Kings Volleyball 2017 - 18 preview

The RDC Kings are ready to defend their ACAC and CCAA Championships in 2017-18. Photo - Tony Hansen
The RDC Kings are ready to defend their ACAC and CCAA Championships in 2017-18. Photo - Tony Hansen

2016 – 2017 Review

Regular season

19 matches won – 5 matches lost

The RDC Kings placed 2nd in the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) Men's Volleyball South Division.

ACAC Championship

The Kings won three straight matches, earned a gold medal and were named ACAC Men's Volleyball Champions.

Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) National Championship

The RDC Kings won three matches and earned gold as CCAA Men's Volleyball National Champions. The championship was the Kings' 13th CCAA Men's Volleyball National Championship.

The Red Deer College Kings have remarkably won back-to-back ACAC and CCAA Championships.

Awards

ACAC Men's Volleyball South All-Conference team – Luke Brisbane, Regan Fathers, Ty Moorman, Michael Sumner

ACAC Men's Volleyball Championship MVP – Regan Fathers

ACAC Men's Volleyball Championship First Team All-Stars – Luke Brisbane, Michael Sumner

CCAA Men's Volleyball Championship MVP – Regan Fathers

CCAA Men's Volleyball Championship First Team All-Stars – Ty Moorman and Luke Brisbane

CCAA Men's Volleyball Championship Second Team All-Star – Matt Lofgren

RDC Athletics Awards Night

Coach's Award – Michael Sumner

Most Improved Player – Regan Fathers

Rookie of the Year – Parker Biletsky

Most Valuable Player – Regan Fathers

2017 - 2018

Aaron Schulha enters his 11th year as the head coach of the Kings and has his sights on winning once again. "I feel like if I'm doing my job from a recruiting and coaching perspective that we should be in the mix to win every year," said Schulha.

Assistant coaches

Blake Henwood, Aaron Yaskinski, Adam Sillery

Returning players

Justin Lukacs (Business Administration – General/Calgary) returns from two seasons ago, Scott Irvine (Bachelor of Business Administration - General Management/Red Deer), Adam Turlejski (Bachelor of Business Administration - General Management/Melbourne, Victoria), Ben Holmes (Bachelor of Arts - Psychology/Red Deer), Tristan Dexter (Practical Nurse Diploma/Sherwood Park), Ben Hankins (Bachelor of Education – Middle School/Red Deer), Parker Biletsky (Bachelor of Arts - Communication/Red Deer)

"Adam (Turlejski) will be a key component this season. He was really good against NAIT in exhibition. Ben (Holmes) has really raised his game since last year and is turning into one of our leaders," said Schulha. "Tristan (Dexter) is another student-athlete taking on a leadership role. Those guys are positive influences for the group on and off the court."

New players

Evan Parchomchuk (Kinesiology & Sport Studies  - General/Prince Albert), Thomas Wass (Open Studies/Adelaide, Australia), Jacob Rapin (Bachelor of Science – Pre-Professional Pharmacy/Prince Albert), Isaiah Stime (Kinesiology & Sport Studies - General/Sherwood Park), Mark DeWit (Bachelor of Commerce, Lacombe), Hamish Hazelden (Kinesiology & Sport Studies - General/Espearance, Australia), Christopher Petersen (Open Studies/Red Deer), Steven Keating (Bachelor of Science – Pre-Professional Pharmacy/Stony Plain), Austin Dennis (Bachelor of Kinesiology/Medicine Hat)

"Our depth is really important and so is the positive attitude. The team is really coming together," said Schulha. "We have 10 new bodies from last year and they've gelled quickly. It's a close group that holds each other accountable."

Not returning

Michael Sumner, Ryan Beatson, Regan Fathers, Luke Brisbane, Matt Lofgren, Ty Moorman, Daimyn Biletsky, Brian Grenier, Gallen Donaghy

Several talented student-athletes will not return to pursue other opportunities. While all of the players will be missed, one key departure is Regan Fathers, who was named the MVP of the ACAC and CCAA Championships. Fathers will play with the University of Calgary Dinos of U Sports (formerly CIS). Openings on the roster will allow for a new wave of student-athletes to strive for excellence.

If the exhibition games are a glimpse of success this season, then the RDC Kings are on the right track once again. Over eight non-conference games, the Kings notably racked up a 7-1 record. "I've been pretty impressed with what we are doing so far and we just want to continue to improve," said Schulha.

The Kings will open the new season against the Briercrest College Clippers on Friday, Oct. 13 at 8:00 p.m. in the RDC Main Gym.