Last weekend at the RedHawk Classic, Miami University, University of Akron, Bowling Green State University, and the University of Wisconsin Platteville battled it out in some highly competitive games. The records for the day: UWP 3-0, Akron 2-1, BGSU 1-2, and Miami 0-3. Below are the scores from this tournament:
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The following questions were asked of the captains of each team about the event this weekend.
Erik Zander-How did you feel about your team’s performance last weekend?
UWP Captains– We are very proud of how our team performed. We had multiple questions about the strategy we were going to play, but we were able to overcome any adversity we encountered & executed it effectively. Our veterans really stepped up to the challenge and our communication on the court was spot on – even better than it was at nationals. We still have a lot of things to improve, but we were happy with our performance after only 7 practices on the season.
Evan Brown (BGSU)– I feel we didn’t play nearly as well as we should have to start the year. We didn’t play our game or smart dodgeball early on and it showed. We finished strong though against Miami and we kept our composure, which I am really proud of. I feel if we can continue that style of play as the season goes on, we’ll be a very tough team to compete against.
Elly Schipfer (Miami)-It wasn’t the record we wanted, but I definitely left the tournament excited about the season. Even looking at how we played back in April, we have already demonstrated a lot of improvement in the individual skill of our players, and everyone just seems more confident on the court. There were some areas where I want us to improve, particularly in transition and ball control, but I feel really good about where we could go.
Cooper Sites (Akron)-I felt our performance was very underwhelming, both to us a team and to others watching. We were quick to abandon what was working for us the second we felt some pressure from the opposition. I can never fault this team for the effort they put forth day in and day out. I hope that we give a better representation of what Akron dodgeball is all about at the John Betters’ Bobcat Bonanza this weekend at Ohio University.
EZ- Which of your players stood out to you?
UWP Captains– Our co-captains Austin Kurey and Tomas Zander were absolute forces in the middle of the court and need to be recognized for the impact that it had on our games. Other veterans Chad Jakel, Noah Larschied, and JT Warren all had themselves a day on the court. The player that impressed us the most was Jalen Sims. He was a workhorse for us and he proved he was capable of handling it. He had many game changing catches as well as some great thrown-outs. We expect him to only to improve as the season goes on. Our rookies Dylan Fabry, Bailey Schaefer, and Annie Larson all stepped up better than expected and their growth this year will be our key to our success.
EB-Evan Maynard really stood out to me this tournament with great throws and the ability to make plays in the clutch. Josh Boyers and Dalton Curran also really stood out to me during this tournament. Josh made some huge catches as he always does, and Dalton, playing in his first tournament, played phenomenal making huge throws.
ES– I was expecting Katie Mei to have a good weekend, and she definitely did. Her catching played a massive role in one of our points against BG. Jason had a great day, too. He was the last one in many times, and held his own in each of those situations. He made some key catches, and got some outs for us because he just has the ability to hide on the court and catch you when you aren’t looking.
CS– Standout players for us at the Redhawk Classic would have to be Kyle VonScio, Alex Acevedo, and PJ Antalek. Kyle is a rookie for us this season, but his level of play is that of a seasoned veteran. He has a strong arm with an accurate throw, as well as great court vision. Without Alex’s incredible stand at the end of our Bowling Green matchup, where he survived 1 on 3 for the last four minutes to send it to overtime, there’s a good chance we lose that game. PJ is one of the better-known players around the league. His incredible arm and athleticism are what drive our offense and dictate the speed at which we play. His incredible performance in the overtime period against Bowling Green is what allowed us to capture that win.
EZ- Which team impressed you the most and why?
UWP Captains- We were really impressed by Akron. They had several talented players who excelled at both throwing & catching and know how to play the game intelligently. Miami was also impressive. They are not a team to be overlooked and have some serious talent on their roster. They are run by the heart and soul of the team, #32 Elly Schipfer, but players like #18 Jay Patel, #10 Cole Ginocchi, & #8 Max Edling are young, big time players. Expect to see them grow tremendously in the coming years. Additionally, they have some rookies that really caught our eyes. They may not be a powerhouse now, but just give them a couple years because they are back on the rise.
EB-The team that definitely impressed me was UWP, they made vast improvements and could make a solid run in the league this year if they keep playing the way they did this weekend. I would also like to say I was very impressed by Miami. The improvements they have made are vast and I’m glad to see that they have made such improvements over one year.
ES- UWP had a heck of a weekend, and I loved it. Obviously losing isn’t fun, but I know how much work they’ve put in to be more competitive within the league, and they definitely made that clear.
CS-The team that impressed me the most at the Redhawk Classic was Miami. Compared to their level of play from last season, the team they put together this year is no joke. With the additions of two or three strong arms and great catching ability, Miami has made it clear to the league they are not the team they were last season. I believe that their team is only one or two good players away from being a force to be reckoned with.
This weekend we got to see several rookies in action at their first tournament. It is one of my favorite things every year seeing the new faces and them getting to experience the awesome sport that is dodgeball for the first time! Several were making big contributions to their teams and having a lot of fun. Below are are comments from some of the rookies who played at this event.
Bailey Schaefer (UWP #6)-My first tournament was an amazing experience that I will never forget. The intensity, the team play, and the emotion is something I’ve never felt before and was really fun to play. I’m excited for the rest of my rookie season and look forward to growing with the sport!
Dalton Curran (BGSU)- I never thought this was an option going into college but I’m so glad I found dodgeball. This tournament, even though it did not go the way we wanted to, was one of the funnest things I’ve ever done. I have high hopes for this team, I feel we can do great things.
Phillip Hampton (Miami)-This was my very first dodgeball tournament and to me it seemed very intense! I was pretty nervous in the first game I played, but after breaking the ice it was a lot of fun. Everyone was really nice and I had a great time.
Kyle VonScio (Akron)-My first tournament was very intense, as we played tough teams that liked to keep the game at a fast pace. With not having much room for error, I had to constantly be on top of my game and be aware of what was happening all over the court. I’m looking forward to many more, as I continue to have a crucial role on the team.
Final Thoughts (EZ) – This was an awesome weekend to be a part of. I got to see old and new faces and it is always fun watching players grow and develop throughout their careers. Miami impressed me as they are a much improved team in terms of catching and throwing abilities. They are still a young team and have some things to work on, but they are going to provide tough matches to their opponents in the very near future. Bowling Green impressed me with their ability to move up and a back as a unit. This helped them be on the same page, which they are going to need going forward in this tough Ohio region. Akron was fun to watch as they have talent from top to bottom and they seem to all understand their abilities and roles that they play on the court. If they can just put it all together they are going to be a tough team to play against the rest of the season. UWP was able to put together a good showing to start the year. This is one of the best starts to their season in a long time, but we will find out next weekend if they can keep that momentum rolling as they travel to Lincoln, Nebraska for the Cornhusker Clash.