Schmidt finds way as Kings’ power hitter

Quentin Schmidt has all the tools to be one of the top power hitters in the Alberta Colleges Men’s Volleyball League.

Quentin Schmidt

Quentin Schmidt

Quentin Schmidt has all the tools to be one of the top power hitters in the Alberta Colleges Men’s Volleyball League.

Two years ago you would have never known it.

“Growing up I was always super short and I played libero up until last year, so I’ve only been swinging for about a year and a half,” explained the six-foot-three Calgary native.

“I did play a lot of beach (volleyball) so I did get to swing there, but mainly I was a passer.”

It wasn’t until his senior year at Bishop Carroll High School in Calgary and last year with the Elite West Volleyball Club that Schmidt moved to the left side. And while he was in the early stages of his development as a hitter, Kings head coach Aaron Schulha liked what he saw.

“My club coach helped me a lot as his philosophy was to prepare us for post-secondary,” explained Schmidt.

“Aaron got the chance to watch when I was with the club and talked with me about coming here. I was excited as it’s a prestigious program.”

Schmidt didn’t know where he’d fit in when he arrived at RDC in September, but he gradually worked his way into a starting role.

“Coming in it was a little scary at first, but the guys were super supportive and made it easy,” said Schmidt, who is third on the Kings averaging two kills per set.

The fact Schmidt played libero growing up helps considerably in his serve receive and passing.

“It did, plus Aaron is an incredible passer, which helps a lot.”

At the beginning of the season there wasn’t a lot of playing time for Schmidt with Taylor Hunt filling one of the two spots and returnees Darcee Froese, Tucker Leinweber and David King fighting for the other slot.

But as the season wore on Hunt moved to the right side and Froese battled a sore shoulder, which opened up more playing time.

By the time Froese returned Schmidt had done enough to show he deserved a shot at a starting role.

“I never had a feeling that I would start, but I tried my hardest in practice . . . to be honest any one of the four or five of us could be on the court at any given time depending on who’s playing well at the time.”

Schmidt also knows that Froese will play when he’s healthy.

“He’s a real leader on the court and even when he was out he helped a lot in practice.”

The 18-year-old Schmidt, who is taking biological science, will be on hand for at least one more season.

As for the future he hasn’t made up his mind yet.

“I’m not positive.

“I’ve talked with the coaches at the University of Calgary, but my academics is the big thing. Right now I’m focusing on this and hopefully in the next few years things work out.”

The RDC squads are heading into another tough weekend as they face The King’s University College of Edmonton in a home-and-home set — Friday in Edmonton and Saturday at RDC. The women get action underway at 6 p.m. both nights with the men to follow. The Kings and TKUC head into the series tied with Briercrest on top of the league standings at 10-2. The Queens are 7-5 with TKUC at 6-6.

l Hockey Queens second-year winger Montanna Noyes received one of the two major scholarships presented by the Hockey Alberta Foundation.

Noyes received a $2,000 distinguished future leader scholarship along with $750, which is presented to eight post-secondary students through the future leaders scholarship program.

Justin Penner of Edmonton also picked up $2,750.

The $2,000 scholarships are presented to student leaders who demonstrated exception leadership and dedication throughout the Future Leaders Development Program.

Sheldon Anholt of Red Deer also picked up a $750 scholarship which is awarded to individuals for their excellent leadership skills in the program.

The hockey Queens are in action this week against SAIT — Thursday at 7 p.m. at the Arena and Friday at SAIT.

l The basketball squads have a home-and-home series against the SAIT Trojans — Friday at RDC and Saturday in Calgary.

The women tip off at 6 p.m. with the men to follow.

The Kings and Trojans are tied for third in the South Division at 6-6 while the Trojans lead the women’s standings at 12-0 with RDC at 3-9.

l Volleyball dominated the Boston Pizza RDC athlete of the week voting.

Hunt took top honours on the men’s side while middle blocker Mandy Carroll was tops for the women.