Rode

Roos adds size and skill to RDC volleyball Queens

Women’s volleyball in the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference has reached the point where size matters, especially in the middle.

Gone are the days when elite teams could get away with undersized middle blockers going up against much taller players, today some of the best athletes are over six-foot.

That’s where Autumn Roos fits in with the RDC Queens.

The Ponoka native is listed at six-foot-one with high-end athletic ability and smarts.

She also fit in nicely with RDC head coach Talbot Walton’s recruiting philosophy.

“I’ve always believed in recruiting the top Central Alberta athletes and any time we can get this quality of a person who has the skill level to play Queens volleyball we try to recruit her,” he said. “She fills both those spots and in a position where she can develop over the next year or two.”

Roos couldn’t be happier to join the Queens.

“I always wanted to go there as it’s close to home and has a good reputation. When Talbot contacted me I said yes right away … it’s great.”

Autumn got involved in volleyball in Grade 6 and while she played basketball as well, by the time she reached Grade 11 it was strictly volleyball.

She played provincially in the 2A program with St Augustine School and finished fourth in the provincials in Grade 10 and 11. This past season was lost because of the pandemic.

“That was disappointing for sure,” she said. “It took a year of development away. We practiced some but that’s all.”

Autumn also played club volleyball with the Ponoka Central Rage. Despite being a smaller program they were consistently in the middle of Division 1.

The 18-year-old didn’t play for the provincial team, although she attended the Team Alberta camp in Grade 9 and played for the zone in the Alberta Winter Games, also when she was in Grade 9. That was when Walton first saw her.

“I saw her at the Alberta Winter Games camp, which was run by Keith Hansen. She was someone we wanted to keep track of,” explained Walton. “We stayed in contact and eventually talked to her about where she wanted to play.”

Autumn is looking at getting into nursing at RDC, which will keep her around for the full 5 years.

“That’s always a bonus,” Walton added. “When you get a player out of a smaller school and club they sometimes get overlooked, but give them time and you get a high end person and player.”

Roos was not only solid in the middle for her school and club teams but one of their leaders.

“I enjoyed that,” she said. “The toughest parts were reading the play and reaching down and lifting up the team when we were down a bit.”

Autumn has spent some time over the years watching the Queens play, so she has an idea of what is ahead for her.

“I really enjoyed watching them and getting a chance to see what it takes to play at that level.

“I think the biggest thing will be reading the play when it comes to blocking as the game is so much quicker than high school.

“But there will be veteran players I can learn from.”

Walton says Autumn is a smart player who understands what it takes to improve.

“She’s smart enough to understand what the coaches are saying and run with those ideas and make it her own.”

Roos is one of five recruits added this year to what should be one of the best teams in the ACAC. Six-foot-one Abby Lowe of Olds also comes in in the middle.

Of the five recruits, only one is listed under six-foot.

The Queens, who won ACAC silver in 2020, will have two of the premier power hitters in the league in Tess Pearman and Jaiden Ferguson. They also added five-foot-11 Sylvan Lake native Anna Carlson, who played four years at Mount Royal University before switching to the nursing program at RDC.

Sydney Rix and McKenna Olson are expected back in the middle but they lost Ali Greenshields. Second-year setter Emma Letkeman, who was second in assists in the South Division in 2019-20, returns and will be backed up by last year’s recruit Danielle Wiens of Regina.

Second-year middle Kira Weddell and outstanding right-side hitter Emma Holmes may also be moving on. Weddell is looking to get into the veterinary program at the U of Calgary while Holmes is looking to join a U-Sport team.

“They may both be gone, we’re not sure right now,” said Walton, who will likely be missing himself because of a medical condition that has bothered him for the past several years.

“It looks like I may have another surgery in the next couple months,” he said. “I could be on the bench to help out in the late fall or winter session for sure,” he said.

Chris Wandler, who handled the team when Walton was away, will once again act as head coach.

Danny Rode is a retired Advocate reporter and member of the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame who can be reached at danrode@shaw.ca

RDCvolleyball

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Red Deer Rebels will have three new assistant coaches when the WHL regular season starts on Friday. Brad Flynn (left), will be on the bench alongside fellow assistant Ryan Colville (right) head coach Brent Sutter (middle). (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)
Sutter steps down as Red Deer Rebels head coach

Red Deer Rebels Owner, GM and head coach Brent Sutter has stepped… Continue reading

Premier Jason Kenney announced $200 million more money that will benefit seniors living in continuing care on Wednesday. (photography by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Alberta’s in-school rapid screening test program expanding

Alberta’s in-school rapid screening test program will expand to as many as… Continue reading

Parents and students learned Tuesday what the coming school year will look like. It's pretty much back to business as usual, said Education Minister Adriana LaGrange. School precautions include frequent cleaning, keeping students in the same groups where possible, planning the school day to allow for physical distancing and staying home when sick. (photography by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Alberta’s largest school board says no to United Conservative draft school curriculum

CALGARY — Alberta’s largest school board says it will not use the… Continue reading

Cowboy Kicks, originally scheduled for May 5, will now take place Sept. 18. (Contributed photo)
Westerner Park’s Cowboy Kicks fundraiser moved to Sept. 18

A major fundraiser for Westerner Park and the Canadian Pro Rodeo Sport… Continue reading

Red Deer Rebels forward Josh Tarzwell tries to tip a point shot past Lethbridge Hurricanes goalie Car Tetachuk in WHL action Friday night at the Centrium. (Photo by ROB WALLATOR/Red Deer Rebels)
Red Deer Rebels struggles continue, drop seventh straight to Hurricanes

Hurricanes score three power-play goals in 6-3 win

Red Deer-South MLA Jason Stephan is among those who have signed an open letter criticizing the government’s return to stricter health measures. (Advocate file photo).
Updated: Kenney tells UCP caucus COVID-19 dissent OK, breaking health rules means expulsion

15 MLAs released letter on Wednesday critical of new health restrictions

Owner of 4 Point Taekwondo Kevin Mejia holds a board as organizer and martial artist Kevin Olsen breaks it in Edmonton on Friday, April 9, 2021. One hundred martial artists from around the world, will be breaking a board for an event called "Break for a Breakthrough." The idea is for martial artists to unite and re-engage with the arts because they may have drifted away or lost enthusiasm as a result of the pandemic. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Break for a Breakthrough: Canadian hosts international martial arts demonstration

EDMONTON — Whether he’s breaking a wooden board, a clay tile, cement… Continue reading

Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip, Duke of Ediburgh, left, look on as Manitoba Beaver peaks out of his box at a July 14, 1970 ceremony in which Hudson's Bay Company observed an old tradition. The death of Prince Philip has reminded a small French village in Manitoban about how a royal visit half a century ago made the community the centre of frog racing in Canada. THE CANADIAN PRESS
Prince Philip’s frog-jumping legacy in a Manitoba French community

WINNIPEG — The death of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, has reminded… Continue reading

The Yukon provincial flag flies on a flag pole in Ottawa, Monday July 6, 2020. Yukon residents will head to the polls on Monday for Canada's fourth election held during the COVID-19 pandemic. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Yukon residents set to vote in fourth election held in Canada during pandemic

WHITEHORSE — Yukon residents will head to the polls on Monday for… Continue reading

Conservative leader Erin O'Toole holds a press conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, April 6, 2020. Top Tory leaders of past and present will speak with supporters today about what a conservative economic recovery from COVID-19 could look like. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
O’Toole, former PM Harper speak on ‘build back right’ for pandemic recovery

OTTAWA — Top Tory leaders of the past and present will speak… Continue reading

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau holds a press conference in Ottawa Tuesday, March 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Liberals set to debate universal basic income, pharmacare, OAS hike

OTTAWA — Grassroots Liberals have taken up Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s call… Continue reading

Students enter the Pierre Laporte Secondary School as secondary school students return to class full time during the COVID-19 pandemic in Montreal, Monday, March 29, 2021. Pandemic-fuelled frustration has some teens expressing anger in unhealthy ways after a year of missed social connections that would typically help them mature and regulate their emotions, says a psychiatrist calling for more education on coping skills as part of the school curriculum. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Teach students coping skills to deal with anger, including during pandemic: doctor

Pandemic-fuelled frustration has some teens expressing anger in unhealthy ways after a… Continue reading

In this file photo, a lotto Max ticket is shown in Toronto on Monday Feb. 26, 2018. (By THE CANADIAN PRESS)
No winning ticket for Friday’s $25 million Lotto Max jackpot

TORONTO — No winning ticket was sold for the $25 million jackpot… Continue reading

jobs - T - 3-6-2020
Finding a job: 3 job search truisms you need to accept

A job search has many moving parts; your mindset is the most… Continue reading

Most Read