The Red Deer College Queens were flying high following the Christmas break but the last two weekends have been a struggle, losing to SAIT and recently Grant MacEwan.
In spite of those setbacks the Queens still remain focused when it comes to reaching the goal set at the start of the year.
Last season the Queens dropped the bronze medal game on home court and it left them with the feeling of unfinished business.
“I know exactly what it feels like to lose and I don’t exactly want to ever feel that again,” said second year player Amber Adolf.
The Queens have put together a very solid year to this point and head coach Talbot Walton figured an 18-2 record would put them in a very good spot heading into the provincial championships Feb. 21-23 in Grande Prairie.
The Queens sit at 17-3, tied for first with GMU and Grande Prairie but early on an undefeated season was a possibility.
“But in the grand scheme of things, we want to win games but those games that you win are all done with a purpose so that the outcome of the provincial championship, the conference championship is there. So you can play well when you need to play well,” said Walton.
A weekend series on the road against Briercrest was a prime example of how this team can adjust to what an opponent is doing. The Queens were pounded by a big hitter who posted 17 kills but still managed to win the match in spite of being second best in all the game stats.
“We watched game tape and watched her hitting angles, especially blocking, we didn’t block very well,” said Adolf. “So what Talbot really worked on was where we should block her and how we should block her so we actually controlled her really well.”
It’s that type of team work and ability to make changes quickly which will carry the Queens forward in the conference playoffs.
While last season’s disappointment might serve as a motivating factor for the Queens, the coach is of the opinion these girls don’t need to be motivated to win.
“I’ve been lucky the last three or four years, teams want to come in, they understand the rewards of learning and working hard and it’s just a tradition we’ve kind of fostered in our gym,” said Walton. “It’s never an issue of are they going to give us enough? It’s is that stuff they’re going to give us tonight going to help us in the long run?”