Dodgettes Navigating a New League
As the 2022 semester kicks off, one thing can be said for certain about the college dodgeball atmosphere: we are amidst an entirely new league. After practices came to an abrupt end almost two years ago, college dodgeball returned last fall, and with it came an exciting season of close matches, upsets, rookies, and of course, dodgettes (Shout-out to Akron University’s female players for coining the new term).
This article continues to highlight dodgettes across the league: December 2021 graduates, pre-COVID veterans, and new recruits. Stay tuned to hear how they made their name in the league and what they are looking forward to this year; in other words, dodgettes navigating a new league.
University of Akron
Major in Mechanical Engineering
Also a member of the Zips Racing FSAE team and travel softball
I played softball and basketball all 4 years of high school and volleyball for 2 years. I think softball prepared me well because I got used to catching and throwing. Basketball also helped in terms of endurance and speed. I did not play dodgeball in high school and I did not expect to play dodgeball in college. I was being recruited to play softball for other schools at the NCAA and NAIA levels, so until about April I thought I was going to play softball and would not be going to Akron. When I decided on Akron, I thought I was going to play club softball but no one was running the club at the start of the year.
I found dodgeball through a friend’s brother who also went to Akron. She always talked about how much fun he had so I signed up when I saw the table for it the first week of school when the freshmen were introduced to all of the clubs. The first practice was scary because I thought since it was club and not NCAA it was going to be pretty laid back. This was not the case though. I met up with the other four girls before we walked in who I barely knew. I saw two out of three of them at an intramural dodgeball thing the week before, but other than that I did not know them. The team was really welcoming and willing to help us. After the first practice, all of the girls decided we were all coming back because of how much fun we had playing with the team. It was a nice break from classes and helped get us through the school weeks. Now we hang out regularly outside of dodgeball and are best friends.
My first tournament was the OSU tournament in fall 2021. I was very excited to see how competitive it would be because of how competitive our practices were. I was not surprised when I saw the high level of competition. I didn’t expect there to be film for us to be able to watch afterwards. That is something I did playing high school basketball, but like I said before, I thought dodgeball would be more laid back. One of my favorite moments so far was our tournament at Akron when the team had matching pink headbands. The tournaments always brought the team together because not only would we play together but then we would go out to eat afterwards.
This spring I am excited just to continue practicing with my team. I enjoy playing dodgeball, but my team makes it a lot more fun because they’re a great group of people to be around.
Final Four Predictions:
Honestly, I have no idea, and I think it could go to anyone. Regardless of people and talent, it depends on how smart teams play. I haven’t watched film of the teams we haven’t played, and since that was my first semester I don’t know what we are up against other than the teams we have played. As far as Akron goes, I think we have a good shot from what I have seen from the rankings as long as we continue to execute what we practice.
On my team I looked up to pretty much everyone when I came in because I knew they all played an important role in the success of the team. They all keep the intensity level high while they play which rubs off onto everyone. They are all also very supportive and willing to help teach regardless of how good you are. I learned a lot of different things from my teammates since a lot of them have different styles of playing, and this diversity has helped me learn what to watch out for when we play other teams.
Being a Dodgette:
It was weird at first because I could tell the guys were scared to throw hard at me and the 3 other girls. Eventually they realized we weren’t leaving after the first couple of weeks and held us to the same standards as the rest of the team. I have been the last one in before during practice and it used to make me nervous, but it has happened so much I am used to it now.