Pinkout V: The NCDA Strikes Back

The Following was co-authored by representatives from each attending team, hence the differences in style and format for each entry.

Kent State University:

Predictions:
Win 4-2 BGSU. This team thinks that gloves are an advantage but their throws will suffer providing Kent with the opportunity to catch off the backline, using BGSU’s own strategy against them. They will never see this tactic coming… well unless they read this. Nevertheless! Kent State will take over in the second half of the game as the majority point holder in this enterprise much like twitter becoming way cooler than Facebook.

Win 2-1 Miami. Okay, “They had us in the first half, I’m not gonna lie” at the OSU tournament. You know what they say though fool me once shame on.. shame on you, if you fool me we can’t get fooled again. This time KSU will be holding the line and maintain possession of the spherical orbs of rubber. As long as we maintain possession of the one orb to rule them all(purple dodgeball) I see no chance of victory for Miami.

Win in OT vs PSU. The game will start with a lull as both teams will be spent from their previous games during this tournament as both teams face arguably the best teams in the entire league. Spectators will have to wait till the second half of the game to witness PSU becoming the first to lose a point in the match however I suspect that they will come back with vengeance and reclaim the lost ground by scoring a 6min point against Kent State. The game will proceed to OT unless one of their last players attempts a diving catch only to get tagged in the hand and then tagged again as he is pelted in the shoulder, but we might be visited by the three blind mice once more.

Expectations:
The team will be short-handed with players but this will make are sweep at this upcoming tournament that much more sweet. Personally I can’t wait to see the development of the freshman that take up as many positions on the court as the veterans this year. Hopefully we can develop an organized structure with countering and covering infused in our play.

Standouts:
Our standout player for this tournament will be Riley Plyler as he will likely get caught at least ten times. Just kidding. He will most likely be our standout player as he is the main cannon for Kent State until we can fine tune the raw firepower of our freshman.

Final Thoughts:
If you’re not having fun it’s not worth doing. It doesn’t matter if you flip burgers, bricks or houses. Just don’t sit on your butt all day flipping channels. Hustle.

Penn State University:

Predictions:

Akron: We always have a good time playing Akron, that’s why we always try to have at least one match a year with them. Personally, I am looking forward to this match since they are a team that is always o similar caliber to us. Playing teams close in skill level to your own really allows you to see what you need to work on for future tournaments. End of the day I think we can come out on top in a close game 4-3.

OSU: OSU has come out of the woodwork this year as a better than predicted team but, PSU always plays best in their second match of every tourney. I am looking forward to the challenge and if Penn State can stick to what they know and drive off of some chaos like we know how we have a good chance. If we can keep out of OT I think we have a good chance to win by a point.

Kent: It’s been a while since we played Kent and just like us, they are a close to an entirely new team since we last played. Hard to predict this one since I haven’t seen a ton of them the last two years. After some tough losses this year I expect them to be gunning for a better result from this tourney, but we should be able to catch them off guard. PSU 4-2

PSU Expectations:

As always, I have high expectations for us both on and off the court. We lost several big arms this past year, but we have a lot of skill coming in elsewhere. We just have to adjust to a new play style that centers on out new strengths and I think this first tourney for us will really help us dial in on how to do that. I would love for Penn State to start the year of with an undefeated tournament, and I think we are more than capable of doing so. We have I good third of our Akron roster attending their first or second tournament ever but all these guys are more than ready to see the action on the court.

Standouts:

Newer travelers like Nick Norman (AKA shaggy), and Kevin DeSalvo put in a lot of summer time work on their throws and it hasn’t gone unnoticed.
Brett Miller and Noah Grube have shown they are still freaks of nature when it comes to catching anything thrown their way, and I expect it to give a large advantage in Akron.
VP Adam Cook has developed a lot of leadership on the court to add to his jack-of-all-trades play style, which is a huge new weapon for the team to have another shot caller, and captain presence leading the team.
First time travelling freshmen Zach Taylor and Zach Eck have been playing with solid athleticism, absolutely no fear, and show they are willing to make big plays. Even if they end up short on making a play, after a tournament and more practice under their belts, that willingness to make big plays will turn into the ability to repeatedly succeed on the court.

Final Thoughts:

Super excited to kick off the year, and very proud of this team, regardless of what outcome Akron’s Pinkout brings. Looking forward to seeing what we are made of in crunch time, and having this younger team learn from the vets we have. This first tourney will show us what to work on in practice and what to keep emphasizing. I want newer members to get the solid experience and captains to really test their leadership and gain takeaways from this tourney, hopefully, along with some wins as well.

Miami University:

Miami vs. Kent: Miami 4-2

Miami Vs OSU: Miami 2-1

Miami vs BGSU: Miami 3-1

Expectations:

We are expecting to have Miami rally back after a few injuries at the Buckeye Invitational. We are looking to continue getting experience for our new players while maintaining our strength on the court. We expect a 3-0 day with an emphasis on nailing down our communication on the court. OSU is coming off a great start to the season and we plan on slowing their roll. They always have historically played us close so it should be an action packed match. We are playing two matches against opponents we have already played two weekends ago at the Buckeye Invitational (Kent & BGSU) and expect them to be ready with new game plans against us.

Standout Players:

Still recovering from the Ohio State tournament the Akron Pinkout gives Miami’s catchers a chance to step up and make big plays to help lead Miami to a comeback 3-0 tournament. Look to Rob Hartmann(Junior), Ethan Oilar(Junior), and Reid Manger(Graduate Student) to lead this front. This tournament also will be a good time for rookies and some lesser known returners to show off the arms that Miami is known for. You can expect a lot of throwing coming from returners Jon Luecke(Senior) and Adam Mueller(Junior) and rookie, and Thomas McCants (Freshman). Miami is looking to come out swinging after a slower than expected start to the season and you can look to these guys Saturday to be making a large impact.

Final Thoughts:

Miami is ready to step back on the court and are looking for huge plays from the entirety of our roster this weekend. We know all the games are going to be competitive this weekend and need to stay sharp over the course of the entire day. We are excited to face BGSU this weekend because of the absence of a few key players two weekends ago.

Bowling Green State University:

Game Outlooks

Kent – I’m not sure what to expect from this match. I haven’t been able to watch Kent play this Year. That aside, BG vs KSU is always a good game. I do give us the edge this weekend. The key for this game will be ball possession, per usual. In every game we have played against Kent, whoever keeps ball control wins the game. If we catch like we know we can, we can expect to win the match 4 – 2.

CSU – I am going to go with a similar score as our Kent State Game, 4 – 2. Following the same script as before, if we keep ball possession and catch, it will go in our favor. With our “New Look” offence, without Hero Ball from Max Kowalski, spectators should expect to see Owen Sill to run wild. We are going to have to keep Joe Walsh in check as the game goes on and minimize his effectiveness on the court. If we do that, I believe we will win the game.

Miami – With Miami being our final game of the day, health is going to be the lead factor for both sides. We both have some key players banged up already, and it will be up to the deeper side of the roster to step up and play big time. So, with that why not have the game go to overtime!? I give Miami the edge in overtime. Dealing with Tom, Dom, and the snake, Reid, it may prove too much for us to handle. Final score 4-3 OT.

Stand out Players – Owen Sill, Jack Anderson, Gabe “Big Chungus” Carrington, and Brandon Feltner are going to have large roles in the offence this weekend.

Expectations – Play together, keep ball control, and have lesser known players step up and make big plays.

Final Thoughts – This is an important tournament for us to bounce back and show everyone week 1 wasn’t a fluke. I expect the rookies to step up and make some plays that will surprise some people.

THE Ohio State University

Schedule predictions: (Win/lose, score, quick thoughts)

CSU has shown a lot of improvement since last year and they’re only going to get better as time progresses. Joe Walsh is a scary player when on the opposing side of the court, and their strengthened depth gives this team a lot more credibility. I am sure that they have been long awaiting a rematch since our OT victory over them at the ODC last spring. I believe that our team strategy, and the return of a few key players, will allow us to prevail.
OSU 3 – CSU 2

I admittedly don’t know enough about PSU this year to give a fair estimate on their performance. They seemingly lost a fair amount of strength with their graduating class, but if they are able to maintain their aggressive strategy and catching ability, this team can put up a fight. I have enough confidence in my team’s ability to predict us to get a win here.
OSU 4 – PSU 2

Miami is always one of our most excited matchups for several reasons. First, their overall strength forces us to play to the best of our ability and prove to ourselves that we have what it takes to play against the best teams in the league. Second, the character in their players is nearly second to none. Playing a fair and honest game from start to finish makes this sport much more enjoyable and seems like a luxury that this league admittedly needs more of. By no surprise we expect this matchup to be our toughest of the day, but my team has a lot to prove this year, and taking home a victory here is a move in the right direction.
OSU 2 – Miami 1

Team expectations
OSU is ready to come out of our slump and push through the rebuilding process to become a top competitor in this league again. While we made a good start at our Buckeye Invitational, doing so outside of our home turf is just as important. Another undefeated weekend would mean a lot for this program and would take us leaps and bounds from where we were last year. This desire to compete at the top level again has lit a fire beneath our players and will be present at every tournament we travel to this year. If we stay healthy enough throughout the day to be prepared against Miami I believe we can start turning some heads this season.

Standout players
Sophomore Evan Luikart’s return after an absence at the Buckeye Invitational will make a strong difference in our throwing ability. Also expect Sam Palumbo and Matt Mino to continue to make an impactful presence on the court.

University of Akron Dodgeball

Predictions:
Win 3-2 Penn State. After our close loss against Penn State in the Spring of last season this could be a good way to prove our strength as a team, but also get a little bit of payback for how we lost last year. This will be Penn State’s first game of the year, so I see us winning this game in a very closely contested game that has the potential of going to overtime.

Win 4-2 UC. UC is a young team that can be explosive if you give them the opportunity, so we need to slow them down and take control of the game. This team will continue to get stronger throughout the year, but I think it will be repeat from OSU due to our core group of players who have more experience playing.

Win Ball State 4-0. I personally have never played Ball State so I do not know too much of how they play, but based on the current ranking I see us having a solid win for the day and a game that we can use to build confidence in our younger players that will eventually take key positions on the team.

Expectations:
I expect a very strong performance from the team this weekend. I see us going 3-0 on the day, which will be huge for the new guys. It will be a strong bounce back from the OSU matches. I also expect new guys to take large throwing roles this weekend as well.

Standouts:
Our standouts players for Pink out I think will be Nathanial Houdeshell, aka “Howdy” and then Matt Owen. These two are two of our rookies who have already taken big roles on the team and I expect them to have a good day. Both of them want to catch the ball and they also are not afraid to go for that loose ball in the neutral zone. These twos performance will be a major key in our success this weekend.

Final Thoughts:
This will be a big weekend for Akron dodgeball, and I hope this will set the pace for our team this year. A key win against Penn State, and then two more solid wins would set the team on a winning path. For the weekend as a whole I see other teams having some very close matches and I wouldn’t be surprised if there is an overtime or two.

Schedule Predictions:

UC vs Ball State: UC 4-2

UC vs CSU: CSU 4-2

UC vs Akron: UC 3-2 (OT)

Expectations:
UC will be coming into this tournament with a more experienced roster than we had at OSU. With 3 quality games under our belt, we have been able to boost our throwers’ confidence and show we aren’t going to be a pushover of a team like we were last year. After the successes of our first tournament, we are looking to put more strategy into play during the long day at Pinkout. We are bringing a full roster this weekend with only a couple of brand new faces. We will look to continue our progress forward and are excited to be facing a couple of new teams. We are excited to see how our freshmen have progressed since OSU now that they’ve been able to see what it’s like playing against other schools.

Standout Players:
By this point, Brett & Brannon are household names in the Ohio region, so we’re excited to share the spotlight with some of our other talented players. Cory Heitmann (sophomore) is our fearless middle player with a heck of an arm. Jacob Bursk (freshman) will be playing in his second tournament this weekend, and will look to build upon his strong performance at Ohio State. Lastly, Ian Bartholomew (freshman) will be playing in his first tournament. He’s got a cannon of an arm that will definitely leave some damage.

Final Thoughts:
UC is going to continue moving forward this weekend. We certainly expect to win a match, if not two, all-the-while gaining our players more valuable experience. By the end of the day we expect all of our guys to be playing with a ton of confidence and chomping at the bit for more.

Matchup 1: Cleveland State Vs. OSU
For this matchup I honestly can not declare what is going to happen. The last time we met with the Buckeyes it was an intense game that went into overtime and the Buckeyes coming out on top. They are an extremely tough team and I respect everyone of them as tough competitors. Just like us they play with a lot of emotion and heart and that’s exactly what this matchup will be is a battle of heart and who wants it more. I see this being one of the best games of the day from my perspective which I don’t feel is a biased assessment. They have very strong leaders in Ben Johnson, Dylan Greer, and Frank Cerny. They are an extremely good team and it will be a very good game to watch.

Matchup 2: Cleveland State vs. BGSU
As much as I wish I could say we will win this game I predict the Falcons to take this one 3-2. They are an extremely tough team who come to play every time they step on the court. They have amazing catching ability and throughout previous years they have seemed to have our number. I just hope this time we can give them a run for their money. Max Vincent and Owen Sill are definitely a two-man-tandem together and can cause some damage to any team they face.

Matchup 3: Cleveland State vs UC
Without a doubt I see the growth this team has done and I’m glad they are definitely coming together as a team more. Wes Peters’ as their coach definitely helps this team with his Dodgeball IQ and all the info he can give to his young captain Brett Liming. They have definitely made big strides as seen how they played at the Buckeye Invitational but I predict us to take this game 3-1.

Matchup 4: Cleveland State vs. BSU
Ball State is still a relatively new team still trying to get their legs under them. They have some star power in Kevin Frye and Keegan Short but otherwise I feel lack the consistency in other players to overpower us. I feel we will take this game 4-0 even after playing 3 other games before this one. I really hope to see some encouraging stars for a relatively unknown team.

I am extremely hopeful that my team can at least go 3-1 on the day keep striving for our goal to move up rank and make a push for the top 15. We are going extremely hard on ourselves to create a team at CSU in which people know is going to be a tough matchup and not just a walk over. A 2-1 start at the Buckeye Invitational was huge and hopefully we can keep pushing and win some more higher ranked games. For Cleveland State we have a lot of veteran players in which is a huge help to continue to stride the team forward. A few players to watch out for on Cleveland State to have hopefully a big day for the Vikings is Leon Rockamore, Phillip Kline, and Rece Emplit are just 3 players out of many who can have an impactful day and help push the team to some wins and big plays.

The Vikings are hopefully an up and coming team in the league striving for glory by making their way into the top 15. This will be an extreme test of will and resiliency playing 4 games in one day. We will be the only team playing that many and are seeing some extreme competition that day in our competitors. I can’t wait to see what this day brings out of this Vikings team and all the good learning experiences they will get out of it. Hopefully the only thing that can be said is don’t underestimate this team and every match with us is a dogfight to the finish.

I think BSU will go 2-1 W/L this weekend, with wins against CSU and UC with both being very close matches. BSU 3-2 over CSU in overtime. Then 3-1 UC. I believe that we will lose to Akron by a score of 6-1.

BSU will do quite well as long as we play how we have been practicing.

Standout players would have to be Keegan Short and Cameron A, with both of them being great catchers and being very consistent players for us.

Final thoughts:

I think BSU will do well because majority of the members that are coming will be returning members of the team.

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