Grand Valley State’s Lanthorn Newspaper published and article on GV Dodgeball.
By DEREK WOLFF Updated: January 9, 2013, 6:42 PM
The Grand Valley State University dodgeball club rolls into the winter semester with an impressive 4-1 mark through the first half of play, good enough to earn the club the nation’s No. 6 ranking.
Michigan is well-represented in the latest National Collegiate Dodgeball Association standings, with rivals Michigan State University, Saginaw Valley State University and Central Michigan University all placing within the top ten as well, in 3rd, 5th and 7th respectfully.
However, the Lakers know that they still have a lot of work to do if they want to continue their success and get back to a national title game. GVSU won four straight NCDA titles from 2006-2010, but lost the title game in 2011 and fell short in last year’s semi-finals.
Senior assistant captain Kenny Bacchus said that the level of competition in the league has gradually been getting better, and this has given the Lakers a number of challenging new foes.
“We’ve been working really hard in practices this past year,” Bacchus said. “The last couple years Grand Valley was better than everyone else, but now everyone is catching up, so we have to work even harder.”
Club president Dylan Fettig, a senior, said the team has gone through a rebuilding process and is looking for some of the younger players to step up if the team wants to return to prominence.
“This season, we’re looking to build our depth back up,” Fettig said. “We had a lot of guys graduate after the last national championship run, so we’re looking forward to some of the younger guys stepping up.”
GVSU has been off for a while after defeating Michigan State University 3-2 in an overtime thriller Dec. 2. The game also gave the team and the fans a look at one of the NCDA’s biggest rule changes this season.
“It was a pretty intense game because it went into overtime,” said sophomore Austin Morley. “The new overtime system is now six versus six. It used to be 15 versus 15, and they changed it to our best six players versus their best six players. So that was a good way to showcase the new system, but the win itself was pretty big.”
Fettig emphasized the fact that the Lakers had never lost against their I-96 rivals.
“We’ve never lost to them, so it was a big deal to keep our record against Michigan State,” he said. “It was pretty nuts because it was the first time we’ve done the new overtime rule. We had a brush with death but it turned out in our favor.”
While the team has had few and far between opportunities to shine so far this season, optimism remains high that there will be more games, and hopefully another shot at a national title is on the horizon.
GVSU will pick up play this weekend in the Chicago Dodgeball Open where they will square off against James Madison University, Depaul University and the University of Nebraska. James Madison ranks fourth in the standings, with a 6-1-1 record, while Depaul is just outside the top 10 at the number 11 spot.
“There’s going to be a lot of good teams, especially from Michigan,” Bacchus said. “I think those teams are the powerhouse of the NCDA.”