The RDC Kings were volleyball ACAC Champions. (Photo courtesy of Lethbridge College Kodiaks Athletics)

RDC Kings volleyball advance to national semifinal

The RDC Kings took a step toward another berth in the national finals Thursday.

At the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association Men’s Volleyball Championships in Fredricton, RDC picked up a three-set sweep (25-13, 27-25, 25-16) over the host St. Thomas Tommies in the quarterfinals. Last year, the Kings lost the national final to the Fanshawe Falcons on home court at the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre.

“We had stretches of decent play, it really wasn’t the level that we’ve been playing at for quite some time now. I think the expectation is that we were going to have some energy from the crowd and all that, but that’s an easy excuse,” said Kings head coach Aaron Schulha.

“Our level of practice is quite a bit higher than what we showed. They had a couple of guys that were playing at a good level. Our passing was as poor as I’ve seen it in quite some time. It hasn’t looked that way in practice on the competition court. To me, that’s just a focus thing. We know whoever who we end up playing… we’ll have to be clicking on all cylinders”

Rookie Carter Hills and veteran Ben Holmes were a dynamic duo for the Kings in the victory Thursday, each burying 10 kills. Hills also added three aces and a stuff block. Australian Patrik Toze also had a strong game, with eight kills, one service ace and one block.

Kings third-year setter Tom Wass contributed 27 assists and 12 digs.

Schulha said he talked to the group post-match about what they need to do to elevate their play for Friday’s semi and a lot of it is eliminating little mistakes that snuck into play on Thursday.

“We’re really focused on keeping our level of play really high, regardless of what’s happening on the other side of the net. We just explained to the guys, if you play like that against either Capilano or Durham (Friday), the first two sets we would lose for sure,” he said.

“I thought the second set, (St. Thomas) made some pretty impressive digs at the end of the second, but it never should have got to that point. We gave up a few points here and there, that had been pretty steady. Serve receive, two or three missed serves after timeouts, which shouldn’t happen. Some coverage plays where we’re hoping for the ball to be out of bounds.”

RDC will play in the semifinal Friday at 5 p.m. and the game can be streamed at www.portal.stretchinternet.com/ccaasportsacsc/

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