bit of a struggle. Still thought we did a good job of serving the ball, served better (Saturday) than (Friday),” Queens coach Talbot Walton said.
For the second straight match, fourth-year outside hitter Erin Neufeldt was the catalyst for the Queens offence. She had 14 kills and only one error with a 0.542 hitting percentage in the victory, earning player of the game honours. The other half of the Queens dynamic outside duo, second-year Tess Pearman was also solid with seven kills and an ace.
Second-year Emma Holmes also pitched in with a strong match, contributing 10 kills with only one error and five digs.
“We’re thankful that Erin had a big match again and put away points for us, same thing with Emma Holmes, they both scored really well. A little bit of grit and grind, but we got the win,” Walton said.
Fourth-year libero Kaylee Domoney brought her usual steady presence to the Queens, surpassing the 1,000 career digs mark with nine in the match Saturday.
“That’s a huge number of digs, when you think of that being accomplished in four seasons. You’ve gotta give tremendous respect for the amount of effort she puts in and the passion she has for that position,” Walton said.
“Liberos can kinda cruise through and be a good passer or good digger, but to get both those qualities you really have to have that extra gear and you want to see that person going after the ball and she does that.
“She’s that proverbial backbone for our team, she gives us something we can build off and trust she’s going to be there… from a leadership standpoint and a competitive standpoint, you’re not going to find a better teammate than that.”
In addition to Domoney’s milestone, the Queens also said goodbye to two big contributors to the program over the last two seasons. Setter Kelly Heinemann and Brook Ure are transferring from RDC and were honoured post-match.
Heinemann, a third-year who battled through a shoulder injury all of last season and some of this year still played a big role in the success the Queens had this season. She averaged eight assists per set this season over 32 sets played.
“Despite the injury that had her sidelined, I really got to know Kelly a little bit more as a person, instead of as a volleyball player. You could really get a sense she had a passion for volleyball. Likes post-secondary and is very academic, got that good edge to her. Making sure she takes care of academic things, then athletically minded,” Walton said.
For her to have the season did, coming off shoulder surgery, we’re really happy for her, all while she progressed throughout the season.”
Heinemann is moving on to further her bachelor of science degree and is hoping to one day become a doctor.
Ure, in two seasons, was a constant source of energy off the bench for the Queens. Walton said it has been infectious for the entire group ever since he came back to the bench.
“Brook is one of those teammates that you always have to have on a team. You want that athlete that has that joy and passion to play,” Walton noted.
“Excitable, at the end of the day almost always makes you smile and laugh. Really appreciate what she brought from an energy standpoint.”