The RDC Queens managed some late-match heroics against the SAIT Trojans.
Trailing 14-13 in the fifth set, the Queens came back to win 17-15 and take the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference women’s volleyball match in five sets (25-22, 24-26, 27-25, 20-25, 17-15).
It was a see-saw battle all match long as both teams showed glimpses of their full potential but it was the Queens who found a little extra magic at the end.
“Started off in the first set, it was pretty choppy. We called our first time out and said this is the type of match it is,” said Queens coach Chris Wandler.
“We need to possess the ball and control our side. I thought we did that going into set two. We just played at a consistent level and I don’t think we doubted our ability to bring ourselves into the match.”
With the win, the Queens improved to 13-8 on the year and at 26 points, also clinched a playoff spot.
“We’ve been playing that style of gritty volleyball for a while now. Compared to where we were in November, we were a wee bit nervous. We’re easing into that style and not worried about the opponent. We’re very calm, cool and collected,” Wandler said.
Queens outside hitter Erin Neufeldt, playing against her former team, shone in the match Friday and was player of the game for RDC. She finished with 18 kills and seven digs and is starting to realize her capabilities as a Queen.
“She’s continuing to grow. Coming into the program, she never saw a lot of court time at SAIT. She was behind a couple really good power hitters and passing wasn’t her forte coming in,” Wandler noted.
“She’s a physical kid who can hit the ball a ton. The passing is why she’s on the court. She’s earned her way and she’s worked really hard at that. Eighteen kills against her old team, that’s gotta be pretty gratifying.”
The night was also special for Queens outside hitter Britt Davis, who is graduating and will attend University of Regina next year to play and continue her studies. Wandler said Davis has been a strong contributor to the Queens since the day she arrived.
“Her best interest is always with others and her teammates. She’s a very valuable piece that way,” Wandler said.
“She’s doing a phenomenal job. She does whatever the team needs.”
Davis, who had 15 kills in her final home match at RDC added that she will no doubt miss being a Queen and said her teammates helped make the experience memorable.
“My last three years, it’s my family now. It’s sad to leave this place. I’m excited to go play in Regina and continue my journey,” she said.
“Meeting Jade (Van Dyke) and McKenna (Olson) and winning bronze at provincials two years in a row was a huge memory.”