RDC Queens volleyball knock off undefeated Briercrest College Clippers, win 19th in a row

Queens 3 Clippers 1

Statistically, the RDC Queens knew they were dead even heading into Friday’s match with the undefeated Briercrest College Clippers.

Still, the Clippers were tops in Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference with a 20-0 record and had only lost six sets all year.

RDC’s coaching staff took a deep dive into the numbers and found the Queens, who had won 18 matches in a row, were not that different from Breircrest.

“We looked at stats pages and the numbers between the two teams were almost identical and whichever team was able to play better or put more pressure on the other, I think that’s what we did,” said Queens coach Talbot Walton.

It was indeed as close as the numbers looked at the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre Friday, as the Queens handed the Clippers their first match loss of the season in four sets (23-25, 25-22, 25-21, 25-22).

“They had to react to us. We had opportunities to really put pressure on them serving and with our offense. Both those situations they had to find solutions and I think we adapted better to them then they adapted to us,” Walton said.

The Queens 19th straight match win was big for a number of reasons, but especially large considering their only defeats this season, came to the Clippers on the opening weekend of the ACAC season on Oct. 18 and 19.

“We went to Briercrest, probably the best-case scenario was to get out with a split. I didn’t think we were ready for anything like that. We went in there and we got our lumps pretty hard. I knew that group they have is fairly mature and had played together for a long time and we were young and new,” Walton said.

“I have to thank the effort from our team and people like Kaylee (Domoney) who just have the heart and soul and embody everything I was talking about and trying to teach… when you get a win like (Friday), it’s waking up a beast.”

There were some definitely dicey moments in the highly-entertaining match for both sides Friday. The Queens missed five serves in the opening set loss, then rallied with three straight-set wins. In the fourth and deciding set, the Queens trailed 12-4 and a setter swap to Kelly Heinemann settled the troops and got the Queens back tied at 16.

“We got far behind there and I’m usually pretty slow at making those adjustments because I like to see if my athletes can work out of it and develop some grit. Felt we needed the little change and we know we’re going to get solid out of Kelly,” Walton said.

“Jade (Van Dyke) came in and she served well and made a couple of really good digs. Vanessa (Loos) came in right at the end and served well and made a few spectacular plays. We need those other people to do a certain role. They filled that role 100 per cent.”

Tess Pearman was dominant offensively again, finishing with a match-high 18 kills. Emma Holmes and Erin Neufeldt each had 12 kills and setter Emma Letkeman chipped in 30 assists.

Rookie Vanessa Loos also was clutch with a run from the service line to close out the victory.

Fourth-year libero Kaylee Domoney had 11 digs and was once again a steadying force for the Queens and was also player of the game for her efforts.

The Queens and Clippers will complete the weekend set Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m. The Queens will play the final two regular-season games against the Medicine Hat College Rattlers on Feb. 21 and 22.

The RDC Kings also won Friday and are tied for first in the ACAC south after the victory. They needed five sets (25-10, 20-25, 25-21, 28-30, 15-4) to knock off the Clippers. They will play a rematch Saturday at 3 p.m.

Red Deer College Kings and Queens

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