Red Deer College Kings volleyball start title defense with a sweep of Fanshawe

Defeat host Falcons 3-0 to start CCAA national championships

Kings 3 Falcons 0

LONDON, Ont. — The RDC Kings gave a good indication as to why they are the defending Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association men’s volleyball champions during the opening round of the championships Thursday.

The Kings had the unenviable task of facing the host Fanshawe Falcons in the quarter-finals, but didn’t let that bother them as they rolled to a 25-22, 25-21, 25-18 victory.

“It was a cool atmosphere and while we didn’t execute at the top of our game we did a good job of not allowing the fans to bother us and to take care of our side,” said Kings head coach Aaron Schulha. “The biggest downfall we had seemed to come after 20 points. We’d allow them to gain a little momentum at the end of the first two sets, but then we also didn’t let it affect us in the next set.”

The Kings middle blockers — Ty Moorman and Adam Turlejski — were key as they combined for seven of the RDC nine blocks — five by Moorman.

“Ty especially did a great job on their top hitter (James Jackson),” said Schulha. “But they ran a high offence which allowed our middles, both of whom are big and quick, to set up the block.”

The Kings also did a solid job serving, forcing the Falcons into mistakes or keeping them from running their offence.

“They used only a two-man serve receive and we did a good job of putting them in trouble,” said Schulha.

Right side Regan Fathers, who was the MVP at the provincials, continued his strong play and was named player of the game with 14 kills, five aces and seven digs.

Turlejski had seven kills and four digs, Matt Lofgren had five kills and 11 digs, Brian Grenier, who came on for Tristan Dexter after the first set, had four kills and six digs, Moorman had five kills, libero Michael Sumner had eight digs and setter Luke Brisbane had 31 assists. Jackson led the Falcons with 11 kills.

The Kings face Vancouver Island University Mariners of Nanaimo in today’s 6 p.m. (MDT) semifinal.

The Mariners downed the Mohawk Mountaineers of Hamilton 25-22, 25-21, 25-23.

“VIU has a few more weapons than Fanshawe and play a similar style to the ACAC, a quicker offence,” said Schulha. “I think we should be comfortable against them.”

The biggest surprise of the opening day came when the Medicine Hat Rattlers won the first two sets against the Camosun Chargers of Victoria 25-18, 25-6, then lost the next three 24-26, 20-25, 13-15.

Top-ranked Limoilou Titans of Quebec City opened with a 25-14, 25-14, 25-23 victory over Holland Hurricanes of Charlottetown, P.E.I.

In other news Isak Helland-Hansen of MHC was named the CCAA player of the year.

Danny Rode is a retired Advocate reporter who can be reached at drode@bprda.wpengine.com.

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