Last weekend, Ohio State held their Buckeye Invite. In attendance were 7 teams from all over the Midwest. Here is a recap of how it went for each team:
Central Michigan: 4-0
Central Michigan had a great weekend. The Chippewas scored a combined total of 24 points against their opponents and had 0 points scored against them. There wasn’t one single player that stood out, they benefited from strong performances from every member of the team. They stuck closely to what they know best and that is catching. Leadership from Assistant Captains Zach Bachner and Scott La Valley helped lead this team to a successful weekend.
Michigan State: 3-1
The Spartans only brought 10 players with them to this tournament and it showed in their loss to Ohio State. However, this team played phenomenal in their 3 victories, especially against Kentucky, who had the Spartans tied at 1-1 and down to just two players. Due to some amazing catching from AC Andy Lieblich, the Spartans came back to win the point and the eventual match 2-1.
Ohio State: 3-1
The Buckeyes were on and off this weekend in terms of consistency. They beat a good but depleted MSU team 5-0, but had a close 3-2 victory over Kentucky and lost to Kent State in OT, which hurts to see because they were leading 2-0 at the end of the first half. This weekend just makes it harder to determine what level this team will be at when Nationals comes around. They show moments of greatness and then moments of mediocrity. I am sure Captain Josh Conner and AC Jeff Starr have plans to make their team more consistent until then, but only time will tell.
Kent State: 3-1
Kent State brought a roster of only 13, but they came to play. They surprised many in their comeback victory over Ohio State and their dismantling of Western Kentucky. Even though this team lost to CMU 4-0, they showed to everyone why they are still a team to fear. Although they are very top heavy in talent, they played great as a team especially in their victory over OSU. This is a team to keep an eye on throughout the rest of the season and are my “Dark Horse” for Nationals if they continue to improve like they have.
The Wildcats only victory of the day was against Akron, which was expected. The Wildcats have a lot of players who know how to catch. #97 on Kentucky made at least 5 catches in 1 point against CMU. This team has a lot of young players, but have a lot of potential. Zac Brown insists that Wes Hopkins (throws mid 80’s) is making a return. I’ll speak for myself and say “I’ll believe it when I see it.” Until then, the Wildcats look to improve and prove why their loss to WKU a few weeks back was simply a fluke.
Western Kentucky: 0-4
The Hilltoppers only brought a roster of 12 players, but they have shown much improvement since their appearance at the MSU Invite. Captain Nick Johnson is showing promise as the leader for this team. He had his team come out with a strategy this weekend and they communicated more as a team. This squad may have only two wins on the season, but if they continue to improve like they have, I expect them to make some noise at Nationals as they usually tend to do.
The Zips made their first ever appearance this weekend and I have nothing but great things to say about this team. This squad is full of “raw talent.” With the right guidance and instruction from Captain Sam Saccareccia, this team can make some noise when Nationals rolls around in April. Keep up the hard work Zips and welcome to the NCDA!
All in all, this was a great weekend of Dodgeball. Every team came to play and demonstrated moments of greatness at different times of the day. I look forward to seeing how each of these teams progress throughout the rest of the season.