Michigan State Dodgeball’s Sam Hiller
*All rankings are based off the standings as of January 27, 2012
The 2012 Michigan Dodgeball Cup may be the most loaded field in the history of the tournament. Typically the second biggest tournament of the season for Michigan schools, the MDC has six schools for 2012, including the top three teams in the nation and the defending national champions.
Last season’s defending MDC champion Grand Valley State are off to a 8-0 start in the early season, with a point differential of 36 points through those 8 games. Last season’s National runner up, GVSU is ranked #1 after going 3-0 at the Chicago Dodgeball Open, and are led by captain Mark Trippiedi. The Lakers have a strong team and could very well be the favorite to win both the MDC and Nationals this season. The Lakers open their tournament with a match against CMU in a matchup of the last two National and MDC champions.
The #2 ranked team in the country, Saginaw Valley, is heading strong into Nationals with an 8-2 record, with their only losses coming to GVSU. They also went 3-0 at the Chicago Dodgeball Open, knocking off DePaul, Moody, and Nebraska. Their captain, Spencer Jardine, is one of the best all-around players in the country and they’ve played consistently well for the past few seasons, but could this be the season they make the leap to being an elite program and winning either the MDC or Nationals?
The host school, #3 Michigan State, is wondering the same question. This year they’ve beaten both of their Big Ten rivals in Ohio State and Nebraska, and have posted 48 points in 11 games, the most points scored this season by any team to this point. However, the Spartans have still yet to beat GVSU, and haven’t beaten CMU in 4 years. Captain Sam Hiller is hoping to make a statement and beat those two schools and turn the State program into a National title contender. The Spartans will go up against local rival LCC and will also face Saginaw Valley.
Defending National Champion Central Michigan has only played one game all season (a 2-1 loss at SVSU) but they’re still one of the favorites for the title. Featuring a bunch of cannon arms to go along with some solid catchers, the #19 Chippewas want to win a second Michigan Dodgeball Cup title. Possibly the deepest team in terms of talent, and having some of the best all around players in the league like Bryce Corrion and Eric Sweet, the Chips are going to have to fight off some tough competition and are no longer the hunters, but the hunted.
After making their first MDC appearance last year, the Lansing Community College Silver Stars are hoping to pick up their first win in the history of the program. They have some elite players at the top, featuring captain Kevin Nguyen, but their depth is an issue. They’re playing their first games of the season in the tournament, so it will be interesting to see if they have any cohesion and teamwork, but their top six players can go toe to toe with anyone else’s top six any day.
#14 Eastern Michigan has had a turbulent season. They’ve played in just one tournament, the MSU Invite, where they dropped all four games they played. They’ve only scored three points in four games, and they’ve had a leadership change. However, the Eagles are still a dangerous team and could possibly sneak up on a team at the MDC and take them down. There’s plenty to like from this team, and they could possibly win their first game this season at the MDC.
The 2012 Michigan Dodgeball Cup will be an absolute battle for the title, as the top teams in the nation will be in attendance and there will certainly be a number of great matches.