Over a week has passed since Nationals and the dust has had a little bit of time to settle. Congratulations to the Lakers of Grand Valley State once again on their tremendous season. With that being said, no on else in the league cares anymore, we’re ready to move onto the next season. There are a lot of things to look forward to even before the start of next year including All-American and MVP voting coming soon, voting on rule changes, and selecting the next host for Nationals in 2018.
I wanted to take the time to present some interesting thoughts for next season as a nice buffer for what will be some intense discussion tomorrow.
Let’s take a look at some interesting predictions.
GVSU Will Set the All-Time Consecutive Wins Record
This one comes from Colin O’Brien and I have to say it’s a lofty goal, but not that unrealistic. The Lakers own the two longest win streaks in league history, both being 41 wins straight. GVSU is currently on a 16-game win streak which means they need 26 more wins to break that record. They will be losing some good contributors such as Logan Rohloff, Aaron Terenzi, and Anthony Incrocci, but for the most part, return a big piece of their top lineup. With MSU and CMU losing a lot of important players next year, it appears that the biggest threat to GVSU’s streak will be SVSU.
Bowling Green will be the Undisputed #1 Team in Ohio
Let me be clear that when I say undisputed, I mean this team will go undefeated against every Ohio school next year. For years now the state of Ohio has been dominated by two schools, Kent State and Ohio State. This past year was the first time in BGSU’s history that they finished at .500, so it is safe to say it was their best season. Between this year and next they will only be losing one player as well. Granted, that one player is Tyrell Smith, but any coach will tell you a team is bigger than one individual person. At the same time, Kent State will be losing a lot of firepower between now and next Nationals and Ohio State had some struggles this year with getting a full squad to tournaments. The future looks promising for the Falcons, let’s see if they can continue their upward trend.
SVSU will win the MDC
Here is how the past 7 MDC’s have gone in order:
There’s a very limited amount of alphabet soup in that list.
What I think will give the edge to SVSU this upcoming season is two things: they only lose 2 players this offseason, and GVSU loses Ben Tubergen after the Fall. The latter one may sound silly but here’s my reasoning. Many of these Michigan based matches end in OT and I don’t see next year being an exception. GVSU will already be losing Logan Rohloff, Aaron Terenzi, and Jake Devine, all of whom played in at least one OT period for GVSU this year. Now with the likelihood of Ben Tubergen leaving after the Fall, that’s yet another OT piece they will need to replace. The reason I point out Ben specifically is because after playing for what will be his last semester, it can be difficult to adapt a new strategy and roster just one month later.
I won’t make it all about GVSU though. As I said, SVSU will be returning almost their entire team which includes their two top performers this year in Nick Hazergian and Kyle Bruce. Their depth and talent will be able to help carry them through a lot of games next season, especially when, at the moment, it appears CMU and MSU will need to replace a lot of important pieces. SVSU has the talent to win both the MDC and Nationals next year, it will just be a matter of utilizing their talent properly.
Over 400 Ranked Matches will be Played Next Season
Again for perspective I’ll list the totals from the previous seasons:
Between the 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons we saw a staggering 34% increase in the number of games played. Another 34% increase would put us at around 384 games for the 2017-18 season but I think that number will grow well past that amount.
The biggest reason I see this happening is because of Jacob Leski’s announcements about the new teams he has gained interest from, and are planning to join the league. Thanks to his efforts, we will see even more teams enter the NCDA next season which also equates to plenty more dodgeball games being played. Additionally, with the new proposed ranking system from Chief of Content Kevin Bailey and MSU’s Colin O’Brien, it will be more encouraging for teams to travel and play. On top of all that, there has been a big jump in established teams being more willing to travel anyways. 400 ranked matches would be excellent for the growth of our league, and would be a testament to the efforts of the league Executive Board and member teams.
UVA will go Undefeated and win Nationals
And will beat GVSU in the championship 15-0.