This past weekend had West Virginia, Saginaw Valley State, Kent State and Akron traveling to Cleveland State to take part in the Magnus’ Rock Fest. Cleveland State hosted their first tournament and it was a great success, bringing in five teams from three different states. Thank you to Casey Brown for giving us his thoughts on this tournament.
Kent def CSU 2-1
SVSU def WVU 4-0
Akron def WVU 4-0
SVSU def CSU 4-1
Kent def WVU 4-0
SVSU def Kent 5-0
Akron def CSU 2-1
The Following was written by CSU’s Casey Brown and Akron’s Colby Briceland
WVU: I like these guys, a lot. Great athletes and lots of heart, they just need to put more work into refining their dodgeball IQ and to work as a team. If they can put together a full game of dodgeball working together and staying disciplined, then they can become a competitive squad and take the league by storm. The future of this league involves the Mountaineers.
Kent: Let me start this out by stating that I mean no offense when I say that Kent State did not show up to the tournament. This was a different team. I’m going to chalk it up to rust from the break. I know how the Golden Flashes can perform, and this isn’t it. I expect a hard rebound this weekend at the WAR III. There is definitely still time to rebound from this.
SVSU: Despite the dominant scores, the matches were closer than they appeared to be. SVSU started slow on the day and showed fatigue early on. But the depth and veteran leadership of Kenny Mize, Kyle Bruce and Jake Bruce were able to outlast their opponents. Hopefully they are able to bring a deeper roster to their remaining tournaments or it could be a long and sore semester for the Cardinals on their road to another semi-finals.
CSU: Cleveland State really pushed their opponents to the limit this past weekend. This is the most impressed I’ve been by them thus far. Again, their youth and inexperience hindered their chance for victories. Despite the flashes of brilliance I witnessed from the Vikings, they still have yet to put together a complete match of dodgeball. If they can close the gap between the top and bottom of their roster then we might see CSU break top 10 in the seasons to come.
Akron: Some solid wins for the Zips despite having low numbers for the weekend. However, no wins against a top ten team yet this semester. This next weekend will be telling on exactly where Akron should be in the rankings. Standout performances from Josh Lyons, Joey Stack and Jacob Weber helped to keep the Zips with a winning record this season. We are back in action this weekend as we host the third annual WAR tournament.
Kent: We started this game out exactly the way we wanted to. We controlled the clock, we controlled ball advantage, and we controlled the entire flow of the game. Our rookies, like Gabe Getsy, stepped up big in the first point. Next point seemed like the longest point I have ever been a part of. We were down to 3 guys with 5 minutes left and somehow Jerek Beltkowski was able to survive for close to three minutes by himself until halftime hit. After the half Kent really changed around their entire game plan. Credit to Parker and the Kent team, they continued to play aggressive, yet they started to be effective. We didn’t execute on a few aspects and two points went their way. When we faced them at Kent last semester, putting up 2 points after down 3-0 was a very encouraging performance by CSU. Even though it still did not go our way today, this match-up might have been our best performance of the year, yet.
SVSU: This game was a huge learning experience for us as a team going forward. SVSU brought a shorthanded team, and even then, they looked well run and ready every match. That’s a huge credit to Kenny Mize and the rest of the captains for Saginaw. They somehow caught anything that wasn’t spiked in front of them. We didn’t give our best throws and they capitalized by catching them. That’s what good teams should and will do. Us being able to put a point on SVSU was very encouraging, but there were some great lessons we can build on from this game.
Akron: Before I get into the match-up, I want to thank Akron for jumping in this tournament on very short notice. Game wise, this one was a tough one to reflect on. Like the Kent game, we once again started off hot and controlled the game which led to the first point going to us. However, afterwards, Adam and Colby did a great job of controlling their guys, sticking to their game plan and were able to put up 2 points on us. Very reminiscent of our previous match-up last semester where it was two teams exhausted but playing a tight game down to the wire. There is a good chance this was my last CSU vs Akron game and that’ll be one of the big things I miss after this year.
Overall: This tournament had a mixture of highs and lows for CSU as a team. We’ve been given a lot of praise these past few months from the NCDA community and while we were pleased by it, it would have been much more ideal to show why we deserve it. We have some important things to address at practice, but we also gained valuable experience playing today. This definitely prepared us for The War III next weekend and we’ll be excited to get back to it.