Even though the Red Deer College Kings Volleyball team battled several injuries and illnesses, they had a strong regular season (19-5) and conquered the adversity.
This resiliency helped the Kings succeed in the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) playoffs and at the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) Men’s Volleyball National Championship.
The Kings showed a lot of heart and elevated their game when it mattered the most. On Saturday, the Kings faced the Titans de Limoilou in the CCAA gold medal game in London, Ontario and earned a five set victory for their third national title in four years.
In their opening match last Thursday, the Red Deer College Kings defeated the host Fanshawe Falcons in three sets (25-22, 25-21 and 25-18) in a loud gymnasium.
Regan Fathers was a force in the match and was named the Kings player of the game. The Kinesiology and Sport Studies student finished with 14 kills, one assist, five service aces and seven digs in the win.
The RDC Kings won in four sets over the Vancouver Island University (VIU) Mariners (25-19, 25-11, 27-29 and 25-19) in the championship semi-final last Friday.
Setter Luke Brisbane was chosen as the Kings player of the game. The Bachelor of Commerce student stacked up 51 assists, two kills, 11 digs and ran an effective offence.
The Kings faced the tough Titans de Limoilou in a CCAA gold medal rematch last Saturday. After RDC jumped out to a two set lead (25-21 and 25-18), Limoilou came back with the next two sets (26-24 and 26-24) to send the final game to an exciting fifth set.
The RDC Kings showed great composure and defeated the Titans de Limoilou 15-12 to claim gold.
Ty Moorman was named the Kings player of the game and accumulated 10 kills, two digs and one stuff block.
Regan Fathers earned the honour of Tournament MVP.
Brisbane and Moorman were named First Team All-Stars. Matthew Lofgren was picked as a Second Team All-Star.
Kings Volleyball Head Coach Aaron Schulha recognized the importance of the Kings’ mental toughness in the victory.
“This match was reminiscent of our season in a nutshell. We made our lives more difficult than it needed to be at times but we showed great resiliency and fight,” said Schulha. “We really turned the corner in the last month and became a tough team mentally and we needed every bit of that this weekend.”
Schulha credited the RDC student-athletes and his coaching staff. Assistant coaches Aaron Yasinski, Adam Sillery and Blake Henwood joined Schulha in Ontario and all four coaches were key contributors in the team’s success.
￼“It was a year with a lot of adversity and overcoming that helps make the win even more rewarding,” said Schulha. “I am super proud of my team and coaches. I am truly surrounded by some of the best volleyball minds in the country and it makes it even better that they are also my friends.”
The RDC Kings continue to write CCAA Men’s Volleyball history. The Kings have won 13 CCAA Men’s Volleyball National Championships since 1995.
The Camosun Chargers of the Pacific Western Athletic Association (PACWEST) will host the next CCAA Men’s Volleyball National Championship in Victoria, British Columbia, March 7-10, 2018.