BOWLING GREEN – Perry Fieldhouse: BGSU will be hosting a tournament this weekend, featuring some of the biggest names in college dodgeball, as the Falcons will be joined by Central Michigan, Grand Valley, Saginaw Valley, and Miami.
BGSU usually hosts a tournament a year at home, and they’ve done well in the past, including a solid showing at Nationals 2010. Bowling Green is led by Dayv Muldowney and Brady Etzler, and Etzler has a rocket arm. If they’re going to knock off one of the Michigan schools, they’ll need him to perform at his peak level. BGSU is coming off a season in which they increased their wins (from 5 to 6) but also increased their losses (from 6 to 10.) The Falcons did play a tough schedule in 2011-2012 though, playing GVSU, SVSU, MSU, Kentucky (who they beat in overtime), James Madison, Kent State, and Ohio State. Despite being the #8 seed in the Sunday bracket at Nationals, they got blanked by #9 seeded Ohio State 4-0 in the first round of Nationals 2012. If BGSU is going to finally make the leap and become the best team in Ohio, it needs to start this weekend with some stellar dodgeball play and pick up a couple of wins.
Miami is a school that was competitive on Saturday at Nationals 2012, before forfeiting their Sunday match. They only lost to JMU 3-2, lost to MSU 3-2, and lost to UWP 3-2 as well. However, Miami’s lone win of the season that didn’t come via forfeit was against first year school Towson 7-0. If they’re as competitive as they were at Nationals, then they have a chance of coming out of Bowling Green with a win or two.
SVSU may be the defending National Champions, but the Cardinals had a tough first tournament of the season this past weekend at OSU. They did pick up 3 crucial points, but they got crushed by rival MSU 5-0, lost a heartbreaker in overtime to Kent State, and eked out a victory over OSU. The win versus OSU was promising though, as they have always had trouble with the Buckeyes in the past, and with such an inexperienced roster they were able to pull out a good win on the road. SVSU lost many key players from their Michigan Dodgeball Cup Champion and National Championship team, but they do have some promising young talent. It still may be too early in the season for them to take down a top team, but this is a good test to see what they’re made of.
With Pat Fisher and Eric Sweet gone, the Chippewas will be tested at the BGSU Invite. Featuring one of the deadliest players in the NCDA in Bryce Corrion, plus one of the best catchers in the league in Brett Hadwin, the Chips could be a title contender. However, they could also be pretenders, as no one really knows who all is back for the team. Still, there’s some former National Champions on this roster, and they made it all the way to the NCDA Championship the last time they played at BGSU, so its possible they could make a lot of noise this weekend.
Once again the favorites for the NCDA title, powerhouse GVSU begins their quest for another title at Bowling Green. They started their last season there as well, as they blew out SVSU, BGSU, and Kent by a combined 17-1. The Lakers have a loaded roster, with 16 returning starters from a team that was one player away from making it to the NCDA Championship game. Captain Mark Trippiedi will have to lead his team well to get through a gauntlet of games, but if anyone has the talent in the NCDA to blow away the competition it is GVSU. The Invite is probably GVSU’s to lose, just because of the talent that they have, but if they get too cocky or if BGSU, SVSU, or CMU sneak up on them, they could drop a game or two. The Lakers will definitely be wanting some payback on their arch-nemesis SVSU, and their rivalry with CMU is always a good one as well.
This tournament will be a good showing off of the rebuilt CMU and SVSU squads, as well as to show just how good GVSU, BGSU, and Miami can be. GVSU has the potential to be the best in the country, BGSU could be the best in Ohio, and Miami could be a mid-level team that could shock a top team at Nationals, while CMU and SVSU are both question marks as to how good they can be.