On January 31st, Central Michigan University, Saginaw Valley State University and Michigan State University square off at the Student Activity Center in Mount Pleasant, MI. This is the first tournament of the new year for either squad and whichever team comes out on top will carry that momentum with them until February 27th, which is the date of the infamous Michigan Dodgeball Cup. With that here’s a look at each of the respective teams attending…
Michigan State University
My oh my, where does one start with this bunch? MSU started out the season with key victories over Grand Valley State University and Central Michigan, which is very impressive seeing that both of those teams were in the National Championship last season. However, since that hot start, MSU has gone 1-3 against GVSU and 0-2 against CMU. While that is nothing to be ashamed of, I am interested to see if MSU can prove this weekend that they deserve to be in the same category with GVSU and CMU when discussing National Title contenders. Do they have the talent and leadership to do so? Without question. So what do they need to do to make a statement? This will come as no surprise to MSU, but their biggest weakness is consistency. One moment it seems obvious that they will win a point and then they blow it time and time again. No discredit to Colin O’Brien and the crew he has assembled around him, but they know better than anyone what they need to do to take that next step towards a National Championship. Whether they keep shooting themselves in the foot will be remained to be seen.
Saginaw Valley State University
The last time Saginaw Valley played a match was a few weekends ago and they won both of those games against a very young DePaul squad. So, they are technically on a two game winning streak, however, here’s a look back at how they did prior to January. The Cardinals are currently 0-6 against teams from Michigan, losing two to each of the other three Michigan teams respectively. Some would say that record is not a fair representation of their talent level, with two OT losses and 2 other close losses. However, at their own tournament they were embarrassed, losing 4-0 to MSU and 6-1 to CMU. Do not forget that SVSU is known for having great home court advantage. Perhaps the Cardinals groupies have moved on to another club team to support, or perhaps Saginaw’s team let their pride get to their head, once again. All we know is that Saginaw has a lot of work ahead of them if they plan on winning even one game this Sunday.
Central Michigan University
The Chippewas are currently on a nine game winning streak, which includes 2 wins over MSU, 2 over SVSU and 1 over GVSU. They are red hot right now, but the big question is if they can carry this momentum into the second half of the season and continue to play with a chip on their shoulder as they have for the past four seasons. The Chippewas have always fueled themselves with the skepticism they receive year in and year out, regardless of the talent they bring back and how well they play in the regular season. Of the four rating systems used to determine the standings for the league, they are starting to, if not already, moving in CMU’s favor. Will content writers, league officials, and current members start to consider the Chippewas as a favorite to win it all come April or will they continue to doubt them? CMU’s success relies heavily on that skepticism and perhaps without it for the first time in years, the Chippewas may have to find another source to fuel their drive to win a National Championship this spring.
Regardless of the results that occur this Sunday, it will be an event that one will not want to miss. Good luck to all participating teams!!
There will be live footage of each match…