Queens stumble as Kings roll on

The RDC Kings are moving in the right direction as they head toward the Alberta Colleges Men’s Volleyball League playoffs.

Kings 3 Griffins 0

Griffins 3 Queens 1

The RDC Kings are moving in the right direction as they head toward the Alberta Colleges Men’s Volleyball League playoffs.

The Kings ran their Provincial Pool record to 4-0 with a 25-16, 25-13, 25-18 victory over the Grant MacEwan University Griffins before over 300 fans at RDC Saturday.

On the other hand the RDC Queens took a step backward, dropping a 25-19, 21-25, 23-25, 22-25 decision to the Griffins.

It was the first loss of the season for the Queens, who posted a 10-0 record during South Division play prior to Christmas and were 3-0 in the Provincial Pool, including a 3-0 win at Grant MacEwan Friday.

The loss wasn’t something that sat well with Queens head coach Talbot Walton.

“It’s something you wish would never happen,” he said. “It wasn’t as if they were any better than Friday, but we weren’t remotely close to being the same.”

The Queens started well, dominating the opening set and were leading 11-6 in the second when they appeared to take things for granted. On the other side the Griffins gained confidence as they started to score and they never let up, even when they did trail on occasion during the final three sets.

Statistically the Queens were on a par with the Griffins, except in one area — unforced errors.

“We committed 35 errors, which is far too many,” said Walton. “Looking at the positive statistics, like kills, blocks, aces and digs we were with them or better, so it came down to our mistakes.”

The Queens also had problems handling Griffins power hitter Whitney Matheson, who finished with 19 kills, 11 digs and three stuff blocks. The next closest was Meagan O’Neill with eight kills. Jaclyn Neufeld led RDC with 14 kills, 10 digs and two blocks while Katie Graves had 13 kills and 12 digs. Middle Danielle Newton had nine kills while libero Tarah Truant had 26 digs and setter Quinn Schulzke 14.

The Kings were never pressed as they turned in a solid defensive performance and dominated play at the net.

“It was a crisp effort with a lot of energy,” said Kings head coach Aaron Schulha. “We are going in the right direction and doing a better job of playing as a group and not as individuals. If we want to have success down the road it has to be a complete team effort.”

And the Kings got a team effort as setter Evan Whitecotton did an excellent job of spreading the ball around, getting everyone involved in the offence. Chris Wowchuk was named player of the match, finishing with nine kills and four digs while Mitch Irvine and Taylor Hunt contributed nine kills each.

“We’re getting solid blocking and our back row defence was excellent now we just need a little more consistency from a couple of guys serving,” added Schulha. “Taylor and Mitch are still not where we want them to be, but once we solidify that part of our game in the next month we’ll be that much stronger.”

The RDC squads return to action Friday when they host Mount Royal.

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