This past weekend, Central Michigan University’s dodgeball team hosted the first tournament of the 2014-15 college dodgeball season. (The Opening Match was last week at UK against WKU) In attendance were six well established NCDA member teams: Grand Valley State, Central Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Western Kentucky, and Kentucky.
The competition was strong for a tournament so early in the season. Here are my thoughts on what took place over the weekend at CMU.
Best Game: MSU v. CMU – (MSU wins 2-1)
This game was by far the most competitive of the day. Central Michigan was able to take the first point of the game with a clutch jumping catch by CMU’s Kevin Greig on James Schneider in a 1 v. 1 situation.
After the first point of the game it looked like CMU had all the momentum, but the Spartans bounced back to tie the game. The game came down to a few player on both sides before MSU finished the Chippewas off with a catch by Charlie Wilshire.
After the half, any spectator could tell the game was on the line based on who came out on top in the third point. MSU’s captain, Colin O’Brien had to make a few clutch plays as the last man standing for MSU against several CMU players. O’Brien made catch after catch (some on team throws by CMU) to will his team back and eventually ended the point with a catch on a well placed throw right at Central’s throw line.
The last point was a bit anti-climactic, with the Spartans slowing the game down significantly. Central Michigan ended up eliminating 11 of the Spartans’ 15 players, but the comeback was too little too late, and MSU walked away with a 2-1 triumph.
Best Single Game Performance: Colin O’Brien v. CMU
This award also comes from the epic match between the Chippewas and Spartans. O’Brien played a huge role in MSU’s success in his first game as the head captain for his team.
The comeback that he led in the third point of the game goes to show that he is one of the more dynamic player in the league. O’Brien has improved as a catcher since last year, and it was evident with the amount of grabs he made vs. CMU.
Best Team: Grand Valley State
GVSU picked up where they left off last year. winning all four matches by a combined score of 23-0. GVSU will be tested once again next weekend with games scheduled against Kent, SVSU, and CMU.
Most Improved Team: Central Michigan / Ohio State
CMU may have lost their match to MSU, but the Chips seemed to have the edge for most of that game. Overall, it looks like the Central Michigan roster is far deeper than what we have seen from them the last few years. CMU won’t be as reliant on their top players this season if last weekend’s performance is any indication.
OSU on the other hand, had a decent performance in their first tournament of the year. The Buckeyes lost to GVSU and CMU but also took two wins with them back to Columbus. In the loss to GVSU especially, the Buckeyes showed why they are a much improved team, getting Grand Valley down to 1 or 2 players in a few consecutive points.
Though they were not able to close out a single point vs. GVSU, it certainly was the closest any team came to doing so all weekend. The top end talent on this team, led by Josh Conner, Jeff Starr, and Chris Stringer.