In the 3rd game of the championship, the Red Deer College Kings faced the NAIT Ooks. During the regular season, the Kings finished 2nd in the south while the Ooks placed 3rd in the north. The match featured 4 student-athletes named to the 2016-2017 ACAC Men's Volleyball South All-Conference team. Luke Brisbane, Regan Fathers, Ty Moorman and Michael Sumner from Red Deer College received the honours on Wednesday.
The RDC Main Gym was packed with enthusiastic volleyball fans. The opening set featured several intense rallies and included Regan Fathers digging a ball in the stands to keep the play alive. The teams were tied on numerous occasions (6-6, 13-13 and 21-21). The RDC Kings eventually picked up the victory 26-24. Regan Fathers led the Kings with 5 kills. Devon Klein had 5 kills for the Ooks.
Neither team could pull ahead by more than 3 points in the 2nd set. In a back-and-forth set, the RDC Kings picked up a 25-22 win to pull ahead 2 sets to 0. Over both sets, the Kings had 6 service aces while the Ooks totalled 7. Regan Fathers and Matthew Lofgren each contributed 8 kills for RDC. For NAIT, Devon Klein had a 2 set total of 7 kills.
Around the middle of the 3rd set, the teams were tied 13-13. NAIT pulled ahead and picked up a 25-22 victory to narrow the Kings' lead 2 sets to 1. Regan Fathers and Matthew Lofgren each accumulated 11 kills for RDC. Devon Klein led NAIT with 8 kills.
Once the Kings pulled ahead in the 4th set they didn't relinquish it. The RDC Kings won the set 25-15 to pick up the match victory. Cole Burkart led NAIT with 12 kills. Regan Fathers picked up 17 kills for RDC.
Regan Fathers was named the Kings player-of-the-game while Cole Burkart picked up the award for the Ooks. The RDC Kinesiology and Sport Studies student totalled 17 kills, 2 assists, 4 service aces and 7 digs. Burkart contributed 12 kills, 1 assist, 2 service aces and 3 digs.
Kings Volleyball Head Coach Aaron Schulha was happy with the victory and calm demeanour of the Kings.
"I was really pleased that the guys didn't panic. In the 3 sets we were down around the midway point about 2 or 3 points and battled back," said Schulha. "It didn't quite work out in the 3rd and we kind of rolled in the 4th set which was nice to see. It could be easy to panic when you are the higher seed, the defending champions and at home but we didn't see that today so that's a very good sign."
The RDC Kings will face the winner between Briercrest College and Keyano College on Friday at 7:00 p.m.
Earlier today, the SAIT Trojans defeated The King's University Eagles in 5 sets and the Medicine Hat College Rattlers won in straight sets over the Grande Prairie Regional College Wolves.