Spartan Invite Preview

*This is the first of three previews for the Spartan Invite.  Previews from Colin O’Brien and Jacob Leski will be published in the near future.

The Michigan State Spartans are off to a great start this season. The Spartan Invite will be yet another opportunity to prove they are one of the best teams in the nation.

The Michigan State Spartans are off to a great start this season. The Spartan Invite will be yet another opportunity to prove they are one of the best teams in the nation.

This Sunday, Michigan State University is set to host the annual Spartan Invite at IM West.  Michigan State along with Grand Valley State, Central Michigan, DePaul, Bowling Green State, and Kent State will take part in a big-time tournament.

As we close in on the end of the fall semester, this tournament will likely determine who the top dog in the NCDA is at the halfway point in the season.  All eyes will be on the matches that take place between MSU, GVSU, and CMU.  Each of these teams has beaten the others at least once so far this fall.  The circle of parity at the top of the league is more severe than in years past, but there is still over half a season left.  If any of these schools has plans of distancing themselves to become the #1 team in the league, this tournament will certainly be a strong stepping stone in that effort.

Bragging rights will be on the line Sunday when MSU, GVSU, CMU, BGSU, DePaul, and Kent face off in the annual Spartan Invite.  Here are my predictions for this weekend’s matches:

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Death Valley Invitational Preview

12065964_10153751370898760_1533872543269592071_nThis Sunday, Saginaw Valley State University will host their first home tournament of the 2015 season when Central Michigan, Michigan State, Bowling Green State, and Ohio make the trip to SVSU’s campus for the Death Valley Invitational (props to whoever chose the name for this event).

The schedule for this tournament is listed below, with a few comments and predictions included by yours truly.

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Akron hosts the first Pink Out


Alrighty, for Akron’s Pink Out tournament we have a lot of teams with similar ratings! Aside from Kent, most teams playing at Akron this Saturday have a average rating of 39.287 and a median rating of 38.585. That’s quite balanced… even with a spread of just 5.991 rating points from the highest rated team to the lowest rated team. In comparison, the League spread is 25.742 Continue reading

Previewing Pumpkinfest 2

Time High Seed Low Seed Pre Event Rating Pre Event Rating Predicted Exchange Exchange if Upset
10:00 Towson UMD 44.806 40.985 0.618 1.382
10:00 VCU JMU-JV
11:00 JMU UMD 57.207 40.985 0.010 2.000
11:00 Towson Kent 44.806 43.426 0.862 1.138
11:00 PSU VCU 37.644 32.224 0.458 1.542
12:00 JMU Towson 57.207 44.806 0.010 2.000
12:00 Kent PSU 43.426 37.644 0.422 1.578
12:00 UMD VCU 40.985 32.224 0.124 1.876
2:00 JMU Kent 57.207 43.426 0.010 2.000
2:00 UMD PSU 40.985 37.644 0.666 1.334
2:00 Towson VCU 44.806 32.224 0.010 2.000
3:00 JMU PSU 57.207 37.644 0.010 2.000
3:00 Towson JMU-JV
3:00 Kent VCU 43.426 32.224 0.010 2.000

Initial Ratings:

JMU: 57.207 (inc +3 for home advantage) (#3 in Gonzalez Standings)
Towson: 44.806 (#7)
Kent: 43.426 (#9)
UMD: 40.985 (#11)
PSU: 37.644 (#15)
VCU: 32.224 (#24)

JV and B team matches are recorded, but do not count towards primer standings.

You may note there’s a lot of potential exchanges at the minimum, 0.010. This is a sign that those matches are not between teams of similar strength. Over the years, I’ve found our East Coast region to be a sort of microcosm of the entire League. You may also note that JMU’s home rating (57.207) rivals GVSU current neutral court rating (57.357). That’d be a #1 and #2 in Gonzalez rating if GVSU has a chance to visit JMU’s home court again.

Previewing Summit Street Slugfest 2: The Sluggening

Time at Kent High Seed Low Seed Predicted Exchange  Exchange if Upset 
11:00 Kent UK 0.907 1.093
11:00 MSU Akron 0.010 2.000
12:15 Kent OSU 0.713 1.287
12:15 UK Akron 0.121 1.879
1:30 OSU Akron 0.193 1.807
1:30 MSU UK 0.239 1.761
3:30 Kent Akron 0.010 2.000
3:30 MSU OSU 0.138 1.862
4:45 MSU Kent 0.536 1.464
4:45 UK OSU 0.934 1.066
*at GV GVSU SVSU 0.146 1.854

Here’s the possible exchanges for predicted and upset results. Take notice of the underlined games:

  • Kent v UK
  • Kent v OSU
  • UK v OSU
  • and to a smaller extent, MSU v Kent.

The Gonzalez ratings for these teams are very close, which may be an indication of a possible overtime situation. An exchange between two identical ratings is 1, the middle of 0-2 range of possible Gonzalez exchanges.

Initial ratings:

MSU: 52.999
Kent: 47.114*
UK: 46.181
OSU: 45.150
Akron: 36.496

* Kent’s initial rating of  44.114, with a home court advantage modifier of +3

BG Invitational Preview

Written by Adam Hynes

Sunday 27th, 2015 at the Perry Fieldhouse in beautiful Bowling Green, Ohio, the Bowling Green Falcons will play host to the neighboring Ohio schools to kick off the 2015-2016 season for Ohio altogether.  The teams in attendance will be Kent State, The Ohio State University, Akron, Baldwin Wallace, Bowling Green and new comer Ohio University.  This seems to be somewhat of a preview for the ODC to come in the spring and a great chance to see what is to come of the Ohio region early in the season.  As always with any tournament there are storylines to follow such as: who will be the top team coming out of the Ohio region this year, how will both Ohio State and Kent State start this season after both being bounced in the first round of Nationals last year, will Bowling Green be able to prove they are still ODC champion material or how will the younger teams perform to start the season?  Only time will tell and questions soon to be answered at the Bowling Green Invitational.  Continue reading

Impact at IM West Preview

Three of the premiere teams of the NCDA meet in East Lansing on Sunday for the Impact at IM West. The Spartans host the two schools that met in the championship game last season for what should be three very competitive games of dodgeball. All three teams open the season with championship aspirations, and probably expectations, with the tremendous amount of talent on their rosters.

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Previewing the Pioneer Classic

2015 UWP All Star Matt Bautch previews this weekends opening match! -zm

This weekend at the University of Wisconsin Platteville, the Pioneer Classic is taking place to test the abilities of the new 2015-2016 Platteville and DePaul dodgeball teams. Platteville has been thinking about hosting games and/or tournaments for some time now, and this year we made it happen. It’s tough to get teams to come and play when it’s quite an adventure to get here. We’re ecstatic that DePaul is making the trip to come compete with us. It’s going to be an all-out battle between the two Illinois region teams to see who comes out victorious. It will be very interesting to see how both teams are going to strategize this year. All new members of the clubs will now get a taste of how the NCDA tournaments work, and also how an opposing team may play and strategize differently than ourselves. Whenever Platteville and DePaul meet, no matter which team wins or loses, there is so much respect and enthusiasm for each team when playing.

After throwing wrenches at our new freshman recruits to teach them how to dodge, we feel that we are ready for anything, except maybe dodging traffic. When we do start dodging traffic, we will start here in Platteville, hopefully working up to Chicago-level traffic so we will be just as good as DePaul. We will get there eventually. After workouts, we drink our own urine because it is sterile and we like the taste. The nutritional value is still being researched. In addition to the physical game, we have been trying to instill the five D’s of dodgeball into every players mind. We even have them on the backs of our shirts as reminders. After all this hard work and nutritional supplements, we feel that this will be the match of the century.

Season Preview: James Madison

Location: Harrisonburg, VA


NCDA Region: East Coast

2014-15 Record: 22-3

National Tournament Finish: Lost to CMU in OT in the Final Four

2015-16 Captains:  Derek Pierce – C, Joe Bringuier – A, Tanner Weaver – A

Returning Varsity Players: 10-13

Players to Watch: Doug Schilling, Tanner Weaver


Overview: When it comes to JMU I normally know exactly what to say and what to expect out of them this season. I’m not so sure this season and consider the Dukes as a bit of an enigma heading into the 2015-16 season. Coming off an overtime loss to the eventual runners up in Central Michigan, the team looks to avoid the rebuilding label early in the season. Continue reading

Season Preview: Grand Valley State University

Location: Allendale, Mich.

NCDA Region: Michigan

2014-15 Record: 37-1

National Tournament Finish: NCDA Champions

2015-16 Captains: Kevin Bailey-C, Aaron Terenzi-A and Austin Morley-A

Returning Varsity Players: 13-15

Players to Watch: Austin Morley, Kurtis DeYoung, Anthony Incrocci

The Three-Time Defending Champs are looking for another title for a record-tying fourth straight championship, but without a couple of their better known players.  Continue reading

Season Preview: Central Michigan

Location: Mount Pleasant, Mich.cmu-logo

NCDA Region: Michigan

2014-15 Record: 31-9

National Tournament Finish: Lost to GVSU in Championship Game

2015-16 Captains: Shane Willette-C, Zach Bachner-C, Tyler Prill-A and Ian Ryan-A

Returning Varsity Players: 17

Players to Watch: Everyone… but to name a few: Brett Hadwin, Michael Riley, Michael Heller, Alex Holzgen and Ian Ryan

The National Runner-Ups from 2014-15 are back and likely better than they were a year ago.   Continue reading