The one thing the RDC Queens need to find before the Alberta Colleges Women’s Volleyball League championships is a little more consistency.
They showed that this weekend as they split a doubleheader against the Ambrose University Lions, losing 3-0 on the road Friday and winning 25-10, 20-25, 25-13, 25-15 at RDC Saturday.
“It was weird to watch on Friday as every set we started strong then partway through we had an accumulation of errors which we couldn’t shake,” explained Queens head coach Talbot Walton. “Tonight the girls played much better and came away with three very dominating sets. The Queens were much better trusting their training, which allowed them to find a higher compete factor.”
Outside of the second set, when they ran into some serving and serve receive problems, the Queens dominated, getting a strong performance from a number of players.
Veteran power hitter Miranda Dawe continued her strong play, both on offence and defence. She finished with 12 kills, an ace, a block and 17 digs. Middle Whitney Zylstra was the player of the match with nine kills, two aces, three blocks and six digs.
“When Whitney said she was coming here (from Briercrest) this year we were excited as we knew we were getting a dynamic player who can control play at the net with her speed,” said Walton. “We need to find ways to get her involved offensively. When we do that her blocking picks up.
“Overall we have fast, quick middles and as a group we need to make an effort to get the ball to the setter so she can get it to our hitters so we can take advantage of our speed.”
Kelsey Tymkow added 10 kills, two aces, a block and five digs for RDC while McKenna Barthel had three kills, an ace, a block and 13 digs and libero Olivia Barnes 10 digs. Ashtyn McKenzie led Ambrose with 12 kills, four aces and 12 digs
The win left the Queens with an 11-7 record and in a tie for third place in the south with the Olds Broncos. RDC faces Lethbridge at home Friday and Saturday, then clash with Olds and SAIT to end the regular schedule.
RDC hosts the women’s provincials, Feb. 25-27.
Kings 3 Lions 0
Outside of a slight letdown in the second set the Kings rolled to a 25-13, 26-24, 25-20 victory over the Lions to sweep the weekend twin bill.
The Kings actually trailed 24-21 in the second set before charging from behind.
“After putting the boots to them in the first set we let down,” said Kings head coach Aaron Schulha. “They have a team with a lot of pride and are scrappy and we got caught off guard.
“As a coach that’s frustrating. We talk about consistency and focusing on playing at a high level and not playing down to the opposition. We’re trying to ramp up for the championships and it shouldn’t matter who is on the other side of the net, but we’re not there yet.”
The Kings didn’t dominate at the net like they did in a 3-0 win Friday.
“We had a lot of touches, but we didn’t turn the ball around. We left some blocks on the floor. It’s a bit irritating in that we have to make sure we follow the game play.”
Schulha was pleased with what he saw from Regan Fathers, especially when he went back to serve late in the second set.
“He has put in a new jump serve and he used his float serve late in that second set which was part of the reason for our comeback. He missed a few serves in the third set, but overall it looks better.”
Riley Friesen had another strong performance with 10 kills, three aces and two digs while setter Luke Brisbane was the player of the match with three kills, three blocks, three digs and 26 assists. Fathers had six kills, four aces and four digs and middle Adam Turlejski added six kills and two digs. Graham Schmuland had seven kills and four digs and Graeson Berger seven kills for Ambrose.
The Kings were playing without regular right side Nic Dubinsky (shoulder) and new left side Matt Lofgren (family matter). Both are expected back next weekend against Lethbridge, which is the lone team to beat RDC this season.
The No. 1 ranked Kings are 17-1 while Ambrose slipped to 8-12.