There’s nothing like playing at home.
It’s where most teams feel the most comfortable and it showed for the Red Deer Polytechnic Queens’ volleyball team who swept a two-game stand against the Lethbridge College Kodiaks on Saturday at the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre.
On Friday the Queens beat the visiting Kodiaks 3-1 and on Saturday won in three straight sets 25-16, 25-23, and 25-19.
Head coach Talbot Walton said it’s been a long first half of the season for the Queens who have played six road games and only three at home so far.
“To finally get a couple of home games… these two are getting back and playing in a building you’re comfortable in so when things are going well it feels really good and when things aren’t quite going well you’re able to let it go, recover, and find your game again,” he said.
“I thought we did that really well yesterday and today. We didn’t dwell on anything that had happened we were able to move on to the next moment of the game and keep executing our style of play.”
Queens Jaiden Ferguson led the way with 16 points with Sydney Rix and Autumn Roos close behind with eight points each.
With the win, the Queens improve to 6-3 with 10 games remaining in the regular season. They are in second place in the South Division behind Ambrose University who are 10-1.
Walton said they entered the season with only one returning starter from last season, Sydney Rix who got moved to the right side of the court.
“We basically have seven bodies that are new to that position in a starting role. We’re trying to figure some things out from which players should play in certain spots in relation to our centre. Having those sorts of parameters around was really hard to predict and I knew the league was going to be strong and lots of teams were much more veteran than we were,” he said.
“I’m really happy with our end result winning all three games at home. We’re going to host provincials here at the end of the year. They’re just showing some positiveness about us playing well in our own space and we’re able to go on the road and win some games too which is always a good thing.”
Walton said their ability to earn points such as attacking, serving, and blocking has been a strong suit. He explained they have some really great defenders and some long size along the net, which they have been relying on defensively. It’s a good foundation to build on and is working to be more offensively sound.
The Queens have four new and 10 returning players but a lot of those players didn’t play much last year since they had such a strong team. Walton said when you go from the bench role to being on the floor on a regular basis it can be a big transition. Not just skill-wise but mentally as well.
“We’re getting better at that and there are some big expectations obviously in this program to do well and I think they’ve been handling it very well,” he added.
The Queens will not take a break for the Christmas season and will play their next game on the road Jan. 13 against Concordia University in Edmonton.