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RDP Queens down Kodiaks, advance to Final Four at home this weekend!


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Red Deer, AB – The Red Deer Polytechnic Queens have advanced to the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) Final Four with a four set victory over the Lethbridge College Kodiaks (25-14, 25-12, 23-25 and 25-23).

“We came out on fire. Everything was clicking for us,” said Chris Wandler, Red Deer Polytechnic Queens Volleyball Interim Head Coach. “We played phenomenal first contact volleyball, put the ball away really efficient and we were really feeling it.”

A quick start from the Queens set the tone in the first set. With early service pressure from middle McKenna Olson (two match aces), the home team jumped ahead early (5-0) and rode that momentum to a 25-14 decision.

The Kodiaks kept it close in the early stages (5-5) of the second set, but then the home team went on a 10-5 run. The RDP Queens kept the pressure on and sealed a 25-12 second set victory.

“Between that second and third set, we were trying to figure out how to put it away,” added Wandler. “Then we forgot about the more basic types of things that we are really good at.”

Lethbridge College captured a seven point edge (8-1) in the third set. The Queens pulled closer, but they couldn’t fully close the gap. The visitors wrapped up a 25-23 win.

The Kodiaks opened the fourth set with energy, grabbing a 9-4 edge.

“We had to battle back. To everybody’s credit who got on the floor, it was piece away, piece away,” explained Wandler. “It may not be the way you thought it would work out, but it turned out to be a work of art in the end.”

The Queens’ blocking, which had a match total of 11, started to pick up its efficiency and RDP sealed a 25-23 decision, winning the match.

“I am really proud of the effort. That’s the identity of this team,” said Wandler. “It’s very much process oriented and how we are going to do things, and trusting in your teammates.”

Domoney (3)

North Star Sports Queens Player of the Game Kaylee Domoney was solid defensively, accumulating nine digs and four assists.

“Kaylee is our rock. You have to build every thing off a good foundation,” stated Wandler. “That’s exactly what she is and the girls thrive off of that.”

Domoney felt that the Queens can use the experience from Sunday for future matches.

“Winning the first and second sets, and then not doing as well in the third set, it was a good learning opportunity and how we can trust each other in the process and play our game,” she said.

Leong (6)

RDP outside hitter Jadyn Leong had a game high 11 kills (0.300 hitting percentage). She added two digs and two of the team’s 11 service aces. Outside hitter Anna Carlson contributed seven kills. Setter Emma Letkeman (30 assists) also found middles Sydney Rix (six kills) and Olson (four kills).

Kodiaks top performer Aideena Wickstrom totaled seven kills (0.385 hitting percentage), three digs, two blocks and one of Lethbridge’s eight aces. Johanna Dixon had 23 assists. Jamie Brown accumulated a team high eight kills.

The Red Deer Polytechnic Queens will host the ACAC Women’s Volleyball Final Four.

“This is what we’ve wanted the entire year, a chance to host it,” said Wandler. “Now we get to host the rest of the conference to come to our gym, play an important match on our court. We will be a tough out.”

Matches will be played on March 11 and 12 at the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre.

“It’s going to be nice to be in our home gym where we’ve practiced all season,” said Domoney. “Having all of the home fans will be a good experience for us to have that energy in the gym.”

Carlson (11), Aasman (10) and Domoney (3)

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The RDP Queens preparing for their first championship defense in program history

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After a historic season a year ago, the Red Deer Polytechnic Queens Soccer team is ready to start their championship defense as the 2023/2024 Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) season kicks off this weekend.

A year ago, they started the season off with a loss against the SAIT Trojans. But they didn’t know this was going to be the only loss of the ACAC season. They managed to win 11 in a row on their way to their first-ever championship banner in program history.

This incredible season also included a record-setting campaign for Sein Furuyama (Open Studies), who was last year’s ACAC South Player and Rookie of the Year recipient. She broke the individual record for most goals in a season with 29 goals and helped the Queens break the record for most goals by a team in one year as well with a total of 89.

Furuyama was also named to the South Division All-Conference alongside her teammates Estel and Sofia Quinteros (Practical Nurse Diploma).

But after losing some veteran players to graduation, Head Coach Mahziar Peyrow, who was last year’s ACAC South Division Coach of the Year, says the Queens will be looking a little bit different as they start their new season.

“This season is going to be tough for us as we had a lot of players graduate from the Polytechnic, so it will be a bit of a rebuilding year for us. But we will still be able to compete at the top level.” They still managed to keep some players from their gold medal-winning team.

Furuyama is preparing herself for her second year in the conference as she is coming off a knee injury and wants to impress the conference yet again.

Defense Kayla Yeo (Open Studies) is coming back for her fifth and final year. Yeo alongside Sofia Quinteros will co-captain the Queens this season with last year’s captain Alisha Coules graduating from the four-year Nursing program. Coules will step in as an assistant coach for the team this year.

Peyrow is very excited to have Quinteros back in the midfield as well as Yeo on the defensive line. “Sofia will remain as a key player in the defensive midfield to keep providing us with the quick transition into the attacking third. Kayla will step in the role of centre-back to strengthen our defense alongside our ever-so-powerful Kyra Remekie (Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences).”

He added the Queens will also be returning their two strikers, Paige Kalbfleisch (Bachelor of Science in Nursing) and Grace Smith (Bachelor of Business Administration). These two student-athletes bring a high level of skill on the ball and can attack dangerously with pace.

Alongside these multiple returnees will also be a couple of key additions to the team who were recruited by last year’s ACAC South Division Women’s Coach of the Year this past off-season, defense Payton Erick (Business Diploma) and midfield Rilyn Clement (Pre-Health Sciences). Peyrow believes Erick will be a strong force at the back that can also get up the pitch and impact the game on the offensive side and Clement has a high soccer IQ who has great vision in the midfield.

Putting all these pieces together, the Queens head coach is quite optimistic the team can compete at the same level they did a year ago.

“Obviously, we had a great season last year and it would be amazing to reenact that this campaign. I believe the ladies have it in them to execute a great season. The energy is high as these ladies want to impress. The players all know that they need to perform well as the bar has been raised for this program.”

The Queens season will start on the road this weekend as they head down to Lethbridge on Saturday to battle with the Kodiaks at 2 p.m. before traveling out to Medicine Hat to take on the Rattlers at noon on Sunday.

For more information on this historic year last year and the upcoming season visit:

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Cayden Nickel and Makayla Willows first ever CCRA champions from Red Deer Polytechnic

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RDP Royals Rodeo team excels at Canadian Collegiate Rodeo Association finals

Makayla Willows and Cayden Nickel of the Red Deer Polytechnic (RDP) Royals Rodeo team finished as the top competitors at the Canadian Collegiate Rodeo Association (CCRA) Finals May 19-21 in Brooks.

“Makayla and Cayden had an outstanding weekend,” says Trina Carroll, RDP Royals Program Lead. “They put in the work and were rewarded. I want to send a huge shoutout to all competitors and the CCRA Board of Directors, including Jamie Kuzma, who was our main contact at the CCRA.”

Buck Lake’s Willows earned the prestigious honour of 2023 CCRA Cowgirl of the Year by accumulating the most points among female competitors at the Silver Sage Community Corral over the weekend.

“I am thankful for the support from the RDP Royals Rodeo team, our wonderful coaches, and my family,” says Willows, who is graduating with an RDP Social Work Diploma in June. “I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to have been able to compete in the CCRA Finals. After working hard throughout the season, it was rewarding to complete my last year in College Rodeo as the Heeling Season Leader along with qualifying for the finals in Barrel Racing, Breakaway Roping and Pole Bending.”

As heeler in Team Roping, Willows consistently demonstrated her expertise in roping steers by their hind feet after the header – who was Nickel – roped the front of the steer.

“For being recognized as the High Point Cowgirl of the Year alongside my Team Roping partner Cayden, we were each awarded a beautiful saddle and buckle as Cowgirl and Cowboy of the Year,” adds Willows. “It is a very humbling honor and an amazing way to end my final College Rodeo experience.”

Nickel, who is from Evansburg, was named the CCRA Cowboy of the Year and CCRA Tie Down Roping Champion. He just completed his first year of a Bachelor of Kinesiology and Sport Studies Degree at RDP.

“It was such an awesome experience,” says Nickel about competing in the CCRA Finals. “We had a lot of fun and I can’t wait for next year.”

In addition to Willows and Nickel placing first overall in the CCRA, they made Red Deer Polytechnic history.

“In 10 years of competing in the CCRA Finals, this is the first time that RDP students have achieved the High Point Award in both the Cowboy and Cowgirl categories,” explains Carroll. “We are so proud of Makayla and Cayden.”

The next CCRA season will begin in Fall 2023.

About Red Deer Polytechnic Royals Rodeo: RDP Royals Rodeo is an elite post-secondary sports program that provides opportunities for students to compete outside of the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC), of which the RDP Kings and Queens are members. Since its establishment in 2013, the RDP Royals Rodeo program has grown from three student-athletes up to 40 members. The Red Deer Polytechnic Rodeo team has consistently been competitive in the CCRA, qualifying for the finals every year over the past decade. The 2022/2023 RDP Royals Rodeo team consisted of 12 dedicated student-athletes.

For more information about RDP Royals Rodeo, please visit: facebook | instagram

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