April BOTM: Towson’s David Guare

I had the pleasure of interviewing one of Towson’s Captains, as well as 2019 National Champ, David Guare for his much deserved Baller of the Month award. We talked about this past season, what’s on the horizon for him personally as well as Towson dodgeball, and got answers to some of the content team’s most pressing questions.

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East Coast Nationals Preview

The East Coast had a strong showing this year and will look to make a splash at Nationals. Since each East Coast team played a schedule filled with mostly other East Coast teams, we got a lucky draw with only one inter-East matchup on Saturday. However, it’s not all good news for the East when it comes to Nationals. JMU, UVA, and WVU will not be making the trip, which is a huge blow to the East Coast and league in general. Anyways, here’s the preview for the Towson, VCU, PSU, and UMD for Nationals 2019.

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Matchups That Deserve Your Attention

With pool play of nationals right around the corner, everybody’s looking forward to the matchups of the high seeds, the rematch, or the potential upset. Instead, I’d like to focus on matchups that may fly under the radar, may not get the most attention, but have the potential to be close and exciting games. This has nothing to do with Gonzalez Rankings, it’s just my personal opinion. I’ll go in order of queue, so without further explanation, here are some games that have potential for excitement.

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Mountain Madness Preview

This Saturday, March 23rd, West Virginia will be hosting their first ever home tournament, which is a huge stepping stone for any new club. They’re also in a great location, being able to draw in both East teams and Ohio teams, which will give everybody an opportunity to play teams that they haven’t seen this year. The following article was put together by the Nasiadka brothers, Cory from WVU and Jake from Penn State. It gives a little bit of insight from each one of the captains and even some predictions for the day’s games. Needless to say, each captain is confident in their squad and predicted some big wins, including upsets. Huge shoutout to West Virginia for making this happen as I think everybody involved is stoked. Below is the schedule as well as predictions!

Cory Nasiadka (WVU)

First off, we’re very excited to host our first tournament at WVU. After playing in our 6th tournament since the beginning of the Club last year, we have learned an incredible amount of what it takes to be a successful team in the league. Since our last tournament in Cleveland State, we have been working harder than we ever have been.  I expect big things from our guys in this tournament.

UMD: I have never seen these guys play, so it’s hard to say what will happen here. Solely based off of their ranking I expect us to compete with these guys.

UVA: We played UVA once last year, and we got destroyed. I saw a team that seemed well in-sync. Other than that I don’t know much else about this team other than their ranking. 3-2 WVU

CSU: This is my favorite team in the league to play. Their captain Joe is a force to be reckoned with on the court. The man has a cannon for an arm. I’ve also heard nothing but good things from this team as of late regarding their progress. 3-2 WVU

PSU: How great it would be if I could beat my older brother on my own home turf in our last ever match against each other.  These guys have picked us apart every time we have played them. To me, these guys always seem like one of the strongest teams in the league. They’ve got some great athletes and they all work well together.  We have also never played them with a full 12 guys. If it’s ever going to happen, it has to happen this Saturday. 3-2 Penn State

Jake Nasiadka (PSU)

PSU looks to rebound after our devastating loss to OU at The War last month. We’ve practiced a lot since then, and hope to show our improved strategy at Mountain Madness..

I expect a big day from our big guns Andreas Georgiou and Sean Emrich. Also keep an eye on Ben Paz in his final regular season NCDA tournament. His leadership and strategy has lifted us up to reach our full potential.

I want to give a huge shoutout to Cory and the WVU squad. They’ve taken such a big leap to the next level by hosting their first tournament and attracting 6 visiting teams. That’s no easy feat considering the club is barely a year old.

UMD: Maryland has one of the toughest schedules in the nation, constantly playing Towson and JMU. They’ve grown very hardy and disciplined as a result. This will be a tough game to win, but I think ball control will be the key. 4-2 PSU

OSU: I think a lot of teams sleep on OSU, as their record is not indicative of how talented they really are. Dylan Greer and Ben Johnson are two of the best captains in the league, and I look forward to seeing how they measure up against us. This will be the match of the day, but late game catches from Brett Miller and Noah Grube give us the W. 3-2 PSU

CSU: CSU has gained a lot of experience (probably the most of newer teams) this year and can hang tight with teams like Akron and MSU. 3-1 PSU

WVU: I always love playing West Virginia. Cory has one of the best arms in the league, and they can be extremely dangerous if their guys show discipline and strategy on the court. But WVU is 0-3 against us over the past 2 seasons, and I expect a similar outcome this time around. Your time will come in the future, Cory. 4-1 PSU

Note from BPAZ (PSU):

I am really looking forward to another weekend of Dodgeball! This team has made great strides over the year and I am hopeful that this tournament will be a great way to piece together all of the things we have been practicing throughout the year.

Some quick thoughts on our games: I love getting to play Ohio teams. They are all disciplined and make you pay for your mental errors, one of PSU’s biggest downfalls. Both CSU and OSU are well structured teams that will challenge us to play to our system and not make mistakes. I’ve always felt that PSU could compete with any Ohio school. I feel like our athleticism and growth as a team will carry us through these two tight matchups this weekend. I expect each of these games to be decided by one point.

WVU has always been one of our most fun games on our schedule. Not only do we get to witness Jake and Cory go at it, bro versus bro, we also get to let our younger guys get some great experience time in a NCDA game. I expect WVU to continue to improve and come at us with full strength. Should be an exciting game and weekend!

Dylan Greer (OSU)

UVA: Looking at UVA’s results throughout the year and reading about their performance seems to show that they have their on and off days. If they bring the heat this weekend this matchup could be tough. If the circumstances fall in our favor, I have faith in my team to prevail in this game. OSU wins 4-2

PSU: PSU seems to be having a good season, and has shown to put up a fight with every team they play against. The win over Akron that went viral shows that this team will make this a hard match all the way until the end. If we can limit their catching ability, I believe my team can pull a dub here. OSU wins 3-2

UMD: This matchup is one we are anticipating the most in the upcoming weekend. Our team was quite rattled after being upset in the first round of Nationals last season, so getting a rematch is very exciting. Our team plans on walking into this game with some fire so expect this matchup to get heated. OSU wins 4-1

Vinnie DeMaio (UMD)

OSU: We’re really excited to play OSU after our Sunday nationals matchup with them last year. Last year was our first time playing them in recent years, and we won in an exciting OT finish. We had a lot of fun in that matchup last year and are excited for our rematch.

WVU: We have no idea what to expect from WVU. None of our current players have played them or watched them play. So we are going in blind to their play style. Overall: We’re very excited to be traveling outside of our typical Maryland/Virginia radius and play some teams outside Towson, JMU, and UVA

Shawn Sullivan (UMD)

WVU: Optimistic, but honestly we have no clue what to expect from this team.

OSU: If our game against them at nationals last year is a precursor to now, this game will be an absolute brawl. Impossible to tell which one of us is coming out on top.

Overall: as the club president, I would like to win all of our games (it would make my day), but honestly, I’m just grateful for the opportunity to get some (mostly) new competition before nationals. No matter the outcome, I’m hoping that gets better all-around.

Joe Shue (CSU)

I think that this weekend is going to be a blast because of the opportunity for teams to play people of close to their same ranking, which will definitely be something we don’t see in most tournaments. Things to definitely watch out for this weekend would be how well teams to adapt one another playing other teams of similar strengths and how they adapt to VCU, who is the highest-ranked team going this weekend. I am beyond excited for all the teams we will play this weekend and I feel that every match this weekend will be a fight no matter who is playing!

Zane Durbin (UVA)

We’ve been looking forward to this tournament for a while, as it’ll give us a nice opportunity to play some teams that we haven’t played this year, as well as two that we haven’t ever played. Getting out of the east is much needed for us, as playing a schedule of only Towson, JMU, VCU, and UMD can get very frustrating at times. I don’t think this schedule could’ve fell out any better for us, as we get to avoid UMD, who we’ve played a ton this year, and Penn State, who I believe may be the best team at the tournament. Also, I think our matchups work well with the roster that we’re bringing. We have an athletic team going, with two guys making their NCDA comebacks. Anyways, here are my predictions for our games.

CSU: This is a team that I’m really interested to play. Along with UMD, this seems like one of the top 2 most underrated teams in the league. Although they didn’t have the best showing at ODC, they did have a 3-2 (loss) showing against MSU at WAR, which is impressive. I really haven’t gotten to see them play at all this year, but love getting to play a new team. Prediction: UVA 3, CSU 2 (OT)

OSU: This is another team that I’m looking forward to playing for the first time ever, and another that I don’t know much about this year. I know that they have a solid top half of their roster and had a good showing at ODC, making it into the 5-team OT style playoff, but outside of that, we’re sort of going into this game blind. It’ll most likely be a dog fight, but we’re looking forward to the challenge. Prediction: OSU 3, UVA 2

WVU: This is a game I’m really looking forward to playing and one that I wish could’ve happened a long time ago this year. I’m looking forward to seeing how much this team has improved and grown since we played them last year at Penn State, since I like to see young teams succeed. In the end, I think our experience and the break that we have right before this game will ultimately prove that they may be West Virginia, but we’re Best Virginia. Prediction: UVA 3, WVU 1

BEAST VIII Recap

Two weekends ago, we had the 8th Edition of JMU’s BEAST and overall had an opportunity to see how the East Coast stacks up. This article was co-written by my fellow captain Jeremy Shaw (JS) and myself and although it really doesn’t have much structure, it covers quite a few of the big storylines from the weekend. We also have some quotes from other Captains from teams in attendance, which will give you a little bit of insight on how (almost) every team at the tournament felt.

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BEAST VIII Preview

Stat Matchups

Courtesy of THE Hunter Ford

It’ll be a Saturday full of dodgeball with UWP’s Zanderthon Throw-Down, BGSU hosting ODC (preview to come), and JMU’s eight installment of BEAST. Although some (Adam Pfeifer) wish this could’ve been the Inaugural East Coast Dodgeball Cup, Penn State and West Virginia aren’t able to make the trip, so it’ll be the remaining five teams squaring off. This is the largest East Coast tournament that we’ve had this year, so it’ll give everybody a better understanding of how each team stacks up. Here’s the schedule for Saturday’s games:

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East Coast Mid-Season Recap

So far this year, we’ve learned a lot about some teams on the East Coast. For others, we’re not quite sure where they stand. Without much out-of-region play for the East, it’s hard to see how they stack up against the league as a whole. Although I won’t talk much about the upcoming second half of the season, I believe that each of these teams will come out with something to prove and some incentive to travel.

To clarify, the notable game is just my personal opinion of the most meaningful game that each team had this semester. It’s not impacted in any way by how any team feels about each game, just how I was feeling when I wrote this article. It could’ve been a score that stood out, a close game, or a win over a strong opponent. I’m also willing to admit that I’m biased towards out-of-region games because I think they prepare teams better for the long run as the season goes on. Now that I got that out of the way, let’s continue. Continue reading “East Coast Mid-Season Recap”

East Coast Season Opener Recap

This past Sunday, four of the East Coast’s finest met in Towson to square off against each other. The result? An exciting start to the 2018-2019 season. So without further introduction, here’s a recap of how each team fared over the opening weekend.

Final Scores:

JMU def UMD 5-1
Towson def UVA 6-0
Towson def JMU 6-1
UVA def UMD 3-2
JMU def UVA 6-2
Towson def UMD 2-1

Towson

Weekend Record: 3-0

If you asked anybody at the tournament, Towson was the most impressive team there. They came in prepared, organized, and confident, which showed over the course of their three games. They started the day out with a 6-0 victory over UVA, which would essentially serve as a warm-up game for both teams. The Towson squad over-matched UVA from the first point on while overpowering and out-witting their opponent. Their next game was against JMU, which looked to be the matchup of the day. It was a back and forth affair to start where each team scored a point and it remained that way until halftime. After that, the Tigers took off and ended with a 6-1 victory over the Dukes. David Guare and Jordan Watt looked the part of First-Team All-Americans and absolutely dominated this game. Towson ended their day with a decisive 2-1 victory over Maryland to finish the day unbeaten. Towson looked like the best team at this tournament, played like the best team at this tournament, and will look to carry that momentum into next weekend’s tournament at Penn State.

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