The Red Deer Polytechnic Queens used the energy of their home crowd to win the bronze medal at the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference 2023 Women’s Volleyball Championship.
It certainly didn’t come easy.
The Queens needed all five sets and some contributions from the bench, to defeat the Lethbridge College Kodiaks 3-2 Saturday afternoon at the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre.
In her final game in a Queens’ uniform middle hitter, Sydney Rix won player of the game after a 20-kill performance.
Rix added a bronze medal to her resume after winning ACAC gold and silver in her five years in the program.
“It feels great,” she said. “I’ve got the trifecta of medals now at the ACAC Championships so I can’t complain.”
After the Queens lost the opening set 25-23, Red Deer bounced back with two straight wins 25-22 and 25-16.
Queens Jaiden Ferguson also finished with 25 kills. Meanwhile, Danielle Weins and Maria Brouwer led the way with 24 and 31 assists.
Red Deer also had contributions from some of the younger players including rookie Lauren Junck whose serving abilities got some much-needed points for the Queens.
“They did an outstanding job. We worked all year towards getting them to a spot where they’re comfortable enough to get on the court and do unreal things,” she added. “I thought everybody who went on did exactly what they’re supposed to do.”
The @RDPQueensVB are bronze medal champions after defeating the Lethbridge Kodiaks in the fifth set
It was quite an exciting game with plenty of back and forth momentum changes pic.twitter.com/v3esGdOfcA
— Ian Gustafson (@IanGustafson12) February 26, 2023
Head coach Talbot Walton said he felt ecstatic after his team won the bronze.
“At the start of the year, we didn’t have a single returning player playing in their original position. And for the amount of work we had to put in this year over the course from September to now I’ve been very happy with the progress,” he said.
“Lucky for us they did a good job of learning and they trusted the systems we put in place and we stuck with it.”
Earlier this week the Queens defeated the Keyano College Huskies to move on to the semi-finals but with a chance to move on to the gold medal game they lost to the Lakeland Rustlers.
Talbot said moving on to the semi-finals was a huge step for his group to get to that level.
“To rebound after [the semi-final loss] and find that Queens culture that’s been installed by hundreds of women before this group,” Talbot said.
“It was almost a bit of an expectation that we’re going to find a way to win and I think that group showed up today. They just found ways to make plays and do some really good things at the right time.”