RDC Queens second-year outside hitter Emma Holmes was player of the game with 18 kills in a four-set victory over the SAIT Trojans on Friday at the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)

Queens volleyball earn ninth straight win

Finish first half Saturday at home against SAIT Trojans at 6 p.m.

Queens 3 Trojans 1 (Queens win best-of-five match)

The RDC Queens have been on an absolute tear of late and that continued Friday at the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre.

RDC won its ninth straight match and haven’t lost a match since the opening weekend of the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference season.

The Queens, powered by Red Deer product Emma Holmes’ 17 kills, rolled over the SAIT Trojans in four sets (25-18, 23-25, 25-23, 25-10).

After a relatively smooth opening set, the Queens ran into a little bit of trouble in the middle of the match but managed to steady the ship in the third and cruised in the fourth.

“We started off really well then I really don’t know what happened. It seems to be a little bit of a pattern the last two or three weekends now. Out of four sets, we play two and a half really well. Just that one and half where we seem to let down… I really don’t know what it is,” said Queens coach Talbot Walton.

Holmes, a second-year outside hitter had a match-high 17 kills on 23 attempts seemed to have a real connection with first-year setter Emma Letkeman, who had 31 assists. Holmes was player of the game for the Queens.

“The Emma, Emma connection is a pretty good connection. Emma Letkeman loves to set Emma Holmes and she puts it in a good spot and Emma Holmes just scores like crazy. I don’t mind that one bit,” added Walton.

Veteran fourth-year Jade Van Dyke also entered the game midway through the third set and that helped to calm the Queens down. Alongside fourth-year middle McKenna Olson, the veterans changed the flow of the match.

“I think Mo (McKenna Olson) came in and played really solid for us, got a couple of good touches blocking right off the bat,” Walton said.

“Jade came in too, and I thought she did a really good job of stabilizing our backcourt play. She’s very calm and has good energy. That’s just what the group needed at that time.”

With the first half of the season set to end Saturday in Calgary, Walton said he’s proud of the way the group has gelled but still expects them to take another step forward with more consistency in the second half.

“From where we started, with all the introductions of new ideas and new coaching staff, our improvement has been steady for sure. Our league started off fairly heavy with difficult teams right off the bat. Probably wasn’t the most ideal situation,” Walton said.

“We got through that and recovered after the first weekend at Briercrest and realized we’ve got to put in some good solid work. We’re constantly pushing that envelope to get a little bit better and develop those new ideas and strategies.”

Email sports tips to Byron Hackett

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RDC Queens fourth-year left side hitter Erin Neufeldt pushes a shot past a pair of SAIT Trojans blockers Friday at the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)

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