Despite a string of injuries and illness, the Red Deer College Kings Volleyball team (14-4) sat in 2nd spot in the ACAC Men's Volleyball South Division with 28 points coming into tonight. The RDC Kings are ranked 5th in the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA). It was a grind at Red Deer College Friday evening, but the RDC Kings defeated the Lethbridge College Kodiaks in 4 sets.
The opening set was close but the Kings eventually won 25-22. Daimyn Biletsky led RDC with 5 kills. Dax Whitehead had 7 kills for the Kodiaks. As a team, the Kings had 2 service aces.
The Kings showed improvement in the 2nd set and won 25-15. Regan Fathers and Daimyn Biletsky had 6 kills each for the Kings. As a team, the Kings had 4 service aces. Dax Whitehead had a 2 set total of 9 kills for the Kodiaks.
In the 3rd set, Lethbridge College opened to a 6-4 lead. The Kings tried to battle back but the Kodiaks came away with a 25-20 victory. Matthew Lofgren led RDC with a 3 set total of 10 kills. Dax Whitehead accumulated 13 kills for Lethbridge College.
The Kings won the 4th set 25-20 to take the match.
Matthew Lofgren was chosen as the Kings player-of-the-game. The Kamloops native finished with 11 kills, 1 assist, 1 service ace, 7 digs and 1 stuff block.
Kings Head Coach Aaron Schulha would like to see improved serving on Saturday.
"The ratio of service aces to service errors was 1 to 2 but the misses weren't good misses," said Schulha. "We missed about 10 of the 18 errors right into the net which is unacceptable. We weren't even letting their receivers make a choice."
It wasn't an easy victory but the return of Luke Brisbane from injury provided a spark.
"The 1st set was a battle and we expected them to come out hard against us. We had to buckle down and battle," said Schulha. "Getting Luke back is a big energy boost for the guys and he didn't show much rust."
Schulha would like to see a few adjustments in Saturday's rematch.
"We would like to tighten up the defence tomorrow. We did a better job of blocking and got more quality touches than we have in the past couple of weeks but we weren't always converting," said Schulha. "Our back row defence needs to do a better job of being upright and expecting to move forward. The block looked better tonight but we have to transition more balls around that. We have to weather the storm on a few of their spin servers."
Some attention lately has been focused on the offence.
"We have been working on our offence as of late in terms of trying to run more speed to the outside even on 2 passes that aren't perfect," said Schulha. "If we can look after our 1st contact piece I think that we can do some pretty good things. Ultimately it will come down to the 1st contact piece and looking after it at key times."
With the victory, the RDC Kings (15-4) improve to 30 points and share top spot in the ACAC Men's Volleyball South Division with the Medicine Hat College Rattlers.
The Kings host the Kodiaks Saturday at 3:00 p.m.