Kings black Clippers in straight sets

RDC Kings volleyball head coach Aaron Schulha warned his team that the Briercrest Bible College Clippers would be a lot different team than the one they saw Friday, especially coming out of the gate.

Kings 3 Clippers 0

RDC Kings volleyball head coach Aaron Schulha warned his team that the Briercrest Bible College Clippers would be a lot different team than the one they saw Friday, especially coming out of the gate.

He was dead on as the Clippers, who lost 3-0 to RDC Friday, did everything right and stormed into a 9-4 lead.

“We expected them to come out strong as they had something to prove, although we didn’t expect to be down 9-4,” said Schulha. “But the main thing was to weather the storm, and we did just that.”

Once the Clippers settled down and lost a bit of their adrenalin, the Kings slowly got back into the set.

In the end it was the final 10 points of the first set that determined the match.

The Kings refused to lose and finally pulled out a 34-32 victory in the set, then rolled over the Clippers 25-16, 25-15 to run their record to 17-1 and wrap up top spot in the Alberta Colleges Men’s Volleyball League. The Clippers came into the weekend with a 14-2 record .

RDC has two matches remaining against the Olds College Broncos — Friday at Olds and Saturday at RDC — but even if the Kings lose both, the worst they can do is tie SAIT and they hold the edge over them.

Schulha agreed the final portion of the first set changed the match.

“It was huge in that it demoralized them a bit and gave us some momentum,” he said.

The Kings serve receive proved to be a major factor as they simply didn’t give the Clippers any easy points.

“We had a few passes that weren’t right on, but we didn’t let it hit the floor or over pass that gave them anything,” said Schulha.

Chris Jones was the RDC player of the match with 13 kills and seven digs and although he didn’t finish with any aces, his serve consistently kept the Clippers off balance.

Tim Finnigan also had a solid game with 14 kills, two stuff blocks and three digs while Braden O’Toole had eight kills, 11 digs and two blocks. Chris Osborn had six kills, two aces, two digs and two blocks while libero Pat McIntyre had nine digs. Kyle Pankratz had 14 kills for BBC.

Despite the fact first place is under wraps, Schulha isn’t about to take Olds easy.

“After last weekend (a split at Medicine Hat) it was important to keep improving this weekend and next,” he said. “I was proud of the guys this weekend, and we can enjoy it for a couple of hours then look forward to Olds.”

Queens 3 Clippers 2

Once again the Queens struggled over the first three sets before pulling out a 23-25, 29-27, 19-25, 25-13, 15-9 victory. It was the second straight day against the Clippers that RDC trailed 2-1 before winning 3-2.

“I thought tonight we did a better job of serving and passing and our defence started to get there,” said Queens head coach Talbot Walton, who felt the players started to understand the Clippers offence as the match wore on.

“Briercrest does some things we don’t see very often and for us it was a matter of learning to tell ourselves to stay in certain spots and expect certain things to happen,” he said. “In normal situations we’d react to our right, but with them we needed to react to our left.

“We kept telling the girls to be disciplined and know what to expect. You could see them wanting to do it, but reacting normally and the ball would land to their left. In a lot of situations it was our fault they scored, but we finally made the adjustments and were getting into the right spots. In the fourth set we started digging the ball and a lot of times digging it while standing and it made us look dynamic physically.”

The fourth set was all RDC as it was the Clippers who looked like they didn’t know how to handle the Queens.

“The fourth set we played like we have been playing and started worrying less about them and doing more of what we’re comfortable with,” said Walton.

Sidney Ponto had 12 kills, six digs and three aces for RDC while Amber Adolf came off the bench to finish with 11 kills, 12 digs and a block. Brooke Sutter had six kills and 13 digs while Karissa Kuhr had five kills, three aces and 10 digs and player of the match Shelby Bramall had six kills, three aces and two blocks. Libero Maddi Quinn had 23 digs and Sorensen had five kills, three digs and three blocks. Elly Wendel had 13 kills for BBC.

The Queens, 16-2, can wrap up top spot in the league by sweeping Olds, who won twice against the University of Alberta, Augustana of Camrose. They won 25-10, 25-19, 25-14 on Friday and 18-25, 25-16. 25-17, 25-18 on Saturday. The Olds men lost 3-1 both days.

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