Last Saturday, four teams were in action and put evrything out on the court at the Redhawk Rampage II. Miami University (3-0) came out on top, followed by Bowling Green State University (2-1), University of Wisconsin Platteville (1-2) and University of Cincinnati (0-3). The following are the results for the day and the captains’ review of the teams and their performances.
The results from the day at Phillips Hall Oxford, OH
UWP def UC 6-0
Miami def UWP 6-1
Miami def BGSU 4-0
BGSU def UWP 4-2
BGSU def UC 5-0 called early
Miami def UC 5-0 called early
Captain’s Thoughts- The following are the breakdown of the games from each of the team’s leaders.
Brett Liming (UC)– UC’s second tournament was the Redhawk Rampage II, we brought 10 people, for three of them it was their first tournament. During our first match against UWP, our team showed its potential, but strategy issues come with a young team. UWP did a great job on their crosses, these took us by surprise and were a constant threat. This was also our first tournament where wall ball was in play. We would find ourselves constantly down balls because we were not effectively using them. With time, we will be able to work on our game plan and develop our arms. Against BGSU and Mami we also played very well. We were able to get them down to 10 counts on a few occasions. For a new team, this was a big success. We are taking what we have learned and are going to make a statement at nationals to quickly progress to become a competitor in the NCDA. One person for UC that made a statement was Tim Kelly. This was Tim’s first tournament. As the day progressed, his throw developed and by our third game, he was one of our primary throwers. As he further understands the game, I feel he is going to be a big contribution to UC’s success down the road.
Tom Morand (Miami)– The Redhawk Rampage II went almost as picture perfect as we could have expected. We went 3-0 and outscored our opponents 15-1. This tournament marks a 14-win streak over the past two seasons while outscoring other teams 59-14. Here’s a look into each of our matches we faced, UWP, BGSU, and UC.
We played UWP and were tied 1-1 in the first half before going into half time 2-1 and later finishing the match with almost the same score as the last match up at 6-1. UWP was the only team that took a point on us and the deciding factor for that point was they were able to take out a few top arms early in the point to take the head off the wall ball snake. Overall, props to the Zanders for leading the team, but they need to be able to develop a few more consistent throwers for their team to be considered a threat on both ends of the court. They get most of their outs on crosses in transition and catches on the back line. Also, shootout to my assistant captain, Henry Ferguson for maybe having one of his best catching games this year with double digit catches.
As everyone knows, BGSU just beat Miami in a heartbreaking OT match at the ODC, but it is time to move on from the past. We came out firing on all cylinders to get some revenge. This game ultimately ended 4-0 and it really exposed the number of primary catchers they have on the team. I will address the elephant in the room that I am sure Reid and others will or have discussed and that is wall ball. Yes, wall ball occurred during this tournament, but there are ways to prevent it and counteract it. BGSU’s play style fell directly into the worst victim of it because they rely on 2/3 of their team to catch and only a few players to make key throws throughout the match. If you can take out those throwers the point is enviably over if we can team throw repeatedly. I personally think that Miami adapts better to gyms without walls than BGSU adapts to gyms with walls. At the end of the day, the league would like to get rid of ball wall, but sometimes it is necessary evil. Overall, BGSU made some good catches, but no one had an all-star perform because Dominic Tyburski, Drew Maxwell, Cam Pirochta, and I were able to completely shut down their offensive element of their game while Austin Michael and Henry Ferguson made catches left and right.
Moving on from Bowling Green, UC continues to impress me. I know on the surface level everyone must think I am crazy because they didn’t score a point, but boy were points in the realm of possibilities for them during the UWP game. This team reminds me a lot of Miami a few years ago. It is structured in the same way, you have some extremely passionate and talented players on their roster already like Brett Liming and Brannon McGinn. UC may not have the strategy down perfectly, but what team did 6 games into the league. This group of all freshman are already having fun in the league and have far more knowledge of the game than we did at that point in their team’s career. I am really optimistic of this team. I saw tons of crazy catches that they brought in this weekend against Miami, BGSU, and UWP and once they get a bit more experience at nationals this April and another recruitment class, they may run up the ranks faster than you imagine.
Reid Manger (BGSU)– This tournament went about as we expected it would. We don’t love losing to Miami 4-0, especially coming off of a win against them two weeks ago, but they’re so tough to play in that Cracker Jack box of a gym. They got ball control and there was just no getting back into the point from there. Both games against UWP and UC went smoothly like we wanted them to, and walking away from the day 2-1 is something we’re okay with. Unfortunately, this was our last opportunity to play before Nationals, but I think we’ll come prepared. Some players that stuck out: Miami really has too many to name. Tom leads that team in more ways than one, but is probably at his best in transition. He picked off a lot of our players from countering alone. Dom is a loose cannon out there (in a good way), and Kevin (among many others) are solid contributors as well. The Zanders for UWP played well, and UC’s Brannon McGinn played about as well has he did at ODC.
Mark Liedtke (UWP)– I think we had a good showing this weekend overall. Our game against UC went as expected but I was excited to see how far they have come since the last time we played them. I was very impressed with how we played in the first few points against Miami. We battle hard and worked very well together for the first part of the match so that was a great take away for us. I thought we also played well against BGSU. Last time we played them, we did not really put up much of a fight so this was a big improvement for us. One of our players that stood out to me this weekend was Kyle Reinke. He does not get much playing time as one of our newer players, but he made the most of his playing time this weekend coming up with a few big catches for us, one of which saved a point for us.
Erik Zander– A great tournament weekend and teams learned a lot that they will take with them for nationals. UC played extremely well for a new team, much better than our first match up with them. They had some strong arms, were crossing us up, and had some big catches that kept a few of the points very close. Miami is a very fast team at the start and have several strong throwers that made it hard for us to get any type of ball control. Wall ball was a big factor in the game and I think we would play a good match against them without this factor. No one stood out for Miami, they played extremely well as a unit which will be good come nationals. BGSU was a more interesting game for us and we were able to put up more of a fight. Bowling Green used their arms against us and had some great catches. Max Kowalski had a great game against the Pioneers and had multiple catches taking out our top players in key points in the match. From UWP, a freshman, Eli Huntley impressed me the most. There were several times he was by himself and he kept calm and stayed patient. He had smart throws and only went for the catches that were right there. This will be big come nationals as we will need this to compete.