This week in RDC Athletics - Kings looking to be crowned National Champions

The Kings are ready for the national stage March 9-11 in Ontario. Photo - Tony Hansen
The Kings are ready for the national stage March 9-11 in Ontario. Photo - Tony Hansen

Kings Volleyball | March 9-11 | CCAA Men's Volleyball Championship | Fanshawe College

The Red Deer College Kings Volleyball team punched their ticket to the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) Men's Volleyball National Championship after they qualified for the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) Men's Volleyball finals. In a thrilling 5 set victory, the RDC Kings defeated the Medicine Hat College Rattlers in the gold medal game. That was their 4th ACAC Men's Volleyball Championship in 5 years.

The Kings are familiar with the national stage, having won 2 of the past 3 CCAA Men's Volleyball National Championships. The RDC Kings will look to claim another title March 9-11 in London, Ontario.

The Red Deer College Kings and Medicine Hat College Rattlers will represent the ACAC. From the Pacific Western Athletic Association (PACWEST), the Camosun Chargers and VIU Mariners will compete in the championship. The Holland Hurricanes will hit the court as the top team from the Atlantic Collegiate Athletic Association (ACAA). The Mohawk Mountaineers and host Fanshawe Falcons, from the Ontario Colleges Athletic Association (OCAA), will play for top spot. The Titans de Limoilou, of the Réseau du sport étudiant du Québec (RSEQ), round out the 8 competing teams.

While the RDC Kings battled injury and illness during the regular season, they finished with an impressive 19-5 record and played at an elite level at the ACAC Men's Volleyball Championship. Their 1st opponent, Fanshawe, placed 1st in the OCAA West Division (17-1) but suffered a disappointing loss to Durham in the OCAA semi-finals. The Fanshawe Falcons defeated the Georgian Grizzlies in 3 sets in the bronze medal match.

Kings Volleyball Head Coach Aaron Schulha thinks that Fanshawe College will be a good test to open the championship.
 

"The Falcons are a strong team and a very tough 1st round opponent, especially as the host. They lost in the conference semi-final which dropped them to the 7th seed, but they were also ranked 1st in the country for a good portion of the year," said Schulha. "They have 6-of-7 starters back from last year's team that finished 3rd at the National Championship and are led by 6'8" outside hitter James Jackson."

The RDC Kings have stuck with a familiar routine in order to prepare for the weekend.

"Our preparation has looked very similar to the rest of the season to be quite honest," said Schulha. "The coaches have watched a lot of tape on Fanshawe and we will have the guys watch their hitters for tendencies with scouting sheets once we arrive in Ontario."

While the Kings Volleyball team and coaching staff are well prepared, it will come down to focusing on their own performance.

"We need to look after our 1st contacts, serve tough, pass efficiently and defend well. We need to continue to play a strong transition game and allow our dynamic offence to put other teams in trouble," said Schulha. "Playing gritty volleyball will be important. When we are playing well, we are a very tough team to play against because we are executing at a high level and not giving the opposition any easy points. Ultimately, it will come down to our side and our execution."

The Kings will travel to Ontario early Tuesday morning and will face the host Fanshawe College Falcons in their opening match on Thursday, March 9 at 8:00 EST. The winner of the match will compete in the semi-finals on Friday at 8:00 EST.

 

To view daily recaps of every Kings' match in London, Ontario, please visit: rdcathletics.ca