Kodiaks 3 Kings 2
There was a time when the RDC Kings didn’t need to be at their best to handle the Lethbridge College Kodiaks.
That’s no longer the case.
The Kodiaks are talented and very athletic, something the Kings had problems with down the stretch as they dropped a 25-12, 24-26, 25-18, 20-25, 9-15 decision in their opening Alberta Colleges Men’s Volleyball League match of the season.
Meanwhile, the RDC Queens opened with a 25-18, 25-19, 25-20 victory over the Kodiaks.
“They didn’t play well the first set and that score wasn’t the true way the match went,” said Kings head coach Aaron Schulha. “And the last set was more like 15-5. They played very, very well the last couple of sets and we didn’t fight back enough.”
The Kings had problems with their serve receive, which didn’t allow setter Nick Bell a chance to run a consistent offence.
“Our serve receive was very good in the preseason, but tonight our veteran passes didn’t want to pass the ball and our veteran hitters didn’t want to hit the ball. It made it tough for Nick to do his job,” added Schulha.
“We had a game plan coming in and he did a good job the first set, which was easy when the other team wasn’t making their serves.”
The Kings also had problems handling the Kodiaks two fourth-year power hitters as Jeff Marthaller and Glen Lengyel both finished with 15 kills.
“We did have trouble stopping them,” agreed Schulha. “They were hitting into their tendencies, which was something we scouted. But our defence wasn’t committing to digging the ball. We were getting some touches, but the guys didn’t want to play defence. When that’s happening and when you’re not passing, you won’t win many matches.
“But it came down to the fact they executed and we didn’t.”
Taylor Hunt led the Kings with 17 kills while Sean Tuff had nine kills, two aces and two stuff blocks.
Queens 3 Kodiaks 0
The two-time defending league champion Queens weren’t at their best, but head coach Talbot Walton was pleased.
“We were able to do some of the things we’ve been working on in practice, which are against our norm,” he said. “Things like dig location and pass location are different from what we used in the past. Today we were able to do it and on a couple of occasions were able to dig in and generate a good swing out of it. It’s nice to see that we’re using the things we’ve been working on and even in a few tight situations we kept our confidence in the new things.
“ In a lot of cases when it gets tight it would be easy to revert back to the old habits. But we stayed with the new stuff and the girls should have confidence in it now.”
One of the negatives was poor serving as they missed six serves in the first set and four in the second.
“We’ve changed our serving tendencies a bit as we’re looking for the ball to carry more toward the back line,” said Walton. “Tonight we had a few balls just out, but we want the ball to be close rather than just serving it into the middle.”
Jaclyn Neufeld led the Queens with nine kills while Mandy Carroll had seven kills and two blocks. Tarah Truant had eight digs. Alison Linton and Rayna Tresoor finished with seven kills each for Lethbridge.
The teams meet again today at RDC with the women getting underway at 1 p.m. with the men to follow.