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RDP Queens Hockey squad adds scoring depth in defence of back-to-back ACAC Championships

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RDP Queens Hockey adds scoring depth in 2023/2024

Ready to defend back-to-back championships

On October 6, the Red Deer Polytechnic Queens Hockey team will hit the ice for their 2023/2024 Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) season and start their quest to defend their championship title.

Seven months ago, the Queens became back-to-back champions after defeating the NAIT Ooks in three straight games. The two teams were neck-and-neck during the regular season, so it was very impressive that the Polytechnic pulled out the broom and swept away the Ooks in the championship final.

As they jump into the new season, the Queens will look very different with a lot of new talent joining the team.

Head Coach Kelly Coulter explained in the early going that they have been working with the new players to understand how to play Queens Hockey, which is to defend well, pressure pucks and compete every shift. “We are impressed with the goal-scoring we have seen so far in the pre-season from the 10 new players and are quite happy with the chemistry that has been developing. Many of these players wore letters on their previous teams so we feel they have leadership qualities and understand the importance of a team-first mentality which is a characteristic that makes them a great addition to the team.”

The Queens have scored a total of 19 goals in a span of six pre-season games.

Coulter returned a few players from last year’s championship-winning team, including Avery Lajeunnesse, who will be one of the assistant captains this year for the Queens. She also scored the gold-medal-winning goal in overtime to defeat the Ooks 2-1. ACAC First-Team All-Star defenseman Alesha Santos (Bachelor of Science in Nursing) will be the other assistant captain for the Polytechnic throughout the season.

The coaching staff feels that the returning players compete well which is very important as they will be leaned on to help the new players understand how to play Queens hockey. This will also be key to helping fulfill the expectations of the staff and student-athletes, which are to be a competitive team and earn a playoff spot.

But Coulter also wants his players to enjoy the student-athlete experience and develop into a solid college-level hockey player.

The Queens Head Coach is very excited for the upcoming season and believes that the recruits are coming in each year ready to put goals on the board. “We are a much younger squad so I think it will take some time to become a cohesive team as the new players learn to play Queens Hockey. I think overall the group we have added may bring more scoring depth from the start as each year I feel the players are coming in with more shooting accuracy and velocity compared to when I first started with the Queens.” Coulter added this is partially due to players starting organized hockey much younger.

In their very first ACAC game, these young players will get the chance to wear the Queens white and green crowned jersey in front of their home crowd as they drop the puck on their regular season against the Olds College Broncos on Friday, October 6 at 7pm.

Tickets can be purchased online or at the doors upstairs in the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre.

More information about RDP Queens Hockey, including the roster, is available online at rdpolytechathletics.ca

RDPolytech Athletics

Wiens and Iyamu leading RDP Athletics into final weekend of 2023

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Red Deer Polytechnic is proud to announce The Gutter RDP Athletes of the Week:

1. Dani Wiens
Hometown: Regina, SK
Bachelor of Arts in Psychology (3rd year)

Despite just playing one match this weekend, Queens setter Dani Wiens had an outstanding match on both sides of the court in their three-set win against the Concordia University Thunder. Coming off a three-set loss to The Kings University Eagles, the Queens were really looking to bounce back with a dominant performance and so they did. RDP managed to sweep the Thunder in three straight sets (25-19, 25-18, 25-15) to improve to 7-2 on the season and sit at the top of the South Division with one match left to go in 2023.

Wiens was named the player of the match for her outstanding 39 assists and 12 dig performance in the win. This averaged out to 13 assists per set which is incredible, but it was not a match or career-high for the setter out of Regina. Earlier this season, she had 44 in their four-set win against the SAIT Trojans and this past February, she tied the RDP and ACAC single-match record for assists with 57.

Head Coach Talbot Walton said this was a pretty impressive feat and explained Wiens started out the set strong which led to her running an effective offence throughout the rest of the match. “Thirteen assists per set is huge for a setter. Dani got into the groove of the game in the early goings of the
match and was able to move our hitters around to find some gaps to attack in. But she was also big for us at the net, blocking balls as well as going on runs from the service line.”

She now sits in seventh place in the conference in assists, averaging seven per set with the ACAC leader just under 10. The Queens will hit the road this weekend for a clash with the Lethbridge College Kodiaks.

Congratulations Dani and keep running the efficient offence like we know you can!

2. Efe Iyamu
Hometown: Toronto, ON
Open Studies (3rd year)

Kings guard Efe Iyamu and the Kings Basketball team extended their winning streak to six games with victories over the Concordia University Thunder on Friday and The Kings University Eagles on Saturday. The Kings now sit in a three-way tie for first in the South Division with the St. Mary’s Lightning and the SAIT Trojans.

Iyamu played an important role in the Polytechnic’s win against the Thunder on Friday night. The guard from Toronto dropped an incredible 20 points in the first half of the game and finished with a career-high 28 points in the Kings 87-83 victory. Despite being held to just eight points in the second half, Iyamu finished 10-for-19 from the field and went five-for-eight from downtown Red Deer.

On Saturday night in the massive 116-83 victory over the Eagles, the Open Studies student-athlete had 11 points in 21 minutes played. He currently is averaging 16.4 points per game which is a team-high and is shooting 43 per cent from the field in his first season in the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC).

The Kings will be in action for their final two games of the 2023 year this weekend. They will head to Olds College on Friday night to battle with the Broncos before heading back up to Red Deer for an 8 pm tip-off on Saturday for a rematch.

Congratulations Efe and welcome to RDP!

This Week in Red Deer Polytechnic Athletics

In the final week of regular season action of 2023, all Red Deer Polytechnic teams will be in action starting with the Queens Hockey team in Olds College on Thursday to take on the Broncos. The Queens will return to Red Deer on Friday for a rematch against the Broncos. In other hockey action, the Kings Hockey team will head out on the road for two games against the Briercrest College Clippers to close out the first half of the season.

The basketball teams will head down to Olds College to battle the Broncos on Friday before returning home on Saturday for the second game of the doubleheader.

In volleyball action, the Kings and Queens will also be on the road to close out the 2023 calendar year as they head down to Lethbridge College to take on the Kodiaks for two matches.

Lastly, the curling teams will make their 2023/2024 season debut this weekend as they compete in the Fall Regional hosted at the Lloydminster Golf & Curling Centre.

Please refer to the information below for more details regarding the weekend games and matches.

Basketball

Queens (8-0) vs Olds College Broncos (1-7)
• Friday, November 24 | 6 pm in Olds
• Saturday, November 25 | 6 pm in Red Deer

Coming off two victories over the Concordia University Thunder and The Kings University Eagles, the
Queens will look to take their undefeated season into the new year as they battle the Olds College Broncos this weekend. Last season in February, the Queens swept the season series against the Broncos with two victories.

Guard Sandra Garcia-Bernal had 13 points while playing all 40 minutes in the 79-71 victory. She followed this up with a double-double performance with 13 points and 12 rebounds. The Spanish guard will be someone to watch in the next few games as she is currently 18 steals away from tying the all-time ACAC record of 350 that took the current record-holder Shea-Lynn Noyes 110 games to accomplish. Garcia-Bernal has played in a total of 88 games in her five-year career with RDP and is averaging eight steals per game this season. This past weekend she broke the ACAC single-game record for steals with 12 in the win against the Thunder.

The Queens will be in Olds on Friday night before heading back home for the second game against the Broncos which will close out the 2023 calendar year for both teams.

Kings (7-1) vs Olds College Broncos (3-5)
• Friday, November 24 | 8 pm in Olds
• Saturday, November 25 | 8 pm in Red Deer

Following two victories this past weekend, the Kings will put their six-game winning streak on the line as they face the Olds College Broncos on Friday and Saturday. In the pre-season, the Broncos gave the Polytechnic a run for their money and forced overtime. But the Kings came out on top with a 92-88 victory with centre Jose Mauro (Business Diploma) dropping 27 points and guard Tyrique Walters (Open Studies) scoring 17 points off the bench.

The Kings also swept the Broncos in the season series last February with two victories over the central
Alberta post-secondary school. Guard Eduardo Crespo (Business Diploma) finished the two games with match-highs in points with 22 in the 88-56 win and 29 in the 85-77 victory. After a game at Olds College on Friday night, the Kings will host the Broncos for a game that will tip-off at 8 pm in Red Deer.

Hockey

Queens (11-2) vs Olds College Broncos (2-10)
• Thursday, November 23 | 7 pm in Olds
• Friday, November 24 | 7 pm in Red Deer (Friends and Family night)

Like a lot of the teams inside RDP Athletics, the Queens Hockey team is also riding an impressive winning streak into the final week of game action of 2023. Following two losses against the Lakeland College Rustlers in the second week of the season, the Queens have won the next nine and now sit in first place in the conference. This winning streak includes three important wins over the NAIT Ooks.

The Queens will clash with the Olds College Broncos in their traditional Thursday evening game this week before playing in their final game of the 2023 year against the same Broncos. These two teams opened up the 2023/2024 season against each other with RDP coming out on top with a 3-0 win, backstopped by goaltender Tora Ward’s first ACAC shutout of her college career. Defence Kaedence Mollin (Bachelor of Science in Nursing) had a goal and an assist in the win. The puck will drop at 7 pm in both games.

Kings (4-6) at Briercrest College Clippers (8-2)
• Friday, November 24 | 6 pm
• Saturday, November 25 | 1 pm

After a week off from game action, the Kings will be rested and ready to get back into the win column this weekend. But it will not be easy as they will be on the road in Caronport, SK for both games against the Briercrest College Clippers this weekend. This road trip is never easy as it’s long and both games are less than 24 hours apart with the game on Friday commencing at 6 pm and the puck dropping on Saturday’s game at 1 pm.

The Clippers are going to be tough to beat with an 8-2 record so far this season. They currently sit in second place in the conference while the Kings have a 4-6 record and sit in fifth. On this road trip back in February, the Kings won both games and outscored the Clippers 8-6. RDP was actually victorious in all four games against Briercrest last season. The games can be live streamed on ACACTV.

Volleyball

Queens (7-2) at Lethbridge College Kodiaks (2-5)
• Friday, November 24 | 6 pm
• Saturday, November 25 | 1 pm

The Queens will head south for two matches against the Lethbridge College Kodiaks who will host the
ACAC Women’s Volleyball Championship in February 2024. The last time these two teams faced each other was at the ACAC Championship held at the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre just a few months ago. The Queens and Kodiaks battled it out in the bronze medal with RDP coming out on top in the fifth set to cap off the season with a third-place finish.

Outside-hitter Jaiden Ferguson (Business Administration) finished with a match-high 25 kills with the Queens Athlete of the Week, Dani Wiens completing her season with a 24-assist performance.
Middle-blocker Autumn Roos (Bachelor of Education) sits in third place in the conference with 0.69 blocks per set with her teammate Rachel Perry coming in third in service aces, averaging 0.64 per set.
The matches can be live streamed on ACACTV at 6 pm on Friday and 1 pm on Saturday.

Kings (9-0) vs Lethbridge College Kodiaks (4-3)
• Friday, November 24 | 8 pm
• Saturday, November 25 | 3 pm

The Kings will join the Queens on the road trip down south to clash with the Lethbridge College Kodiaks who are coming off a tough road trip up north where they dropped two matches against the Keyano College Huskies and the Lakeland College Rustlers. The Kings have just played two matches in the last two weeks where they were victorious against The Kings University Eagles and most recently, the Concordia University Thunder.

In their two victories last November, the Kings did not drop a set against the Kodiaks. Outside-hitter Colby Nemeth (Bachelor of Commerce) led RDP’s offence with a total of 39 kills in the two matches with teammate Brett Lower (Bachelor of Science in Nursing) right behind him with 38. The Kings will have to keep their eyes out for Kodiaks outside-hitter Nolan Moes who is averaging 3.92 kills per set and sits in second in the conference in this category. Moes combined for 40 kills in the two losses
against RDP last season. The matches will start at 8 pm on Friday and 3 pm on Saturday.

Kings and Queens Curling (Fall Regional Bonspiel)

November 24-26 hosted by Lakeland College at the Lloydminster Golf & Curling Centre

The Red Deer Polytechnic Curling Club will slide into their 2023/2024 season debut this weekend as they compete at the Fall Regional Bonspiel held at the Lloydminster Golf & Curling Centre. Red Deer Polytechnic will compete in all three divisions this season: men’s, women’s and mixed. Head Coach Brad Hamilton expects all three teams to be competitive. The Fall Regional is the first of two
bonspiels the curling club will compete in with the second event taking place in January 2024.

After both events are finished, the top four teams from each division will move on to the ACAC Championships hosted by the SAIT Trojans in Airdrie from February 23-25. Stay tuned for the results on Sunday evening or check out www.acac.ab.ca for up-to-date results following each day of competition. All three teams will start at 3 pm on Friday afternoon.

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Stuffing the opposition: Polytech Athletics teams go 7 and 0 over the weekend

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Red Deer Polytechnic Athletics Weekend Recap

The Red Deer Polytechnic Kings and Queens teams combined for an incredible 7-0 record on the court and the ice. The Queens Volleyball team swept the Concordia University Thunder while the Kings dropped the opening set but came back to win the next three in the four-set victory.

The Queens Basketball team stayed undefeated and the Kings extended their winning streak to six games with victories over the Thunder and The Kings University Eagles.

On the ice, the Queens made it a perfect 3-0 record in the first half of the season against the NAIT Ooks with a 3-2 victory.

Volleyball

Queens (7-2) vs Concordia University Thunder (3-6)
• Friday, November 17 | 6 pm in Red Deer

After falling in straight sets last week to The Kings University Eagles, the Queens bounced back with a
straight-sets victory of their own against the Concordia University Thunder (25-19, 25-18, 25-15).
Setter Dani Wiens (Bachelor of Arts in Psychology) ran a very efficient offence and had a match-high 39 assists in the win which is an incredible feat for a setter in just three sets. Currently, the leader in the ACAC is averaging just under 10 per set. But this performance sprung her into seventh place in the conference with an average of seven assists per set on the season so far. She was named the Queens player of the match for her incredible performance on offence but also on defence as she finished with 12 digs which was right behind libero Frankie Sandini (Justice Studies) who had 13.

Outside-hitter Jaiden Ferguson (Business Administration) had a match-high on the kills side with 12 with her teammate Emma Holmes (Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences) right behind her with 11.

Kings (9-0) vs Concordia University Thunder (1-8)
• Friday, November 17 | 8 pm in Red Deer

It was a slow start for the Kings to their lone match this past weekend as they dropped their opening set to the Concordia University Thunder. RDP had eight kills and eight errors in the first set on 23 total attempts. But after some personnel changes in the second, the Kings bounced back to take the next three sets to defeat the Thunder 3-1 (20-25, 25-14, 25-18, 25-15). In the final two sets, the Polytechnic combined for 27 kills and just six errors to close out the match with a .305 kill efficiency.

Outside-hitter Colby Nemeth was named the player of the match as he finished with a team-high 12 kills on 17 attempts and three services. He was by far the most efficient hitter for RDP in the win over the Thunder as he put away just under 60 percent of the balls that were set to him.

Basketball

Queens (8-0) vs Concordia University Thunder (4-6)
• Friday, November 17 | 6 pm in Edmonton

Queens (8-0) vs The Kings University Eagles (5-3)
• Saturday, November 18 | 6 pm in Red Deer

The Queens extended their winning streak this season to eight games with victories over the Concordia
University Thunder and The Kings University Eagles. On Friday night, in the 72-56 victory over the Thunder, guard Sandra Garcia-Bernal (Educational Assistant) finished with 12 steals and broke the ACAC single-game record of 11 that was held by six other student-athletes. She also had 15 points to complete the double-double. However, the player of the game was awarded to third-year Janai Hubert (Bachelor of Kinesiology) who finished with a career-high 18 points.

The following night, the Queens faced their biggest test of the season as they were up against The Kings
University Eagles, who went into the game in second place in the North Division. The Polytechnic dominated the first half but in the third and fourth quarter, the Eagles broke the Queens defence. TKU was able to claw back by outscoring the Queens 20-8 in the fourth but it was not enough as RDP held their own in the final two minutes of the game to walk away with a 63-56 victory.

The player of the game was awarded to forward Jayden Demchuk (Practical Nursing Diploma) who finished her night with a game-high 17 points.

Kings (7-1) vs Concordia University Thunder (4-6)
• Friday, November 17 | 8 pm in Edmonton

Kings (7-1) vs The Kings University Eagles (0-8)
• Saturday, November 18 | 8 pm in Red Deer

The Kings had their closest match of the season since their opening weekend against the SAIT Trojans. The Concordia University Thunder gave RDP a run for its money in the middle two quarters. However, the Kings bounced back to outscore Concordia 18-10 in the final 10 minutes to walk away with an 87-83 victory.

Guard Deandre Rowe (Open Studies) was named the player of the game with an outstanding 18-point and eight-rebound performance in the win. His teammate Efe Iyamu (Open Studies) finished with a game-high 28 points with 20 of those coming in the first half.

On Saturday night, the Kings offence exploded, scoring over 100 points in the 116-83 victory against The Kings University Eagles. Five student-athletes had double-digits including the player of the game Bernardo Moller (Business Diploma) who finished with 20 points while guard Tyrique Walter (Open Studies) had 21 points off the bench.

Hockey

Queens (11-2) vs NAIT Ooks (10-4)
• Saturday, November 18 | 7:00 pm in Red Deer

Queens goaltender Izzy Palumbo (Bachelor of Business Administration) stood on her head in the final 20 minutes of the game to walk away with a victory over the NAIT Ooks. In the third period, Palumbo stopped all 21 shots she faced and was later named the player of the game as she steered aside multiple scoring opportunities that would have tied the game up at three. She faced a total of 41 shots, stopping 39 in the game.

The Queens would open the scoring in the first six minutes of the game with forward Rylee Mepham (Bachelor of Education) skating from the blueline into the high shot and firing the puck past a screened Ooks goaltender. But the Ooks answered back with two consecutive goals to take a 2-1 lead into the second period. However, with a goal in the second from forward Alli Soyko (Bachelor of Education) and an early goal in the third period from defence Kyla Hansel (Pharmacy Technician Diploma), the Queens completed the comeback and skated away with a 3-2 victory. RDP is now a perfect 3-0 against NAIT on the season.

Palumbo earned herself the player of the game as she backstopped the Queens to the win over the
Ooks.

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