Queens 3 Broncos 1
The Red Deer College Queens (15-1; 46-7) reaffirmed their status as Central Alberta’s volleyball power on the weekend with a dominating 3-1 (25-22, 26-28, 25-13, 25-18) victory over the Olds College Broncos (10-6; 35-20).
Despite a difficult opening two sets, once the Queens found their game in the third set they showed why they are the No. 1 ranked Canadian Colleges Athletic Association women’s volleyball team.
“The good thing about playing them is that they are very similar too us, their style is very good to what we need to play against. When they can do it at a high level it’s obviously a very good level,” said RDC head coach Talbot Walton. “For us to be able to match up against something that is somewhat similar and still execute at a high level is somewhat critical. Anytime we can take two wins out of a bit of a rivalry between the two of us, that says a lot.”
RDC’s passing and serving struggled for the first two sets allowing the Broncos to hang around and keep the Queens off balance, and it showed in their stats.
Queens power Miranda Dawe had just one kill through those two sets, but once the passing came together, setter Bronwyn Hawkes was able to put her in better position and she finished with a game-high 15 kills, along with five digs, an assist and a block.
Walton is hoping he sees Dawe play at the level of the final two sets more often.
“We need that type of leadership out of that P1 power-hitter spot,” said Walton. “She just got comfortable and wasn’t trying to come in and force it, when she approaches big and strong cross court, she’s real hard to block because she’s such a long, big jumper and it’s real hard to set up a block in front of that.”
Hawkes finished with 47 assists two aces and nine digs while middle Alex Donaghy had 13 kills, an ace and five digs. Kelsey Tymkow had 11 kills while Megan Schmidt had 10 while RDC libero Maddi Quinn had a match-high 29 digs.
But the Broncos did hang with the Queens for most of the match, showing their potential to be a contender in the not too distant future.
Of their six losses this season, four of them have been to RDC.
Naomi Jardine and Cheyenne Heildelbrecht had 11 kills each to lead Olds, while setter Jamie Craig had 34 assists and libero Jasmine Hemsing had 18 digs.
Kings 3 Broncos 0
In three sets the RDC Kings showed how dominant they can be but how far they need to go when it comes to focus and drive.
The Kings beat the Olds College Broncos 3-0 (25-22, 25-7, 25-20) on Saturday in Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference men’s volleyball action, but they found a way to make life more difficult than it needed to be.
Heading into the weekend, the Broncos had won just one set all season, but they very nearly took two off the heavily favoured Kings. They pushed RDC to the limit in the opening set and then hung around in the fourth set before eventually succumbing to their Central Alberta rivals. Those two sets sandwiched a set where the Kings were able to show how much power they now have at their disposal after a successful Christmas break where they added two big weapons — Nic Dubinsky and Regan Fathers.
“It’s nice that we can turn it on when it matters, but we’ve got to close the gap between our high end and our low end because it’s really distinguishable at the moment,” said RDC Kings head coach Aaron Schulha.
It was also a match where the Kings were able to go deep into their bench and spread the court time around.
Fathers finished with a match-high eight kills while Nic Dubinsky and Anthony Finnigan both had seven and setter Luke Brisbane had 32 assists.
Getting Finnigan back into the fold could also be huge for the Kings as the third year power has been out of the line up for much of the season battling leg injuries. He’s not quite 100 per cent yet, but he could still be a major asset as they head down the season’s final stretch.
“He’s an energy guy, a guy that keeps it real light on the floor and a guy that gives us some much needed depth on the left side,” said Schulha. “As an attacking piece, he’s real explosive that way, but with all the other pieces he’s a pretty integral part to what we’re doing.”
Jonny Smook, Dylan White and Zack Deacon all had seven kills for Olds while setter Markus Hirsch had 20 assists.
RDC has a home-and-home series with the Ambrose University Lions next week, playing at RDC on Friday and in Calgary on Saturday.