RDC Kings first-year middle Jace Martin hits a ball past two Olds College Broncos blockers in Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference play at the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre Saturday night. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)

Queens roll over Olds, Kings win wild five-set match over Broncos

The RDC Queens took care of business against the Olds College Broncos.

While the Broncos have just one win this season, the Queens are starting to roll at the right time with five straight victories in Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference volleyball play.

RDC stumbled a bit out of the gate but still rolled over the Broncos Saturday in three straight sets (25-21, 25-13, 25-10) and swept them again Sunday in Olds.

In Sunday’s win, Katrina Dawe led the way for RDC in the three-set victory (25-20, 25-16, 25-16) and helped them improve to 9-1 in their last 10 matches.

Queens head coach Chris Wandler said efficiency with their approach has been key and was huge on Saturday at home.

“Good on our part, we were very efficient with the ball. Natalie (Bloemen) did a really good job distributing the balls. Our outside hitters were very effective,” Wandler said.

Erin Neufeldt, a third-year outside hitter in her first year with the Queens finally found the form that made her successful at SAIT. She finished the match with a game-high 13 kills and was player of the game.

“It’s important, you can’t have too much depth, to push the next player along,” Wandler said.

“She’s a third-year athlete who is just starting to get into the idea of what it means to play Queens volleyball. To come from SAIT, just a different style. She’s starting to feel more comfortable.”

The Queens attack continues to grow more dynamic by the match, with Emma Holmes, Jade Van Dyke and Ali Greenshields all with at least four kills.

“They have all the physical tools. Now it’s getting the brain and the emotional pieces invested in it. Keep on rolling,” Wandler added.

”It’s very tough when you’re always thinking about two and three plays behind you, we did a lot of that in the first half. It’s been a learning process these last eight matches.”

The RDC Kings got all they could handle from the Olds College Broncos, needing five sets (25-19, 25-11, 21-25, 18-25, 15-11) to pull out a victory over their highway 2 rival.

Sunday, RDC collected their ninth straight match win in four sets ( 25-16, 25-23, 20-25, 18) and sit tied for second in the ACAC South division standings with SAIT.

Regan Fathers led the way with 13 kills, while his younger brother Jayden, chipped in 10 kills. Red Deer Product also contributed 10 kills in the win Sunday.

Saturday, RDC played strong and opened up a two-set advantage, but stumbled through the middle part of the match before closing it out in the fifth.

“You could tell from the get-go that (Olds) was a pretty motivated bunch. They’re well coached, Ryan (Marsden) is going to come in and make a difference for both the men’s and women’s program,” said Kings head coach Aaron Schulha.

“He’s got some athletes on the men’s team and that’s Ryan’s mentality, they are not going to go away. That third set, we had our chances and then kinda went to sleep. In the fourth, they rolled us over and in the fifth, it was nice to see us come back a little bit… it’s nice to get a win, they gave us all we could handle.”

Rookie outside hitter J.J. Graham was the Kings player of the match, with 14 kills, 11 digs and three service aces. Fathers, the Kings fifth-year go-to hitter was relatively quiet in the win, with just 10 kills on 40 attempts.

“Regan didn’t look himself, so that connect with Tom (Wass) and Regan wasn’t there, the numbers speak for themselves on that front. Regan looked a little sore… hopefully, it’s nothing serious,” Schulha added.

Thundersky Walkingbear was huge for Olds, with nine kills, five service aces and three stuff blocks.

Email sports tips to Byron Hackett

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RDC Queens third-year outside hitter Erin Neufeldt drives a ball past Janeen Pellatt and Avery Gammel of the Olds College Broncos on Saturday at the Gary. W Harris Canada Games Centre. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)

RDC Kings first-year middle Jace Martin hits a ball past two Olds College Broncos blockers in Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference play at the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre Saturday night. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)

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