RDC Queens setter Chanelle Kayser surpasses 2,000 assist milestone

RDC Queens setter Chanelle Kayser joined elite Alberta College Athletic Conference women’s volleyball company on the weekend.

Kayser, a fifth-year from Calgary, in her second season at RDC surpassed 2,000 assists on Sunday in a match against the Ambrose University Lions, something only two other setters have ever done.

You wouldn’t know it from her demeanor though.

It was only a couple weeks ago that she even realized she was close to the milestone, and in the eyes of her coach Chris Wandler, something she’d rather not even think too much about.

“She’s not one to pump her own tires. Very modest and humble, I think she’s pretty happy but you’d never know it,” Wandler said Wednesday before practice.

Kayser prefers to refer to her teammates, which is a natural fit for a setter and someone who is averaging 8.21 assists per set this year and has 657 heading into the final weekend of the year.

She trails only three players this season in setting numbers, one of which is Lakeland College Rustlers Rae Sigurdson, who has 9.77 assists per set and 733 on the season and the only other active player over the 2,000 mark.

“I wasn’t really thinking about it. I’ve just been saying, it means I’ve been doing it a long time, it’s cool to reach the milestone,” Kayser said.

The setter position is almost always looked to as a leadership role on the court. It’s no exception with Kayser according to Wandler, even if she goes about it in a different way than some on the court.

There’s no doubt she’s been able to elevate the play of her teammates this year and they currently sit second in the ACAC South Division and are currently ranked ninth in the country.

“Great leader, great encourager. No one gets flustered around her. She’s always encouraging her teammates to be at their best and do their best. Get out of a slump if they are in one,” Wandler said.

“She’s demanding in a way that she encourages you to do your best. You don’t want to do anything less than your best when she’s on the floor with you.”

Kayser added that all the success this season has come as a product of the veterans, including fifth years’ Megan Schmidt and Miranda Dawe as well as fourth-year hitters Naomi Jardine and McKenna Barthel.

The connection of that leadership has been a major reason the team has performed above expectations this year.

“With the veterans, we have a good composure on the court,” Kayser said.

“We are able to keep a sense of calm and confidence, even when things maybe aren’t going well. We’re really comfortable giving each other feedback which is important as a setter.”

Being it’s her final year of collegiate volleyball, the fifth-year setter is also trying to make sure she goes out on her own terms. Not with a whimper but a bang, even if that comes from one of her veteran outside hitters.

“It feels a little bit different, being my last year. It’s been in the back of my mind, making the most of this. Every practice, every game. It’s your fifth year, you want to play your best and I have amazing teammates who make it easy,” Kayser said.

“You realize it’s not an infinite experience. The days are little bit numbered and you don’t want to spend them not playing your best or trying your hardest.”

RDC will take on the Medicine Hat College Rattlers Friday and Saturday at home to end the regular season.

Email sports tips to Byron Hackett

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