DePaul University Invite Preview

On October 16th, DePaul will host two schools in the annual DUI Tournament.  In attendance will be NCDA mainstay Wisconsin Platteville, along with first-year team Northern Illinois (NIU).  Below is a brief preview of this tournament:

As we look towards this clash in Chicago, it is smart to first remind ourselves on what we should expect from each team in attendance.

For starters, we have the host school DePaul.  This team’s only loss this year was an overtime defeat at the hands of UWP.  They also have a victory over UNL.  I expect this team to win their home tourney.  DePaul will have the luxury of having a full roster since it is on their campus.  Don’t be surprised if the ‘undefeated’ DePaul dodgeball team goes undefeated this Sunday.

Wisconsin Platteville is an interesting team in my opinion.  I was surprised to see that they lost a 3-1 battle with Nebraska at the Cornhusker Clash, but I know much of that is thanks to their depleted roster that traveled to Lincoln, NE.  My gut feeling here is that UWP will once again bring a roster that isn’t their best and it will hurt them, especially against  the host school: DePaul.  With all of that being said, I think UWP will come on strong as the season wears on, and will be a school to watch come Nationals.

Northern Illinois is the biggest unknown here at the DUI.  The Huskies join the league under captain Clint Summerfelt.  NIU will be the 41st school to play in an NCDA match.  I personally hope this team comes in with a talented group of players and leaves undefeated, but that is an unlikely circumstance considering they will be up against two experienced and established NCDA schools.

I was able to speak with the captain for Northern Illinois.  Here is what he had to say, as his team looks forward to their inaugural matches:

Kevin Bailey – How long of a process was it getting a team together at your school?  What were the biggest challenges for you?
Clint Summerfelt – The process was not long at all. It turned out that there were more people than I thought that were itching to play competitively. The biggest challenge was actually cutting players from the first tournament. When 30 people show interest in playing for a 20 person team, how do you tell 10 people that they’re not going to be included in the maiden voyage? It was also difficult to make sure that my teammates understand just what they’re getting into and that this will be NOTHING like the games that we’re used to playing.
KB – What do you expect from your team in their first tournament as an NCDA member team?
 CS – Honestly, I’m not expecting us to do very well. Yes, we do have some seasoned dodgeball players on our side, but we are nowhere near the competition. Some of these teams that we will be up against will be comprised of 15 players all of equal or higher skill level than our best players, I’m sure. It will be fun, that much I know. However, I am by no means expecting a trophy.
KB – Do you have any specific goals for this team moving forward, either for this year, or even a few years down the road?
CS – As far as goals go, I want to get my team out to more competition. Obviously, travel is our biggest concern. Further commutes like Platteville and other regional tournaments may prove to be difficult to attend due to the fact that we would need volunteers to drive and we would not be compensated for travel through NIU. I’m sure with some fundraising that we can make that happen anyways, but for now, I’m just happy that we’re getting our name out there as an actual Sport Club and not a recreational pastime.

Author: Kevin Bailey

Current NCDA Chief of Content. Former Captain for Grand Valley State University (#4).

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