Not much has gone wrong for the Red Deer College Kings volleyball squad in the first half of the season.
The team is perfect as far as their record states, having not lost a match or even a single game but Head Coach Aaron Schulha feels there is still plenty to work on over the Christmas break.
“We have really high expectations for this group,” he said. “After finishing second in the country last year we know kind of where our top end is and we’re definitely not there yet.”
Schulha said while the unblemished record is nice to look at the Kings know the level of competition in the first half isn’t nearly as tough as the rest of the year will present.
“I think we’re really heavy on the back end in terms of strength of competition with SAIT, Briercrest and MacEwan being our last three weekends and having to go to Briercrest so those are going to be a challenge and so it’s kind of good to build into that.”
The players are well aware of the workload facing them in order to reach the heights expected as a top caliber team in the ACAC.
“These coaches really hold us not just to winning, to winning sets,” said libero Parker Maris. “It’s all about how we’re playing. They really don’t look at the other side of the court or the scoreboard. So we feel we do have a lot to work on.”
Schulha feels the coaching staff has done a good job of making sure the players don’t get over confident after walking through the first half of the schedule and the Kings continue to focus on keeping their level high whether it’s against great competition or not.
Part of the strategy to stay on track with the plan is a holiday trip to California for a tournament with their first game against the toughest opponent you could imagine.
“Our first match down there is against UC Irvine who is the two-time defending NCCA Division One champion so that should be a good test right out of the gate,” said Schulha.
Maris added, “We can play out there, just guns a blazing, swinging as hard as we can. It will be awesome. If we get our butts kicked we get our butts kicked but we can just leave it all out on the court.”
The Kings are back into ACAC action Jan. 10 on the road at NAIT.