The RDC Queens have enough pride in themselves and their program not to let disappointment get them down.
Less than a day after losing their opening game of the Alberta Colleges Women’s Volleyball League championships, the Queens came back with a 25-14, 16-25, 25-22, 25-15 victory over the Keyano College Huskies in the 5/6th place semifinal Friday afternoon at RDC.
“It’s always our culture here to win … we’re a program of excellence for a reason,” said Queens head coach Talbot Walton. “It doesn’t matter if it’s the first match of the season or the last if we don’t have the character to succeed we’re not doing our athletes justice.
“At times you lose games, which sucks … it hurts, but you have to get up the next day. It’s just like a daily job where some days you’re not your best, but you still get up and go to work the next day. We’re trying to help them understand it’s just one day and you have to be better the next.”
The Queens were solid the first set, but seemed to let down the second set, at least mentally.
“I thought we had enough kills that second set, but we misfired a few times on some things and it was set over. But after that we passed the ball well enough to stick to the game plan. Set the ball to where we wanted so we could put good swings on it. “
The Queens also did a good job of keeping Niki Friesen, who is the player of the year from the North, under control.
“She is a physical kid and can do some scary things, but we did a lot of good things against her despite being a bit undersized,” said Walton.
Both RDC middle blockers — Hanna Delemont and Whitney Zylstra — are five-foot-nine. However, both played well again. Zylstra finished with 11 kills, three aces, three digs and three stuff blocks while Delemont had nine kills, two aces, three digs and two blocks.
Miranda Dawe was the player of the match with 17 kills, 15 digs and a block while Kelsey Tymkow added 11 kills, two aces and 10 digs. Setter Meagan Kuzyk had 49 assists along with two kills and seven digs.
Friesen finished with 10 kills, two aces, nine digs and three blocks.
The Queens meet the Olds Broncos in the fifth-sixth place game at 11 a.m. today.
Olds advanced with a 26-24, 33-31, 25-17 win over Lakeland College Rustlers.
Naomi Jardine led the Broncos with 23 kills and 15 digs while Jamie Craig had 39 assists. Shelby Becker had nine kills and 11 digs for Lakeland.
The top two teams during the regular season will play for gold today at 3:30 p.m.
The Briercrest Bible College Clippers, who finished first in the South, downed the Grande Prairie Wolves 27-25, 23-25, 25-19, 22-25, 15-8 in a thriller. The Kings University Eagles, who were first in the North, stopped the SAIT Trojans 25-18, 31-29, 25-17.
Samantha Zacharias had 22 kills, five aces, 20 digs and one block for BBC while setter Ashley Zacharias had 52 assists, two aces, a kill and seven digs. Kailtlyn Cordingley had 13 kills and 19 digs for the Wolves.
Keri Alcorn led the Eagles with 14 kills and 16 digs while Shantelle Jonassen had nine kills and 12 digs for SAIT.
The Wolves and Trojans meet for bronze at 1 p.m.
Kings 3 Vikings 0
The Kings advanced to the national championships by stopping the Augustana Vikings 25-20, 25-23, 25-17 in the men’s semifinals at NAIT.
The boys played well,” said Kings head coach Aaron Schulha. “The first set went smoothly and we got down 17-15 in the second before coming on and we stayed the course the rest of the way.
“Overall we made few errors after the early part of that second set and we’re starting to play at a higher level.”
The top two teams advance to the nationals, but the Kings still have one goal to reach today.
“We set three goals heading into the season,” said Schulha. “One was to win the South, which we did, two was to win the ACAC and three was to win the CCAA. So we still have some work to do.”
Setter Luke Brisbane was the RDC player of the match with 32 assists, two aces and four digs.
Nic Dubinsky had 13 kills, four digs and a block, Riley Friesen 10 kills, two aces, two digs and two blocks, Tom Lyon eight kills and four blocks and libero Michael Sumner 11 digs.
The Kings face Keyano in today’s 5:30 p.m. final. Keyano advanced with a 27-29, 25-22, 25-22, 25-23 win over Medicine Hat.
On the other side. TKU Eagles edged SAIT 3-2 and NAIT stopped Lethbridge 3-1.
Danny Rode is a retired Advocate reporter who can be reached at email@example.com. His work can also be seen at www.rdc.ab.ca/athleticsblog.