On November 12th the University of Wisconsin Platteville hosted the following the following teams at the Pioneer Classic: University of Nebraska Lincoln, Cleveland State University, Western Michigan University, and Concordia University Wisconsin. The Pioneer Classic saw a lot of matches that normally don’t happen outside of nationals so it was a great weekend for the different regions to compete against each other. Concordia University is now officially a part of the NCDA! Below are the results and thoughts from the day.
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UWP (3-0)– For UWP, this tournament was all about building team chemistry and trying different things out on the court. Their main objective was to get their younger players out on the court to get reps. Platteville kept their composure at all times even when they were about to give up points. UWP stuck to their game and played patiently to turn things around. They did what they planned to do and that was to go 3-0 on the day.
WMU (1-2)– This was WMU’s best tournament to date and they are pulling it together for a young team. The Broncos have played several games this year against teams in and outside their region and it is paying off as they were able to secure their first win. WMU is hosting their home tournament in a few weeks and don’t be surprised if they pickup a few more wins. Western Michigan is a team that you have to play hard at all times as they are not a team to take lightly.
CSU (1-3)– This tournament was an excellent opportunity for the Vikings to see teams outside of Ohio to see how they compare to the rest of the league. They played four games on the day, which is tough for any team to do. It was an experience that they needed and gave their younger players more opportunity to learn the game and be better prepared for the next semester. It will be interesting to see how they progress all the way up to nationals.
UNL (3-0)– The Cornhuskers did as expected, they went 3-0 and handled their opponents with ease. They played consistently and got some great experiences out of these matches as they look to push to prepare for nationals. This experience will help them in the long run and we are looking forward to them possibly making the trip out to Akron this spring for the War tournament.
CUW (0-3)- In Concordia’s first tournament ever, they played extremely well! They came close several times to getting points and they have several top notch throwers. Concordia is a very athletic team, which is going to help them in the future better compete. CUW knows what they need to do to improve on to get ready for their next tournament at Western Michigan, do not be surprised if they pick up their first win there.
Below are the questions asked of the captains and coaches of the teams at the Pioneer Classic.
Erik Zander- What did you think of the tournament?
UWP Captains– We thought the tournament turnout was amazing to see. It was nice to host a tournament that had as many teams as we did. We personally enjoyed seeing teams from the Ohio and Michigan as well as the new team in CUW. We hope to see other schools next semester in February.
Matt Barnett (WMU)-The tournament was a blast, the facilities were amazing and everyone was super fun and nice.
Leon Rockamore (CSU Coach)-The tournament was great. This is about the furthest CSU has traveled outside of nationals for competition and it was a great experience. The city, while quiet, was a fresh and welcoming scene. The courts at UWP are set up perfectly for dodgeball. Lots of room, nets on both back walls, separators on each court, and not too noisy for call outs. Getting to see teams close to Wisconsin for the first time was great too.
Tre Sumrall (UNL)– I thought the tournament went really well for us. It was refreshing being able to play a team that isn’t UWP at a tournament that isn’t nationals. On top of that, going 3-0 without dropping a single point to opponents is always a nice thing to accomplish. We were there to prove that we are still the team to beat coming out of the Central Region, and I think we did that.
Connor Knott (CUW)– I thought the tournament was very competitive. The team seemed a bit overwhelmed to start but we eventually settled in. It’s a fast paced atmosphere.
EZ- What did you think of your team’s performance?
UWP Captains-Overall, we played well. Our rookies took a big step forward in proving themselves at this tournament. This past weekend allowed us to meet our goal of getting 6 wins this semester so we are excited as a team.
MB-I think my team did good but obviously not as well as we could have. We got our first win in the NCDA so that is a good step in the right direction and we can definitely do better.
LR-CSU played pretty well despite missing a few key players from our starting lineup. After 4 hard fought matches, we went 1-3 on the day and came back with lots of film to comb over for next semester. We had great performances from a few rookies and returners that make me confident CSU is becoming a real contender.
TS-We started out the day pretty slow for our standards. We had a lot of communication breakdown, mistimed throws, and overall a lot of errors, but by the end of the day we cleaned everything up and were playing exactly how we wanted to. Great communication and teamwork defines our team and in our 3 games, we showed that its not easy to beat us even on a bad day.
CK-I think our team did a great job for only have 11 players and being brand new. We just formed a little over a month ago and we are a very athletic team that has some raw talent. However, the team hasn’t figured out how to work together yet and play the game the way it is best played.
EZ- Who was someone that impressed you on your team?
UWP Captains-Noah Larscheid and Caleb Newell really looked good this past weekend. Many times you could hear people “oooo” or “ahhh” after they would beam someone and the ball fly off their chest. Also, Andrew Jones, Dylan Fabry, and Bailey Schaefer really showed improvements in their reaction times so they are more confident in their skill level, each dominating in blocking, throwing and catching respectively.
MB-Chase Rosen and Thomas “Moose” Mosebach. It was Chase’s first tournament ever and he caught on very quickly and has a cannon. Moose caught on to where he needed to be on the court and played his role effectively.
LR-I want to shoutout most of all Alex Costello and Sam Durno. Both rookies this year, they had outstanding performances all day. Racking up a record numbers of kills and catches for them both individually. I couldn’t be more proud of both of them. They’re picking up on the game well and are going to be threats to watch out for come next semester.
TS-There were two people who really stood out to us over this weekend. The first one was Levi Offner, who just got bumped to the starting 12. We weren’t even sure if he was going to be able to play the tournament because he had been feeling really sick, but he fought through and had a really great day. The second person who impressed us was Gabe Moseman. We have been working with him throughout the semester giving him more responsibility in calling sides and being one of the main communicators if Alex J and I are out, and he showed on Saturday that he was the right choice. He played really well all day, and had one of the craziest catches I’ve seen in a long time.
CK-Paul Brock, Isaac Bruins, and Mike Prasch all impressed me this weekend. We should have some more players for the WMU tournament and I have a feeling we’ll come away with some wins that day.