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Queens earn national bronze with five set victory over Lynx

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Charlottetown, PEI – The Red Deer Polytechnic Queens were tested by the Lynx d’Edouard-Montpetit in the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) National Championship bronze medal match, but they passed with flying colours.

After dropping the opening set, the Queens remained composed and defeated the Lynx in five sets (16-25, 25-22, 17-25, 25-21 and 15-12), earning bronze in back-to-back national championships.

“It’s been a heck of a season, going 22-1 throughout the season and playoffs,” said Chris Wandler, Red Deer Polytechnic Queens Volleyball Interim Head Coach. “This match was pretty intense especially considering both teams played three matches in less than 24 hours.”

The RDP Queens had a solid start to the match. Capitalizing on kills from McKenna Olson, Sydney Rix and Tess Pearman, the Queens strode out to an 11-6 lead. Then momentum started to swing in favour of the Lynx as their blocking and hitting from the left side picked up efficiency. The Lynx d’Edouard-Montpetit went on a 13-2 run to jump ahead 19-13. They eventually earned a 25-16 decision.

The second set was even on multiple occasions (9-9, 14-14, 17-17). Rix recorded an ace and Jadyn Leong picked up several kills on the left. Pearman and Leong got into a rhythm on the outside and helped the Queens seal a 25-22 victory, evening up the match.

A block and ace from Olson helped the Polytechnic to capture a 12-10 edge in the third set. The Lynx continued to block effectively which switched momentum. The Reseau du sport etudiant du Quebec Champions gained traction, wrapping up the set 25-17 from a 15-5 run.

In the fourth set, setter Emma Letkeman connected with Pearman and Carlson early which resulted in a 13-7 lead. The Queens’ play at the net started to ramp up. Pearman had a stuff block (19-15). Carlson added late kills and a pair of blocks helped the Polytechnic pick up a 25-21 win.

Ferguson (9), Domoney (3), Pearman (8)

Queens Player of the Game Carlson has come up big when the stakes have risen this season and the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) Women’s Volleyball South Player of the Year made a difference in the fifth set.

“Anna is so calm and impactful as a fifth-year,” added Wandler. “She came up with big blocks and crushing kills, but I could say that about several other Queens today.”

Carlson and Rix helped push the Queens ahead 10-5. The Lynx chipped away and reduced the deficit to two (12-10), but the Polytechnic maintained its composure and earned a 15-12 win, and national bronze.

Carlson contributed 18 kills (0.306 hitting percentage), seven digs, five blocks and two of the team’s nine aces. Pearman knocked down 15 kills and Leong added 12. Rix (eight kills) and Olson (four kills) combined for 12 kills from the middle. Libero Kaylee Domoney was strong, once again. In her final match as a fifth-year, the Kinesiology General student accumulated 24 digs and three assists. Letkeman had 51 assists, five digs, two blocks and a pair of aces.

Pineault and Carlson

Lynx Player of the Match Anica Pineault contributed 18 kills and two of her team’s 10 aces. Oriane Racine added 16 kills.

Pearman was named to the CCAA Women’s Volleyball First All-Tournament team.

Rix and Domoney were selected to the CCAA Second All-Tournament team.

“Hats go off to our core group who persevered throughout the COVID-19 season, stuck with it, and returned this year,” said Wandler. “Those who are moving on at the end of this season, they will leave a legacy.”

The VIU Mariners won their fourth consecutive national championship with a four set decision over the Douglas College Royals.

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Red Deer Polytechnic Athletics announces Harrison as Queens Basketball Head Coach

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Red Deer Polytechnic Athletics has named Avery Harrison the new head coach of the Queens Basketball program.

“We are extremely excited to add Avery to the Red Deer Polytechnic coaching staff. He brings decades of experience, a proven championship mindset, and the ability to harness the potential in each student-athlete,” says Randy Stewart, Manager Athletics and Student Life. “In addition to being an excellent coach and mentor, Avery has the innate ability to develop a winning culture and to be successful at the highest level.”

The five-time Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) Women’s Basketball Coach of the Year has helped to guide his teams to five ACAC Championships and three Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) titles over 23 years as a head coach in the league. Harrison has led his teams to the national championships 10 times, which is the most for an ACAC Women’s Basketball Head Coach. Harrison was also an ACAC Assistant Coach for 11 years.

In this role, Harrison worked with legendary SAIT Trojans Head Coach Phil Allen, who is an ACAC Hall of Fame Coach and a member of the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame, and a major influence on Harrison’s coaching career. Together, they led the Trojans to four ACAC Championships and one CCAA gold medal.

Harrison has had post-secondary coaching stints at Mount Royal College, Lethbridge College, SAIT, and most recently at Olds College from 2017 to 2020. During his tenure in Olds, Harrison built the Broncos into both ACAC and CCAA Champions in 2019.

With Harrison’s leadership, 46 of his players have earned spots on ACAC All-Conference teams and 12 student-athletes have been recognized as All-Canadians.

Harrison is looking forward to coaching and sharing his expertise with the Queens, who qualified for last year’s playoffs for the first time since 2009/2010.

“I am excited to have the opportunity to join the Red Deer Polytechnic Queens Basketball program as their new head coach,” he says. “We have a great mixture of veterans and I think one of our first goals is to establish a winning culture in our locker room. We need to create an on-court identity that the team can be proud of, so we can go out and give our best effort every night.”

This past season, the Red Deer Polytechnic Queens (7-9) finished fifth in the south and then were downed by the Medicine Hat College Rattlers in a playoff division quarter-final.

Looking to the 2022/2023 season, the returning players and new recruits will all benefit from Harrison’s leadership.

One key returning student-athlete to the Queens is Amy Szymanek, who has been a leader on the team and within RDP Athletics. The team MVP and co-chair of the Polytechnic’s Student-Athletes Advisory Council (SAAC) is entering her fourth season. She led the Queens with 15.1 points per game last year. The Bachelor of Education student’s talent, leadership, work ethic, and impact on the game resulted in a 2022 ACAC Women’s Basketball Second All-Conference team selection. Sophie Melin (12.6 points per game), Lauren France (10.6), Heena Sidhu (7.7), and Keanna Richards (6.1) are also expected to return for the 2022/2023 season.

Harrison will immediately step into his head coaching duties at the Polytechnic.

More information about Queens Basketball, including the roster and schedule, will be available in the fall at: rdpolytechathletics.ca.

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Sarcevic joins Red Deer Polytechnic Kings Soccer as Head Coach

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After an extensive search, Red Deer Polytechnic Athletics has named Ado Sarcevic the head coach of the Kings Soccer team.

Sarcevic brings an impressive playing and coaching resume to the Polytechnic, along with a familiarity of the RDP Soccer program and Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC).

“We are thrilled to have Ado lead the Kings into the 2022/2023 season. He was a professional soccer player in Europe and former Yugoslavia, and has successfully coached at a variety of levels,” says Randy Stewart, Manager Athletics and Student Life. “Ado has previously assumed an assistant coach role with the Kings Soccer team for two years. We look forward to following the progression of the Kings as they strive to build upon last year’s second place regular season record in the south division and ACAC bronze medal.”

The Red Deer Polytechnic Kings Soccer team has evolved into one of the elite squads in the conference.

Along with winning hardware this past season, the Kings earned ACAC silver and placed sixth at nationals in 2019/2020, ranking as the top ACAC team in the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA). The 2020/2021 season was cancelled due to COVID-19.

Sarcevic has been an integral leader in growing soccer in central Alberta. He established the Red Deer Renegades, which provide competitive options for youth to develop and enhance their skills within Red Deer City Soccer Association (RDCSA). Sarcevic also served as Renegades Technical Director for a decade.

In addition, Sarcevic assumed the role of RDCSA General Manager and coached U12 to U18 squads, winning three U18 Alberta Championships with the Renegades. He also coached the Renegades Women’s team in the Alberta Major Soccer League and worked with central Alberta coaches to grow their expertise.

“I am very excited for this wonderful opportunity to become a member of Red Deer Polytechnic as Kings Soccer Head Coach,” says Sarcevic. “I’m looking forward to building exceptional soccer players, but most importantly, developing great citizens of our communities.”

Sarcevic will officially begin his coaching duties on May 2, 2022.

More information about Kings Soccer, including the roster and schedule, will be available in the fall at: rdpolytechathletics.ca.

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