Kings Volleyball 2018 - 19 season preview

Photo - Tony Hansen
Photo - Tony Hansen

2017 – 18 review

Regular season

The RDC Kings (15-9) placed fourth in the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) Men's Volleyball South Division which would have normally qualified them for the playoffs, but the fifth place Medicine Hat College Rattlers took the final postseason position as hosts of the 2017 - 18 ACAC Men's Volleyball Championship.

  

2017 - 18 Awards

ACAC Men's South All-Conference team – Adam Turlejski (middle)

 

RDC Athletics Awards Night

Coach's Award – Mark DeWit

Most Improved Player – Ben Hankins

Rookie of the Year – Tom Wass

Most Valuable Player – Adam Turlejski

  

2018 – 19 preview

The RDC Kings Volleyball team knows they will be playing for their 14th Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) Men's Volleyball National Championship in March, and Head Coach Aaron Schulha is looking forward to hosting and competing for the title on their home court, in the modern Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre/Centre des Jeux du Canada Gary W. Harris.

"The history of our men's volleyball program speaks for itself. Our goal is to always win ACAC's and give us a chance at CCAA's," says Schulha. "For us to have this facility to host nationals is an outstanding thing for us, the College and volleyball in central Alberta, in general."

 

Assistant Coaches

Keith Hansen, Blake Henwood, Adam Sillery, Braden O'Toole

 

Returning players

Thomas Wass, Steven Keating, Isaiah Stime, Chris Petersen, Adam Turlejski, Mark DeWit, Ben Holmes

 

New players this season

Regan Fathers (U of C), Tristan Simmonds (UBC Okanagan), Cody Boulding, Jace Martin, Paul Mennie (U of S), Jayden Fathers, Noah Robertson, Marcus Roflik (U of R), Jonathan Graham

Fathers finished a successful season playing for the University of Calgary Dinos, of U Sports, but wanted to return to Red Deer College, for more reasons than just volleyball. "The main reason for me to return was to complete my Kinesiology program," he says. "Knowing Red Deer's program and the people, I felt that RDC was a good spot for me and coming back is more than comfortable."

Regan Fathers (1)

"This year, we have a really deep roster. We have a lot of young guys who have shown early that they are competent to start and they are pushing the older players," says Fathers. "They guys that we have on the court and on the bench know what it takes to get the most out of each other."

Even with an experienced lineup, the first-year Kings will get their opportunities to perform. "Regan, Turk (Turlejski) and the older guys have had a lot of playing time in their post-secondary careers to this point, so it's important for them to get some rest during the season as well," says Schulha. "Those first, second and third-year players will have to take the reins when they're gone and it is equally as important that they get quality reps as well. It is a balancing act for playing time, but I think that we are deep enough that we can mix our lineups and hopefully give other team fits."

Fathers embraces a role mentoring the younger players. "I'm two years older since I last played here, and having played in U Sports, the younger guys may come to me for guidance and that will be my role – the vocal leader on the team and being there for my teammates, whether it's on or off the court," he says.

 

Not returning

Evan Parchomchuk, Jacob Rapin, Hamish Hazelden, Tristan Dexter, Ben Hankins, Parker Biletsky, Austin Dennis

 

In five exhibition matches, the Kings impressively won four and only dropped one match to the University of Alberta Golden Bears, of U Sports, while getting more familiar with their new surroundings. "Guys have adjusted quite well in terms of using the height to our advantage," says Schulha. "There's a little bit of spacial recognition involved and it may take setters a little more time to get used to setting to the outside. We will get as many reps as we can in here and hopefully use that home court advantage come February and March."

On Friday, October 12, at 8:00 p.m., the Kings will open the 2018 – 19 season against the Lethbridge College Kodiaks in the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre.

Kings Christmas Volleyball tournament

At home, the Red Deer College Kings will entertain some of the best college teams from across Canada as a potential preview of some national championship matchups. Stay tuned for more details and the full schedule. 

From March 6 - 9, RDC will host the 2019 CCAA Men's Volleyball National Championship at the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre.