Saturday August 5th will mark the NDA’s first women’s only tournament being held at Owens Community College near Toledo, Ohio. The NDA is committed to growing the sport and highlighting the women in our league on a new stage. This tournament will feature the no-sting ball type and will be played in a 6v6 format. For the first event, there will be the following three teams in attendance: Cleveland Comets, Midwestern Mercenaries, and Midwestern Martians. Let’s take a look at each team below.
Cleveland Comets– The Comets consist of: Kathryn Mays (OSU), Alexis Schultz (Akron), Elly Schipfer (Miami), Sky Thornsberry (CSU), Reni Kaiser (BGSU), and Kacey Durliat (UC). This team will be tough to beat as it is stacked full of NCDA All-Americans from this year! (2023 Women’s All-American Team). #1,#3, #4, #5, #7, and #11 on the list. For the Comets, this becomes their tournament to lose. They have the skill but can they put that talent together and have good team chemistry to win? The hardest thing will be figuring out each others’ roles and how they will contribute. One thing is for sure – they will be fun to watch on the court!
Midwestern Mercenaries– The Mercenaries consist of: Stephanie Figueroa (CSU), Layla Van Pelt (Kent), Laura Fitzpatrick (Dayton Dodgeball), Jasmine Hill (GVSU), and Katie McFarland (CSU). This team appears to be the underdogs of this tournament. Overall, as a team they have the least amount of tournament experience, but that doesn’t mean they are not going to be able to compete. For the Mercenaries, the key for them will be their communication; if they can be on the same page, they are going to cause trouble for the other teams.
Midwestern Martians– The Martians consist of: Nicole Cutich (Akron), Zoe DeLand (Akron), Emily Nicholson (Akron), Danielle Kubbe (SVSU), Kris Haas (CSU), and Mia Fields (MSU). This team also has some All-Americans with Nicole (#6) and Danielle (#8) this year. This is a very talented team and will be looking to take it to the Comets to show they are just as talented. For the Martians, the advantage that they have going into this weekend is their team chemistry. A majority of them play on the same club and the others have always fit well with any team they play on. At the start, look to them having early success against their opponents.
Key Factors– For the Comets, it is just each person focusing on what they do best. Most of them were or are leaders for their clubs so they just need to make sure they pick and choose their moments when they take over on the court. The Mercenaries will need to rely on their communication and that will need to come from Layla and Laura. If they can come up with a strategy for their game play, and have constant talking between each other, they will make it tough against their opponents. Finally, for the Martians, they need to get out fast in their matches to prevent the other teams from getting comfortable or finding their rhythm; their team chemistry will be a big factor.
Final Thoughts– We are excited for this event and for what will be many more just like this. We should see some awesome games and see a lot of talent being showcased. If you would like to watch the games this weekend, be sure to tune in on the NDA Dodgeball YouTube channel at the following link (NDA Dodgeball). Be sure to subscribe!