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RDP Queens volleyball ready to host national championship

Ready to compete for gold
The RDP Queens volleyball team will host the CCAA National championship at the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre beginning on Wednesday. (Photo by Ian Gustafson/ Advocate staff)

The Red Deer Polytechnic Queens volleyball team is chomping at the bit to compete against the top programs in Canada.

On Wednesday they’ll play their first game of the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) Women’s Volleyball National Championship as the host team.

From March 6-9, the top women’s college programs will compete for a national championship and the Queens couldn’t be more ready.

“I’m really excited,” said third-year setter Danielle Wiens. “I got to go to nationals in PEI two years ago and it was honestly one of the best experiences ever. I’m excited we get to host it this year.”

This year, the Queens finished second in the ACAC south division standings with a 13-6 record. They lost the bronze medal match to the number one-ranked Lakeland Rustlers, a team they may have to face again at nationals.

Wiens explained they’re a team that adapts to adversity well.

“We’re in our home gym and we’ll have our crowd, alumni, and club teams coming to support us. I think we’ll respond well in our opening game,” she said.

“We’ve been talking about [our bronze medal loss] and we all agree we just have to maintain focus and stay steady throughout the weekend. We started high with a big win and it just started to progressively drop after that.”

Fourth-year outside hitter Jaiden Ferguson said since it’s her last year playing for the Queens, it means a lot to be able to host nationals so she can play in front of her loved ones.

“It is my last year playing in my hometown so I’ll get to have all my friends and family come watch my last career games on my home court. That’s pretty awesome,” she said.

“I’m pretty excited to just put everything out on the court. I was pretty happy with my performance at provincials and I want to continue it throughout nationals.”

They’ll have a tough task as they take on the Humber College Hawks in their first game at 6 p.m. on Wednesday at the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre.

The Hawks, who are based in Ontario, are ranked third in the country according to the CCAA’s most recent rankings posted on Feb. 20.

“They won their provincials in the Ontario league… I’ve heard they’re really good but we also beat them back in PEI so I’m going to stick with that,” Wiens added.

If the Queens win their opening game they’ll advance to the semi-finals on Thursday night but if they lose they’ll compete in the bronze quarter-finals earlier in the afternoon on Thursday.

“We’re a very offensive team. We can hit balls pretty hard on offence and the defensive perspective we have a great libero in [Francesca Sandini]. Our block has also been pretty effective lately.

“We’ll be ready.”

Ian Gustafson

About the Author: Ian Gustafson

Ian began his journalism career as a reporter in Prince Albert, Sask. for the last three years, and was born and raised in Saskatchewan.
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