Brent Forster - RDC
Red Deer, AB – RDC Queens outside hitter Emma Holmes has had a great start to the season and she continued her tremendous play Friday evening against the Olds College Broncos. The Bachelor of Kinesiology student contributed eight kills, four digs, three aces, two assists and two stuffs, leading the Queens to a three set sweep (25-17, 25-15 and 25-18) at home.
"Emma has grown a lot from last year to this year," says Queens Head Coach Talbot Walton. "Thankfully, Chris had the foresight to play her a lot last year. She worked hard in the gym and got physically stronger."
Emma Holmes (11)
After the Broncos jumped out to an early 3-2 edge, Holmes led RDC on a 6-0 run (8-3). During that stretch, she applied service pressure, which included an ace. The visitors eventually chipped away at the five point deficit. From the right side, Airdre's Kayley Lloyd recorded a kill to pull Olds College within three (13-16). The home team outscored the Broncos 9-4 en route to a 25-17 win.
Broncos' Kayley Lloyd was effective on the defensive side as well, knotting the second set 12-12 with a stuff block. The RDC Queens gained momentum and went on an impressive 13-3 run to cap off the set 25-15. Saskatoon's McKenna Olson recorded a stuff block and kill from the middle to finalize the win.
The Queens took an 11-7 edge in the third set with continued strong play from the middle and Erin Neufeldt from the left side. Olds College's outside hitter Tabitha Martin helped pull the visitors within three (12-15). Similar to the first two sets, the Queens pulled away in the latter stages. Red Deer's Kira Weddell recorded a stuff and ace to help the Queens seal a 25-18 win.
Emma Holmes hit for 50 per cent efficiency and was chosen the Collegiate Sports Medicine Queens Player-of-the-Game. Tabitha Martin received the honour for the Broncos, finishing with 10 kills, one ace, one assist and one dig.
"We obviously need Emma to be a good leader and she's improved some areas of her game to get to the next level," says Walton. "She had a monster block here tonight with one hand."
Several aspects of the Queens' performance impressed the head coach.
"I thought both nights we did a good job passing the ball so our setters could run good offence," says Walton. "On our game plan of serving, I thought we controlled the match pretty well. We put them out of system and gave ourselves more controllable balls that we could run a better offence."
The Queens had 10 service aces.
Ten RDC student-athletes received time on the court, including five from Red Deer.
"Our schedule was really tough the first two weekends, so it's getting a little bit more manageable in the last month. So for those athletes who haven't had a chance to play on the floor since preseason, it's always a good opportunity to give them that game exposure and feel that excitement of being a Queen," says Walton.
"We made sure that the right rotation was here tonight so the local kids could get in there and the moms and dads could see them. It's a time period in their volleyball career that I hope they remember."
Next weekend, the Red Deer College Queens (4-2) will play the Medicine Hat College Rattlers (3-4) on the road in a pair of games.