Queens 3 Vikings 0
Kirsten Sorensen came out of Notre Dame High School last season as one of the top recruits at setter in the province.
But even then Queens head coach Talbot Walton made sure he didn’t put an extra pressure on the 18-year-old, splitting playing time with second-year setter Megan Skory.
“It was good to know Megan was there as we support each other, but I also enjoy stepping into pressure situations,” said Sorensen, who directed the Queens to a 25-12, 25-9, 25-12 Alberta Colleges Women’s Volleyball League victory over the Camrose Augustana Vikings at RDC Friday.
Sorensen admitted she was a bit nervous early on as she followed outstanding setter Quinn Schulzke, also a Notre Dame grad.
“It was tough for sure, especially coming in after Quinn,” said Sorensen. “She was such a great setter and tough to live up to.”
But Walton told her to just play her own game, she said.
And she’s done just that which is showing on the court.
“I’m getting to know the other players and without that connection you can’t run an offence,” she said.
The Queens, 3-0, are also looking more comfortable on defence as well.
“We’re starting to get used to the systems we’re playing,” said Sorensen. “We started from scratch and now we’re moving better and digging more balls, which makes it easier to run the offence.”
The two-time defending league champion Queens were expected to easily handle the Vikings, who are in their first year in the league after playing in the Alberta Colleges Athletic League for several years.
“In games like this you need to focus on our side and make sure to focus on the fundamentals and skills like digging the ball and serve receive, plus it was important for us to keep up our energy” said Sorensen. “And we served well, which is a key because if they can’t pass it makes it easier for us to run the offence on the free balls.”
Walton was pleased with what he saw.
“They’re in a learning phase, but they do have some good athletes and I’m glad to play them early in the season. But we did a good job of keeping our concentration. At times when you have a dominant performance you tend to look at the scoreboard and let down, I’m glad we didn’t do that and just played our game no matter what the score.”
Makenzie Quinn came in off the bench and had five kills, four aces and four digs while Brooke Sutter had seven kills, four aces and five digs and Amanda Carroll five kills and three stuff blocks in less than two sets. Tarah Truant had 14 digs. Karla Yuha had six kills and Kelsey Richard three kills and three blocks for the Vikings.
Kings 3 Vikings 0
The Kings started strong and then coasted a bit before pulling out a 25-13, 25-22, 25-19 victory over the Vikings.
“We played well the first set, but the second they bailed us out,” said Kings head coach Aaron Schulha. “We made too many errors in serving and not looking after our passing, but they made some key errors late in the set in serving and at the net. In the third set we had the big lead and let them come back some. It should never have been only a six-point win.”
Still Schulha saw some positives.
“We put pressure on the guys to be better on the passing end of things and I thought our passing was OK. We had a couple of lulls, but that’s to be expected. As well the guys are lighter on the court, even when the match is close. It’s better than it was a couple of weeks ago.
“And some guys served well, but it’s still not where it needs to be.
“Overall we made some improvements, but not as rapidly as we’d like them to be.”
Taylor Hunt led the Kings with 12 kills, three aces and two digs while Darcee Froese had eight kills, two aces and five digs and Andy Inglis five kills and five aces. Jacob Von der Ohe and Kent Sangregret had four kills each for Camrose.
The teams meet again tonight in Camrose.