From the Red Deer Polytechnic Queens
RED DEER, Alta. – Red Deer Polytechnic Queens Volleyball’s Kaylee Domoney doesn’t seek
the spotlight, but the recognition that she has received for her play has been well deserved.
The two-time Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) Women’s Volleyball South All-Conference libero has helped the Queens (8-0) reach first in the division heading into the break, but there’s certainly no complacency.
“We are aiming high this year. We want to win the ACAC title and then go to nationals,” says Domoney, a fifth-year. “The goal is to cap off the season with gold. We know we have the potential.”
So far this season, the Kinesiology General student has 53 digs, eight assists, and one kill. With Domoney demonstrating a relentless work ethic in an important defensive role, the team has won 24 consecutive sets to open the 2021/2022 campaign.
“In any way I can, I want to contribute to the team so that we can be successful,” says Domoney. “I’m very competitive and want to dig every ball.”
Chris Wandler, Red Deer Polytechnic Queens Volleyball Interim Head Coach, feels that Domoney’s ambition and attention to details inspire those around her.
“Kaylee is a consistent leader who has a tremendous work ethic. Her teammates see what she does on the court, and they don’t want to let her down,” says Wandler of the 2019/2020 Red Deer Bottling Outstanding Female Athlete of the Year at the Polytechnic. “She is just so tough to play against and a phenomenal teammate to have. Kaylee does everything she can to make the next dig and win the next point.”
Domoney’s journey to become one of the top ACAC liberos began in 2016/2017 after starring with the powerhouse Lindsay Thurber Raiders in high school. In her first four seasons, she helped the Queens win ACAC silver and two bronze medals, along with Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) national bronze. In addition to earning a pair of All-Conference awards during that span, she led the league with 387 digs in 2018/2019.
“In her first year, Kaylee was very much a role player, but we knew that she had the skills to take that libero and backcourt captaincy over,” says Wandler. “Her performance really picked up in her second and third year. By her fourth year when we made that run at nationals, you could see her contributions as an elite player.”
In 2019/2020, Domoney’s fourth season, she impressively broke the all-time digs record for Queens Volleyball with 1,005. So far, she has expanded that record to 1,058 digs.
“Kaylee is one of the best liberos in the ACAC. It’s come with a lot of hard work, sweat, and scrapes on the floor,” says Wandler. “She’s a leader through her performance and calms everyone down around her.”
This season, the Red Deer Polytechnic Queens boast one of their deepest and most talented rosters in recent years which has translated into high aspirations.
“When the roster was constructed, we saw that we would have a really good shot at doing something remarkable,” says Wandler, the 2018/2019 ACAC Women’s Volleyball South Coach of the Year.
As a result of the depth and a desire to win, the student-athletes have been willing to assume adjusted roles.
“Our coaches and leadership group talked about the importance of everybody knowing their role on the team,” says Domoney. “Whether you are a starter or are coming off the bench as a serve sub, everyone contributes.”
Setting early objectives has been an important component of the team’s success.
“After preseason, we set out a big goal and then looked at what do we need to do daily to reach it,” explains Wandler. “Once we got that established, players’ roles and identities started to surface where we could emphasize everyone’s strengths.”
While Red Deer’s Domoney consistently uses her strengths for the betterment of the team, she also has some individual goals in her final year.
“As in previous years, I would like to be recognized as an ACAC All-Conference libero again,” she says. “I broke the [Queens] record last year for digs and am trying to get as many as possible this season.”
These aspirations and strong play from Domoney have helped the Queens enter the holiday break on a positive note. In order to continue their momentum in the latter half of the schedule, the Red Deer Polytechnic Queens will try to balance rest with staying in shape over the holidays.
“Rest and recuperation are important, but it’s also a good time to get into the weight room and get a little stronger. We will be back January 3 and train that week,” says Wandler. “Then we will scrimmage against MacEwan University on January 8. We want to make sure that everyone is ready to go in the second half.”
As Domoney prepares for the final eight games of the season and then playoffs, she reflects on the relationships that she’s created at Red Deer Polytechnic.
“Whether teammates or coaches, I’ve met some amazing people,” she says. “Going through this journey with them has just been an incredible experience.”
Domoney and the Red Deer Polytechnic Queens (8-0) will resume conference play against the Ambrose University Lions (3-3) on Friday, January 21.
There’s no doubt that Domoney will be a key player down the stretch.
“Kaylee is an important pillar to everything that we do,” says Wandler. “She will be a big part of how far we go.”