Penn State Nittany Lions Pre-Nationals Spotlight

Leading into Nationals, we look to spotlight as many teams as we can in hopes of shining a bright light on standouts from participating teams. These glow-ups include up to 2 of each team’s standout rookies as well as a handful of core contributing players that have gotten their respective team to where they are going into the National Collegiate Dodgeball Association’s annual finale. Lastly, we get a glance into each participating team’s mindset and expectations going into Nationals.

Nittany Lions’ Rookie Spotlight

Hunter Stewart, #2

With what seems like the most innate talent for the sport that I’ve ever seen, Hunter stands apart from any new player not just at PSU, but in the league. He has a cannon that’s hard to catch with crazy accuracy and anything that comes close enough to his reach, he’s catching. He’s going to be one of the best players in the league as he grows, if he’s not already one of the best in the league right now. 

Claudio “Cloud” Tapia-Manon, #20

Claudio (or Cloud as both him and the team prefer) has proven he has the skills to pay the bills and will become the Vice President of PSU Club Dodgeball next year.  Cloud’s sense of the game is insanely good. He’s a fantastic strategic player, able to read a team’s strategy like a book and disseminate possible new strategies and counters to each team. Even with less than a year of experience, his drive for the game and awesome game sense is to be desired by a lot of experience.

Key Contributors for the Nittany Lions

PSU has long been known for their aggressive play style with a team filled with cannons, and this year isn’t too different. I could list off any of our players as being central for PSU’s team. The main players to watch out for are the captains Brady Eck and Christian Iannuzzelli, the rookies Hunter Stewart and Claudio “Cloud” Tapia-Manon, and the two assistant captains Mason Blanchard and Zachary Eck. 

Brady Eck, #7

Brady Eck is by far the biggest cannon on our team and has unbelievable catching ability. He’s our best well rounded player and it makes sense why he’s one of the head captains. He’s a senior this year and is going to be playing in the all-star game. 

Christian Iannuzzelli, #28

Christian Iannuzzelli, the captain, is another big cannon on the team and is one of the most athletic players on PSU’s team. He’s been playing in the club for four years and has been elected president this year. He’s a senior and will also be playing in the all-star game. 

Zachary Eck, #17

Zachary Eck is one of the assistant captains and is an insanely accurate power thrower. His left handed throws allow him to perform perfect team throws with our team and give players a hard time when trying to catch his throws. When PSU goes schoolyard, Zach is one of the deadliest players and should be watched carefully for his randomly, but perfect, timed throws. 

Mason Blanchard, #55

Mason is also one of the assistant captains and will be president of PSU dodgeball next year. He’s a fantastic strategic player, perfectly timing crosses and picking off enemy players one by one. He operates well with everyone in the club and has an arm to prove his place on the team. He’s typically a more reserved player, but when he gets dialed in, you won’t see his ball coming in until it’s too late. 

Mindset for Nationals – Anonymous

“Our team’s mindset is one of dedication and excitement heading into nationals. We’re gunning for the top and we have a lot of reason to believe PSU will upset the league and make a grab at the number one spot. We’ve been probing teams wrong left and right and now it’s time to introduce the improved PSU team to the Michigan and Ohio teams.”

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