Queens 3 Rattlers 1
It was a day of celebration for the RDC Queens, and the fact they opened their Alberta Colleges Women’s Volleyball League regular season with a 26-24, 20-25, 25-23, 25-22 victory over the Medicine Hat Rattlers wasn’t even the emotional part of the evening.
The emotional part of the evening came following the match when they raised the Canadian Colleges Athletic Association championship banner from last season.
The two-time defending national champions didn’t look as sharp as they will need to be to return to the Canadians, but that was to be expected as they have only two starters back from last season.
“We do have a big learning curve,” said Queens head coach Talbot Walton. “We also injected in a new offence after losing (setter) Bronwyn (Hawkes). Ashley (Fehr) has come a long way and it was good to see her play as well as she did.”
Walton did admit with the raising of the banner, and the opening of the season at home there were a number of things that could create nervousness and distractions.
“But we kept our game consistent and managed to make the right plays at the right time. Also I think realistically we’re at where we expect to be at this time and where we are practicing. Not to knock on what we are doing, but the reality of the situation is we have work to do.
“We were also playing a good team with good power hitters. It’s a difficult process to be defensively sharp, that takes time, but we tried to be in an offensive groove and when we passed the ball I thought we did pretty well.”
The Queens seemed to get into a better groove as the match wore on, although they still missed too many serves. They missed 15 serves overall, including five in the second set and four in the fourth.
“That are things we can still work on and that’s why we need the competition and playing a good team like Medicine Hat only benefits us.”
Power hitters Kelsey Tymkow and Miranda Dawe are the only two starters back from last season. Tymkow led the Queens with 13 kills, three aces, a block and 11 digs. Dawe finished with six kills while first-year middle Taylor Wickson had 10 kills and two aces. Fehr had 22 assists, two aces and two blocks.
Sara Burris led the Rattlers with 16 kills and two aces.
Kings 3 Rattlers 0
The Kings played a solid match, dumping the Rattlers 25-20, 25-21, 25-15.
“We tightened things up a bit in terms of our passing from the last time we played,” said Kings head coach Aaron Schulha.
“They have excellent outside hitters, who are very athletic and can go off at any time. We talked about what we had to do against them and I thought we were more stable than we have been.
“Having Kashtin (De Souza) back (from injury) helped stabilize our defence. He is very comfortable on the serve receive and defensive end.”
The Kings also did a solid job of getting their hands on a number of balls and finished with 11 blocks.
“We’ve been concentrating on our blocking and defence at practice and today it was a strength, along with our serving,” said Schulha.
“We finished with nine aces and had only nine (service) errors. It’s been a long time since we’ve been even in that area.
“The thing is when we serve well the block and defence looks smooth. That’s been a focal point for us of late.”
Regan Fathers was the RDC player of the match, finishing with seven kills, three aces and four blocks. Middle Ty Moorman had four kills and four blocks and Nic Dubinsky five kills and a block. Setter Luke Brisbane had 17 assists, two aces and a block.
Isak Helland-Hansen led the Rattlers with 10 kills, a block and an ace.
The RDC teams face MHC again today with the women getting underway at 1 p.m., followed by the men.