It’s that time of the year again folks, where we travel to Northeast Ohio to the University of Akron for their fourth annual Pinkout Tournament. There will be 12 teams in attendance on Saturday and I have decided to do something different with my preview this time. This time I asked one captain from each attending team to write about their own team and match-ups. This gave me the opportunity to really see what each team was thinking and how they believe they will fare this weekend in Akron, Ohio.
I could not be prouder of my team’s accomplishments over last year and the beginning of this season. My team is composed mostly of sophomores and juniors that have an ample amount of tournament experience to do damage against our opponents. We have had an unprecedented season in Miami’s history and have no intentions of slowing down.
Our rematch against Kent State will be one to look out for on any potential livestreams on Saturday. They will be looking for revenge to try and prove their lose to us three weekends ago was just a fluke, but we plan on making a point that Miami belongs on top of the Ohio region.
The matchup against University of Kentucky will be a true rubber match. Last year, we played two matches and that ended with scores of 3-2. The series is tied up 1-1 and this will be a chance to have two full strength squads face off before UK loses Zach and Ricardo. Despite their great showing in Michigan, I feel my team will pull out on top of this match because we had a few more matches develop our entire roster.
Our final match of the day we are facing off against Ohio University. This will also be our tie breaker match, but it will be played on neutral court. I am excited to see the impact of Ohio’s new captains on the court and see how our styles of play stand against each other. I see this match ending up closer than people anticipate after our difficult schedule.
Miami def. Kent 4-3
Miami def. UK 5-3
Miami def. OU 4-2
PSU has lost 6 of the starting 12 members to graduation last year, and is
currently breaking in 3 new captains and a lot of new starters. We are a very competitive team and athletic team; just need the experience to find our groove. So far, PSU has played on par with everyone’s expectations: we lose to the teams we’re expected to lose to and we (likely) will beat teams we’re expected to beat.
As the season goes on, I expect this team to be one of the top east coast teams and jump into the top 10 come Nationals. We are not afraid of any one or any team in the NCDA and want to play as many great and disciplined teams as possible. We are just in the process of putting it all together.
4-3 win over OU
5-3 loss to Kent
5-1 win over WVU
University of Kentucky
The University of Kentucky dodgeball team is coming off a huge rebuilding year and looking to show the league that they aren’t rookies anymore. After an impressive showing at MSU where they kept games closer than anticipated, and stole a win from a young MSU, Kentucky looks to keep improving early in this young season. Lead by Evan Kachelhoffer, the team is looking to improve their 1-3 record this weekend at Akron’s annual Pinkout Tournament against BGSU, Miami of Ohio, and BW. With the leadership from the captains, Kentucky is poised to turn some more heads this weekend. With only three tournaments left before myself and Ricardo hang it up, we are looking to leave it all out there and teach our young teammates what it takes to play against great competition. Ricardo, Evan and Daniel are coming off great performances against SVSU, MSU, GVSU, and CMU and are looking to keep showing the league that they are top players. This will be my first tournament of the season and I cannot express how ready I am to get back on the court. The first matchup of the day is against BGSU. I haven’t been able to see very much of this team since nationals last year, but I think this will be a close game on both sides. A final four finish was incredible for BGSU and I know they are hungry to remain at the top. The second matchup of the day is against Miami of Ohio. This game will be intense with how close our matchups were towards the end of last season. The season split was 1-1 with UK coming out on top at Nationals on Day 1. Tom Morand has done an incredible job with the Redhawks and are fighting to be a top team in the Ohio region. I expect this game to be another nail biter with OT potential. Our third and final matchup is against Baldwin Wallace who I haven’t seen play since Nationals at BGSU in 2016. I am very excited to see this team back in the league and I’m looking forward to seeing what they bring to the table. I think this game will go fairly easily to the Cats.
Dylan Greer THE Ohio State University
Our team has had our best recruiting year since 2011, causing more than half of our team to be newcomers. Our only tournament this year was nearly a month ago, and our performance was fitting since most of our team had no prior tournament experience. In the month off we have seen true development in our young players and have built up a lot of coordination. Our team is only going to improve as we get more experience throughout the year. Our first and most exciting matchup of the day vs Akron is going to be tough. Colby and Adam’s strong leadership is the glue of their team so getting them out early is a necessity. With a good amount of Akron’s roster competing in Elite this off season, it is likely their team will have the competitive edge over our new players, but if a few things go our way, we could likely ruin their morning. UNL seems to be improving a lot, but I don’t think they will have the firepower to take the lead over us on Saturday. UNL will definitely put up a fight but as long as we don’t get too cocky we will likely come out on top. BGSU has lost a lot of their talent from last year but their overall experience still outweighs that of our team. I’m hoping we lock down some of our team strategies at this point in the day that may give us an edge, but BGSU will likely come out on top here.
OSU vs Akron: Akron wins 3-2 OT
OSU vs UNL: OSU wins 4-1
OSU vs BGSU: BGSU wins 3-2
Last place. A lot of things come to mind when we hear those words: struggles from previous years, dreams of achieving what once was, memories of getting to the ODC finals, playing 10 on 15. A lot has happened these four years that us Captains have been in the program that we somehow became the leaders of. We know what we see in the past. But, what do we see in the future? We see a Pinkout ahead. We see ourselves taking an early morning journey down the turnpike, to Akron University to take on the league for a noble cause. However, that is not the only Pinkout that is ahead folks, as we envision a Pinkout of our own. Balls of rubber and air, speeding and spinning across the court into every single target we see. We are going to honor this noble cause of the Pinkout by causing a Pinkout of the skins of our opponents as we control the court with skill, heart, and good old fashioned hiding behind another player in the corner (which we invented don’t let anybody ever tell you different). So in conclusion, what do we see for the future of BW Dodgeball? We see last place in the past and domination and destruction in the future. We’re coming with a new intensity given by Zeus the Lightning God and our on-court potential knows no bounds. Baldwin Wallace out.
University of Nebraska-Lincoln Dodgeball Club
Akron v UNL – Our double header against UWP was as we expected. Matchups/predictions: I predict that UNL wins 4-2 against Akron. We’re bringing a solid group of throwers and catchers that work well together. While Akron has great catchers I feel that UNL will be able to out play the Zips.
OSU v UNL – In this matchup I think that UNL will come out on top 3-2. We played the Buckeyes last year at nationals with a team that was ill prepared and didn’t have the drive to win like this year’s team does.
UNL v Kent State – I predict that this matchup will go into overtime due to this being a later in the day game after both teams have played. I think this game will end up being a close range game with lots of catching due to everyone’s arm being worn out. I think UNL will beat Kent 2-1 OT by 2 or 3 players.
Pinkout will be our first tournament this season. We have some very good competition ahead of [us] this weekend, so we are excited to see our first test as a team in the 2018 Fall season. As a team going into this year we lost 6 key players from last year, most notably the leader that took us all under his wing, Eric Boehm. However, we have 10 solid returners as well as some impressive new year players joining us. For us as a team, this year we play in the most competitive state in the NCDA, yet we expect nothing but success as a team, and we know we can shock the NCDA if we stick to playing our game and ball out each match.
BW: Last year at ODC we had their number, but they put us against the ropes a few times and it took a Superman type performance from Joe Walsh for them to not get a point on us in round 3. We are not going to over look this team and we’re looking forward to the matchup.
WVU: We have not watched them play yet and we are looking forward to seeing how we matchup against each other.
Akron: Akron has been the school we have faced the most. We know them, and they know us. It’ll be a matchup of two very good teams going up against each other and CSU is amped about this match.
Bowling Green State University
On paper, it’s not been an ideal start to the season for my Falcons. In our only tournament, we finished the day 1-2 with losses to in-state rivals Miami and Kent State and a win against Akron. A far cry from the third-place finish that occurred just a year ago. However, there is reason for a lot of optimism. It might be a little early to start talking about All-Americans, but pencil in senior Max Kowalski’s name right now and leave it. He nearly took out Kent State single handedly one of the points, and consistently made play after play all afternoon. I dare anybody in the league to call him out 1 on 1: Spoiler alert, you’ll lose. He looked sharp at Miami and is only going to get better as the games get more important. Despite Max’s efforts though, the poor scores can likely be attributed to playing with a primarily young roster (15 out of the 18 people on the roster are in their first or second year in the league), with many of them playing in their first real tournament (8 out of the 18). Not to mention, Owen Sill, who should be on your All-Ohio radar, wasn’t at the tournament, I’m still recovering from labrum surgery in August, and we were missing a couple of other key pieces. All of these players, including myself, should be back in some capacity by November. As Bowling Green’s young roster grows and these key pieces get back, I have no doubt in my mind that this roster will, at minimum, be a top 10 team by years end. This is a team that will very much be in the Elite 8 conversation moving forward, even though this semester will certainly have its rough patches. The season is a marathon, not a sprint, and BGSU is in it for the long haul.
Matchups: Kentucky over Bowling Green 4-2: Despite my best efforts to get my team to block out negative noise and predictions from articles posted on here, nothing seems to fire this squad up more than being picked to lose. Kentucky has a great program and is capable of beating anyone in the league if playing on all cylinders, and, based off of both team’s tournament play so far this year, Kentucky should probably be considered the favorite here. I’m not afraid to give credit where credit is due. They had a down year last year, but let’s not forget how decorated of a program Kentucky is. They won’t stay down for long, and I believe will reenter conversations as an elite team sooner rather than later. I’m calling out my squad here to prove me wrong, because we are more than capable of picking up a win here, though. After all, it’s my belief that we are the best catching squad in the league. When BG is hot, very few teams can beat us because they can’t get us out. Go out and make plays, boys.
Bowling Green over OU 3-1: For starters, I have all the respect in the world for this OU squad. I’m not one to get caught up into power rankings, but it was an absolute travesty to see them left off of that preseason list. It’s been corrected since, though, so I’ll move on. I think this will be a slow-paced game compared to what we’ve been seeing lately in the NCDA, as both squads are very deliberate in what they do and like to lean on catching. I think that BG will out-catch them, however, and be able to rely on Max’s arm to provide the firepower. I’m very much looking forward to who steps up for this OU squad, though, as they have a reputation of not having much “star power.” I’m sure they’ll have a player or two truly breakout this year, however, and I’ll be right there watching for it.
Bowling Green over OSU 5-3: I’ll be honest and admit that I don’t know a lot about this OSU team. I didn’t get an opportunity to see them play a lot last year, I haven’t seen them play yet this year, and don’t know who’s all returning on their roster either. However, I’ve heard a lot of good things about them this year, and I know they’re under good leadership. Just like Kentucky, they’re a very decorated program and I think will turn things around sooner rather than later even though they’re coming off of a down year. Going off of what I know about my squad, and what recent history suggests, I’ll pick my Falcons to get the win here. However, I won’t be surprised in the slightest if OSU makes this more of a match than what I would honestly like this to be.
Young with a lot of potential is how I would describe my team. I’m excited to see where this team will be at the end of the season. With a strong core and a good freshman backing, this team’s bound for big improvements throughout the year. Our season so far has been up and down, with growing pains and early season mistakes. Having this past week off from our fall break will help us rest up and be ready for the upcoming tournaments in the second half of this semester. A rematch against Penn State is just what Jake Nasiadka asked for before we left Penn State a few weeks ago and he got his wish. Our game versus them was the best I have ever seen them play. They controlled balls almost the entirety of the match and as well as anyone in the league but our catching prevailed and enabled us to go to OT, where we ended up winning. I look forward to our early season rematch as I always enjoy playing Penn State.
Our match against Miami was well played by them against us as they were able to pin us back and dominate the ball control most games. Hopefully we will be able retain ball control. I look forward to another match to even the series.
Our last match of the day comes against Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL). Oh I can’t wait to see what they are made of, coming off two wins to start the season. I’m so glad we get to play them and I look forward to a competitive match before we both head home even though one is a lot closer than the other. I’ll be happy to see them competing in Ohio.
4-1 Kent v Penn
4-3 Kent v Miami
5-2 Kent v UNL
University of Akron
We haven’t had the start of the season that we wanted. But both losses at Miami were kept close after coming back from a point deficit of 2 or more. Yes, they count as losses in the record books, but we are in a much better place from a competitive standpoint than we have been in the past couple of seasons. We kept it close against both BGSU and OU with only losses by one point in each, and they were both high scoring matches. We know how to score, but can’t seem to stop the other squad from scoring.
Akron v OSU
I am very excited about this match. This past summer, Joey Stack, Adam Pfeifer, Josh Lyons and myself played in the Elite Dodgeball League with OSU captains Ben Johnson and Dylan Greer. With our familiarity of these two great players and their grown skill from playing this past summer, I am greatly looking forward to squaring off against the Buckeyes. Dylan and Ben have become two of my best friends from our experiences together and this will be a great match. I’ve gotta give it to my Zips though.
Akron 4-3 OSU
Akron v UNL
This match is a toss up for me. Although I don’t know much about this team, I do know that they are resilient and full of grit. They were able to pull two wins out of UWP, an outcome that I was not expecting at all. I fully expect Akron to come out with the “W” in this match. However, I also believe that we will underestimate this squad and will have to battle back from being a point or two behind.
Akron 5-4 UNL
Akron v CSU
At this point, I think that we know CSU pretty well and will handle business as usual. Cleveland improves every time we play, but we have also improved since last season. and Eric Boehm was a big thorn in my side during our matches, and they lost him in the off season. Akron will take this one without much resistance.
Akron 3-1 CSU
So I am not gonna launch into any specific score predictions or anything like that. I think dodgeball is too hard to predict how a match will actually turn out to decide any kind of spread or anything. What I will do is give my opinions on what each teams keys are to winning the match.
First Game: OU vs. Penn State
This will be our first time playing Penn State since The War last year. That game was very fun to be a part of and I’m hoping this game has that same level of excitement for both teams.
Keys for Winner: Ball Control
As this is the first game of the day, you can never be sure how warmed up everyone will be. It may take a portion of the first half for either team to get into a groove. Maintaining ball control during this period I think may ultimately decide who wins the game. I don’t know a lot about PSU this year as I haven’t seen them play yet, but they always are competitive. A slow first half for either team may be enough to create separation.
Second Game: OU vs. BGSU
I am extremely upset by the fact that I have to watch this game and won’t be playing in it. Each year that I have been a part of the team, playing BG has always been a blast. Our team was founded almost as a sister team to theirs, and I’d say that our styles are pretty similar. Outside of that, the games are always extremely close too. Last year at BG, just after they beat Towson nobody realized that we were one elimination away from OT when time expired. The familiarity between these two teams honestly cancels out any real disparity in talent. Ultimately this game will come down to one thing.
Keys for Winner: Team throw accuracy/Catching
Both teams can catch the ball. Both teams know this. Whoever is more effective at actually eliminating players with team throws and doesn’t get caught and flip the field instead will take this matchup. I do think that this game will be close.
Third Game: OU vs. Miami
Again, upset that I don’t get to play in this one cause it will be FUN. Tom has done a ridiculous job this year at not only improving as an individual but getting his team bought in as a unit as well. This team is balanced and works well together. They honestly remind me slightly of the Kentucky team from 2016 that was just solid. If you don’t play well, you won’t win because they will be solid every time. I think that the styles here make for a fun match as well. Miami likes to throw, while we like to catch. I think that this game comes down to one thing.
Keys for Winner: Whoever wins the third point of the game.
I honestly think this will be 1-1 relatively quick. Whichever team wins that next point I think will figure out how to win the game and it will be relatively one sided from there. Not to say that it won’t be exciting, but the game will be decided after that point.