RDC Kings fifth year hitter Regan Fathers blasts a ball past a pair of VIU Mariners blockers at the RDC Christmas volleyball tournament at the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre on Friday night. The tournament goes on throughout the weekend at RDC. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)

RDC Kings fifth year hitter Regan Fathers blasts a ball past a pair of VIU Mariners blockers at the RDC Christmas volleyball tournament at the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre on Friday night. The tournament goes on throughout the weekend at RDC. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)

RDC Kings rally for win over VIU Mariners at Christmas tourney

The RDC Kings got more than they bargained for to open the first annual Christmas volleyball tournament.

In a showcase of Canada’s top college volleyball talent, RDC hosted the VIU Mariners Friday to tip off the weekend festivities and was pushed to five sets in the opening match.

RDC eventually edged the Mariners 15-13 in the fifth set of a back-and-forth battle and won the match three sets to two (25-20, 27-29, 25-16, 23-25, 15-13). It was the first time in four tries this season the Kings won a five-set match.

Heading into the Christmas break, the Kings were ranked eighth in the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association standings, while VIU, who play in the Pacific West, were unranked.

Still, the scrappy Mariners squad gave RDC all they could handle in the exhibition match.

“A little bit of what we’d expect. A lot of these matches are going to be up and down. Just based on whose looking after the first contact,” said RDC Kings coach Aaron Schulha.

“If we’re serving well and passing well, it’s a pretty easy game. When we were not looking after it from the service line– I thought at times some of the momentum swings had to do with effort plays.”

The home side won the first set handily 25-20, then took a 6-0 advantage in the second set but some inconsistent play crept in from there. Schulha noted that after a long Christmas break for his team and just a few practices, a little bit of rust is expected.

“I thought the first set we out-dug them and played better defence and coverage,” he said.

“Then the second set it was reverse. They were working their tails off. We were letting a few balls hit the floor without going after it. I think between the effort and the first contact pieces, a lot of that is going to determine how these matches go.”

He also added serving was a bit of a problem for his team and it’s something he hopes they can fix as the calendar turns to 2019.

RDC’s toughest test of the weekend comes Saturday when they square off against the Fanshawe College Falcons. Fanshawe is the top-ranked team in the country and has won all 27 sets they have played this season.

Schulha noted welcoming the top competition to the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre is the whole point of the newly established tournament. It will also prepare his group for what to expect when they host 2019 CCAA Men’s National Championships February.

“It should be five of the top teams in the country (this weekend),” Schulha said.

“A lot of these teams we’re going to see again and have to be that much better because they will as well. Just what the level is from a national perspective. For a lot of us, we get dialed in and focused on the (Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference) because it’s so hard to get out of our conference.

“Our goal is always to win the conference, so we want to put ourselves in good position to do that. It’s also important for these guys to understand what the level is beyond our conference and where we have to be.”

RDC also plays Dec. 30 against les Titans de Limoilou at 2 p.m.



Email sports tips to Byron Hackett

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Alberta Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said on Thursday that the province reported the first case of the B.1.617 variant. (Photography by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Red Deer nears record number of active COVID-19 cases

Alberta reports 1,857 new cases of COVID-19, 1,326 new variants

After considerable consultation with student representatives, Red Deer College has
made the difficult decision to increase tuition and fees for the 2021/2022 academic year. (Contributed photo)
Red Deer College to celebrate grads virtually in June

Graduates of Red Deer College won’t get an in-person graduation ceremony this… Continue reading

The Bowden Institution medium security facility is dealing with a COVID-19 outbreak. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Central Alberta Addiction centre faces COVID-19 outbreak

18 test positive at iRecover Treatment Centre in Tees

A cleaner goes into Red Deer’s Canada Post sorting facility near 67th Street and Taylor Drive on Thursday morning. Photo by PAUL COWLEY/Advocate staff
Employee tests positive for COVID-19 at Red Deer Canada Post mail sorting facility

Canada Post has confirmed an employee at the Red Deer mail processing… Continue reading

Two people (not in photo) are facing charges following a Sept. 20, 2020 anti-racism rally in Red Deer.
Advocate file photo
Woman charged in Red Deer anti-racism rally going to trial

Calgary woman facing a charge of assault with a weapon in connection with Sept. 20, 2020 rally

Curtis Labelle (second from left) and his band are planning a cross-Canada tour in 2022. Meanwhile, Labelle is continuing to host his weekly livestreamed talk show, Chattin 88. (Contributed photo).
Red Deer rock pianist takes on a talk show role

Curtis Labelle’s Chattin 88 gets views from around the globe

FILE - In this Friday, April 22, 2016 file photo, Argentine writer Mariana Enriquez poses for a portrait in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Books from Europe and Latin America that blur the boundaries of fiction, history and memoir are the final six contenders for the 50,000 pound ($69,000) International Booker Prize. On the shortlist is imaginative short-story collection “The Dangers of Smoking in Bed” by Argentina’s Mariana Enriquez. (AP Photo/Leandro Teysseire, File)
Inventive books make final 6 for International Booker Prize

Inventive books make final 6 for International Booker Prize

FILE - Japanese actress Miyoshi Umeki, accepts her Academy Award for best supporting actress for her role in "Sayonara," as presenter Anthony Quinn looks, during the Academy Awards ceremony in Los Angeles on March 26, 1958. Umeki was the first person from Japan to win an Oscar. (AP Photo)
Oscar slate holds “firsts” for Asian actors, filmmakers

Oscar slate holds “firsts” for Asian actors, filmmakers

SickKids surgeons give baby another shot at life after removing nearly 3-pound tumour

SickKids surgeons give baby another shot at life after removing nearly 3-pound tumour

A COVID-19 patient wearing oxygen mask waits inside a vehicle to be attended and admitted in a dedicated COVID-19 government hospital in Ahmedabad, India, Thursday, April 22, 2021. India reported a global record of more than 314,000 new infections Thursday as a grim coronavirus surge in the world's second-most populous country sends more and more sick people into a fragile health care system critically short of hospital beds and oxygen. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP /Ajit Solanki
COVID-19 variant of interest vs. variant of concern: What does it mean?

COVID-19 variant of interest vs. variant of concern: What does it mean?

File photo
Expert says Saskatchewan should consider more targeted vaccine plan as variants surge

SASKATOON — Nazeem Muhajarine says he feels a sense of relief after… Continue reading

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and United States President Joe Biden smile as they say farewell following a virtual joint statement in Ottawa, Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau pledges to cut emissions by 40% to 45% by 2030, short of U.S. goal

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is promising Canada will slash its… Continue reading

Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland holds a press conference in Ottawa on Tuesday, April 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
More supply needed to ease housing price crunch, but always more to do, Freeland says

OTTAWA — Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland says the country needs a boost… Continue reading

Smoke pours from the stacks at the Portlands Energy Centre in Toronto on Thursday January 15, 2009. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Risk experts say climate change to take big chunk of Canadian economy by 2050

One of the world’s largest insurers says Canadians will be more than… Continue reading

Most Read