Emma Holmes – ACAC Women’s Volleyball South Rookie of the Year
From RDC Communications
Holmes, Domoney and Wandler recognized at 2019 ACAC Women’s Volleyball Awards
Two members of the Red Deer College Queens Volleyball team, along with their coach were honoured at the 2019 Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) Women’s Volleyball Banquet & Award Presentations on Wednesday evening at Canyon Meadows Golf & Country Club in Calgary.
Bachelor of Kinesiology student Emma Holmes received the ACAC Women’s Volleyball South Rookie of the Year and was selected to the ACAC Women’s Volleyball South All-Conference team.
Kaylee Domoney was also named to the South All-Conference team.
Queens Head Coach Chris Wandler was chosen as the 2019 ACAC Women’s Volleyball South Coach of the Year. All three helped guide the Red Deer College Queens (16-8) to second place in the south with 32 points.
Holmes had a tremendous start to her ACAC Volleyball career. In league categories typically dominated by veteran student-athletes, the five-foot-ten player finished tenth with 202 kills and 13thwith 2.38 kills per set. In 24 matches, the first-year student-athlete scored a total of 232 points for the RDC Queens.
Queens Head Coach Chris Wandler is impressed with the outside hitter’s motivation and play in her inaugural year in the ACAC, and sees potential for further development. “Emma has drive and the more she touches the ball the more she thrives,” he says. “For her to finish in the top of the ACAC with a much more experienced group goes to show how much upside Emma has in her game. She has a lot of space to grow her game, which is exciting.”
Domoney has been a steady force for the RDC Queens. The Business Administration Human Resources student finished conference play with a total of 387 digs, the most in the league. The talented third-year from Red Deer averaged 4.35 digs per set, ranking her second in the ACAC.
With perhaps the youngest group in the ACAC, Wandler prepared and developed the Queens into one of the strongest and most winning teams in the league. The Red Deer College Queens won eight of its past ten matches and 15 of the last 18 conference matches.
“With eight first-year student-athletes on the Queens, Chris has worked hard to prepare and develop this young group throughout the ACAC season,” says Diane St-Denis, RDC Athletic Director. “He holds his players to high standards in competition, the classroom and in the community, reflecting the values of Red Deer College and RDC Athletics.”
“Kaylee’s season is a tribute to her hard work and dedication to her craft at the libero position. A constant learner, Kaylee is always processing feedback to make her and her teammates better,” says Wandler. “She’s also a relentless competitor, and prepares herself for each and every week to be at her very best. She is most deserving of this honour.”
Chris Wandler, from Cold Lake, has an extensive coaching resume. He was an assistant to Talbot Walton with the RDC Queens from 2003 to 2012 and then took on a head coaching role with the Olds College Broncos Women’s Volleyball team from 2012 to 2016. He led the Broncos to an ACAC bronze medal in his third year. Then he took over as the head coach for the RDC Queens Volleyball team in 2016-17 and guided them to a pair of ACAC bronze medals in the last two years. In addition, Wandler coached Team Alberta at the Western Canada Summer Games and the Canada Games, earning gold in 2013.
The Red Deer College Queens will compete at the ACAC Women’s Volleyball Championship from February 21 to 23. In their first match, the Queens (16-8) will play the University of Alberta Augustana Vikings (14-10), who finished third in the north. The opening serve will occur on Thursday at 1:00 p.m. in Calgary. Ambrose University is hosting the event.
Fathers and DeWit celebrated at 2019 ACAC Men’s Volleyball Awards
Regan Fathers and Mark DeWit of the Red Deer College Kings were recognized at the 2019 Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) Men’s Volleyball Award Presentations on Wednesday evening at Shaw Theatre in Edmonton.
Regan Fathers was named the ACAC Men’s Volleyball Player of the Year and was selected to the South All- Conference team after a remarkable regular season. Middle Mark DeWit was also named to the ACAC Men’s Volleyball South All-Conference team with solid play. Both gifted student-athletes helped lead the RDC Kings to an 18-6 record, capturing second spot in the south and a position in the ACAC Championship. The Kings finished the season with momentum, achieving a 15-2 record in the last 17 matches.
As the year progressed, the impact of Fathers increased. In RDC’s final two matches of conference play, the Kinesiology student totaled 66 kills, 33 digs, three stuff blocks, two aces and one assist against the previously undefeated Lethbridge College Kodiaks, helping the Kings hand the Kodiaks a pair of defeats, for the first time in 2018-19.
The six-foot-six right side hitter from East Fremantle, Western Australia led ACAC Men’s Volleyball with a total of 435 kills and 5.37 kills per set. Even though he played only 21 matches, he had 69 more kills than Lethbridge College’s Carter Hansen, who was second in the league after 24 matches.
Kings Head Coach Aaron Schulha recognizes the motivation from Fathers to continually improve and make his teammates better. “Regan put up dominating numbers while embracing an increased leadership role this season. He takes individual and team improvement very seriously, and it shows with his ability and willingness to take over matches throughout the season,” he says. “I don’t recall a season over the last several years where a men’s volleyball player has put up those kind of kills numbers in our league. It has been very impressive to watch.”
Fathers is a proven winner and a student-athlete who increases his level of play as the stakes rise. The previous time he played for the Red Deer College Kings in 2016-17, he won ACAC and Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) gold medals. He was selected the Tournament MVP of both events.
Mark DeWit, a second-year student-athlete, had a very strong campaign wearing the crown. The Bachelor of Commerce student finished fourth in the ACAC with 56 total blocks and 0.75 blocks per set. From the middle, the student-athlete from Lacombe accumulated 124 kills over 21 matches, impressively hitting for 49.8 per cent efficiency.
“Mark has been tremendous for us during his first two years. He has started the bulk of his first two seasons and showed steady improvement throughout. He is very dynamic with a quick jump and arm, which are very important to being an effective middle,” says Head Coach Schulha. “He is also a very explosive blocker that moves quickly along the net and has active hands. His recognition as an All-Conference player is very well deserved and we are excited to see how he continues to improve in year three with our program.”
The RDC Kings are in Edmonton for the ACAC Men’s Volleyball Championship from February 21 to 23. In their first match, the Red Deer College Kings (18-6) will play the University of Alberta Augustana Vikings (15-9), who finished third in the north. The opening serve will occur on Thursday at 1:00 p.m. The NAIT Ooks are hosting the event.
PARKER THOMPSON BREAKS NEW GROUND WITH INCREDIBLE TWO SERIES WEEKEND AT TORONTO INDY
From Parker Thompson Racing
Parker Thompson may be the busiest road racing driver on the continent. Since March, the young Alberta native has raced 27 times in four different series. Challenging for championship titles in both open-wheel race cars and sports cars, Thompson has shown incredible skill and versatility. That was most evident this weekend when Thompson raced in both the Indy Pro 2000 by Cooper Tires series, and the IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge Canada series as part of the Honda Indy Toronto event. With four alternating races, Thompson demonstrated an adaptability seldom seen in motorsports. In an incredible performance, he earned three podium finishes and the Yokohama Tires Hard Charger award. The result puts an exclamation mark on his accomplishments so far this year, and further reinforces his status as one of the continents top young drivers.
With a busy ten session schedule over the three day weekend, Thompson could often be seen hurrying between the Porsche GT3 and Indy Pro 2000 paddocks located at opposite ends of the event site in downtown Toronto. Competing in two series during the same event presented a variety of challenges not typical of most race weekends.
“There is a lot of work and preparation that goes into every single session we do on the race track. Balancing two different series this weekend would never have been possible without incredible support from my teams, Abel Motorsports [Indy Pro 2000] and Sports Car Boutique [IMSA GT3 Canada]. Getting the maximum out of two very different cars was a tremendous challenge. The Porsche GT3 Cup Car, and the Tatuus PM-18 Indy Pro 2000 car are not only very different in size and handling characteristics, but they also require a very different strategy and approach during race action. Going back and forth between vehicles, and jumping straight into race pace really tested my concentration and ability to remember key markers and set-up notes for this very unforgiving Streets of Toronto track. This was probably my most stressful weekend of racing ever, but I’m overjoyed by our results! In these two highly competitive series, I always feel blessed to stand on the podium. Doing that three out of four times this weekend feels like a huge achievement.” – Parker Thompson
The first of three podiums came with Abel Motorsports in Indy Pro 2000, where Thompson began his first race of the weekend from seventh position in the thirteen car line up. Navigating traffic and multiple yellow flag incidents on the challenging street course, Thompson maneuvered the #8 Abel Motorsports car to a 3rd place finish.
Race 2 in Indy Pro 2000 featured a relentless duel between Thompson and championship leader Rasmus Lindh. Starting in P3 and P2 respectively, the two drivers exchanged places multiple times early in the race. Thompson would make a final pass in turn 3 of the Toronto street course, and hold off Lindh for the remainder of the race to earn a second place finish.
In GT3 Cup Challenge Canada, Thompson began Race 1 from 7th position after a heavy rain prior to race start created conditions that challenged a variety of drivers and teams. In a clear demonstration of car control, Thompson navigated the #3 SCB Racing / Porsche Centre Victoria car around the drying track, executing four passes in the first seven laps. The performance earned him the Yokohama Tires Hard Charger Award, and the final step on the podium.
In Race 2 of GT3 Canada, a rare mistake from Thompson saw his Porsche make contact with a tire wall in turn eight. Continuing the race from the back of the field, a lengthy yellow flag resulting from a crash between drivers Metni and Dussault allowed Thompson to rejoin the main group and improve his position. Piloting a car with front end damage, he would work his way up to 5th position before the 45-minute race expired.
This incredible weekend marked the 100th race of Thompson’s young career, and performing double duty was a fitting celebration of that milestone. Since 2015, Thompson has had a steady career, earning wins in every type of car he has raced. In one-hundred races, he has earned 55 podiums and 26 race wins. His lifetime winning and podium percentages are outstanding by any measure, but Thompson’s numbers this season are even more impressive. In 2019, he has won exactly a third of his races, and placed on the podium more than three quarters of the time.
After one weekend off, Thompson will resume his busy schedule on July 26th with three consecutive race weekends in Indy Pro 2000, IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge Canada, and the Canadian Touring Car Championship. He is currently second place in overall championship standings for Indy Pro 2000 and GT3 Canada, and he is leading the Canadian Touring Car Championship GTS standings.
Olympic Dream one step closer for driven Red Deer swimmer
She’s only 14 but Elle Couture is taking her dreams up a notch after some great results at the Alberta Summer Swim Championships. Couture, who swims with the Sylvan Lake Nauticals, picked up 2 bronze medals and 2 more 4th place finishes at provincials. Her bronze medals came in the 50 Meter and 200 Meter Breast Stroke. She finished fourth in both the 100 meter Breast Stroke, and in the 100 meter Freestyle events.
Best of all, her time in the 100 Meter Breast Stroke has qualified her to swim at the Canadian Trials next spring where the top swimmers will qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics! Elle also has chance qualify for the 200 meter Breast Stroke as her best time is just 0.11 seconds off the standard. She’ll look to improve that time at Canadian Jr. Nationals coming up in Calgary.
In her age category, she is currently ranked 12th in the country in the 100 and 200 Meter Breast Stroke!
The Jr. Nationals are coming up late this month. Couture will swim in the 100 and 200 Meter Breast Stroke events, plus the 50 and 100 Meter Freestyle events. Then in August Elle is heading to the Western Canada Summer Games where she will represent Alberta in the 100 and 200 Meter Breast Stroke Individual and Relay events!
Elle Couture has benefited from her participation in ASDC Central programming. In January 2018 she was named ASDC Central Athlete of the Month. Here’s Elle’s ASDC Central Athlete of the Month video profile.
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