The Red Deer College Kings volleyball team managed to sweep both of their weekend games against the Lethbridge College Kodiaks over the weekend.
In a second game that Kings Coach Aaron Schulha said was very similar to the night before, the Kings dominated the first two sets before letting their third set slip away after being up 24-21.
“There’s no reason we shouldn’t have been out of here after three,” he said. “It is disappointing and a little familiar with this group. We were up 24-21 and just didn’t push back when they were pushing late.”
He added his team didn’t respond to a Kodiak team that was “fighting for their life” in the third set.
“That is not a time when you want to get tight — up two games and up 24-21. It can’t happen,” he said.
Schulha said there was positives to take away from the game.
“Even if we weren’t great in one area, a lot of guys were contributing in other areas and that was nice to see,” he said. “We have been preaching that all year and it is finally coming to fruition. We showed a lot of strides this week. With the losses to Briercrest and SAIT, our backs were against the wall.”
The weekend also allowed Schulha to solidify his starting unit, which has been fluid up until this point of the season.
“We went with a starting lineup that finished the match for us yesterday. It was good to see Parker (Biletsky) and (Ben) Hankins do pretty well. At times we needed some relief,” he said.
He also credited Red Deer native and power player Ben Holmes, who won Player of the Game with 12 kills on the night.
“He has been really good both days for us. Early on in the match, he is usually one of our best receivers. I thought early on in the match our receiving was a bit tentative. He was letting some balls drop that he doesn’t usually drop but he was able to pick it up late,” he said.
The Kings now head into the bye week in third place in the ACAC South division with 22 points. They currently sit six points behind Briercrest and 12 games back of SAIT. The win was crucial, as it gives them the tiebreaker over Lethbridge who also currently have 22 points.
Schulha said his staff will continue to put pressure on in practice.
“We will continue to put pressure on them in practice so that those high pressure situations in matches come a bit easier,” he said. “We will also take a bit of rest time. It is a hard time of year for all teams and it is always that grind time. We have to make sure we are giving them necessary rest.”
He added, “I’ll take two wins.”
Meanwhile, the Red Deer College Queens dominated the Kodiaks over the weekend winning both of their games in three straight sets.
The Queens head into the break in second place in the ACAC South, eight points behind Briercrest and 10 points up on Ambrose College.