With Nationals around the corner also comes one of the fan favorite events, the All-Star Game presented by SAVAGE Apparel Co. This year the game will be larger than ever before, both figuratively, and quite literally. As Colin mentioned in his article, there are definitely members of each team that don’t get selected who are more than worthy of being called All-Stars for their team. As such, I wanted to take the time as well to highlight some of the East Coast players that I believe could be All-East Coast athletes from this season. This is not organized in any type of first team or top-15 group, but just giving recognition to players who have worked hard and performed well all season.
No this was not Co-authored by Colin O’Brien, it was however inspired by him.
Nationals is only a few weeks away people! Not that anyone needed me to tell them that, but as many would expect that means it’s time to start previewing all potential facets of the crazy weekend to come. As a warning, these will be filled with a lot of optimistic thinking but, based on current standings, here are what I think the best case scenarios are for each team on the East Coast heading into Lexington: Continue reading “Nationals Preview, Best Case Scenarios: East Coast”
Don’t let the Michigan Dodgeball Cup (MDC) distract you from everything else going on this weekend. Over in Richmond, Virginia, Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) will be hosting the Border War, consisting of teams exclusively from neighbor states Virginia and Maryland.
Why should anyone pay attention?
Well, 3 of the top 10 teams in the country will be present which includes #4 James Madison University (JMU), #5 Towson University (TU), and #9 VCU. The University of Virginia (UVA) and University of Maryland (UMD) both have an opportunity to move up 2-3 spots in terms of seeding with a win. There will also be three JV teams playing which means we will have the opportunity to see the future of the league. Here are some headlines to watch out for this coming weekend.
We already heard from the NCDA Chief of Content on his overreaction from the BEAST VI this weekend. But a couple of days have passed and it’s time for a more reserved, balanced reaction to the wild and entertaining day of dodgeball that took place in Harrisonburg this past Saturday. A reminder once again of this weekend’s results. Continue reading “BEAST VI Recap”
In case you’ve been living under a rock the past few days, James Madison University played host to a number of schools from across the country in the 6th annual Big East Appalachian Super Tournament, aka BEAST this weekend.
To put it simply, this was one for the ages. Before I dig in on my “reaction” (or should I say: overreaction), here are the results from the tourney:
JAMES MADISON – UREC
JMU def OSU 4-1
UK def Towson 3-2 OT
JMU def UK 3-1
MSU def VCU 3-2 OT
Towson def MSU 3-1
VCU def OSU 3-2
JMU def MSU 3-1
UK def OSU 3-0
Towson def JMU 2-0
VCU def UK 2-1 OT
MSU def OSU 3-0
Oh man, what do I even say about this tournament? It feels like ever since JMU hit the national scene about five years ago that the players between these two conferences have been clamoring for a regular season blowout tournament. Ok, maybe not a blowout, but people have been hoping that as the East Coast Conference has risen the teams over here would be able to face their Midwest counterparts during the regular season. There have been some regular season matchups before (BEAST and other various tournaments), but this marks the first time I can remember that multiple teams from either region have travelled the distance to the other. Saturday looks to be a barometer for a lot of teams heading into April and Nationals. Let’s take a look at the matchups.
In less than a month Towson will play host to one of the most anticipated East Coast tournaments in NCDA history. The first ever MVEC (Michigan Versus the East Coast) will take place at Towson University on Saturday, March 26th. This tournament will come only a few weeks prior to Nationals, and it should be very telling of where teams stand leading up to the season’s final event. Below I have listed the attending teams, a few storylines to follow, and the recently released tournament schedule. Take a look:
Teams in attendance at MVEC:
#1 Grand Valley State
#3 Michigan State
#5 James Madison
#17 Virginia Commonwealth
JMU: 57.207 (inc +3 for home advantage) (#3 in Gonzalez Standings)
Towson: 44.806 (#7)
Kent: 43.426 (#9)
UMD: 40.985 (#11)
PSU: 37.644 (#15)
VCU: 32.224 (#24)
JV and B team matches are recorded, but do not count towards primer standings.
You may note there’s a lot of potential exchanges at the minimum, 0.010. This is a sign that those matches are not between teams of similar strength. Over the years, I’ve found our East Coast region to be a sort of microcosm of the entire League. You may also note that JMU’s home rating (57.207) rivals GVSU current neutral court rating (57.357). That’d be a #1 and #2 in Gonzalez rating if GVSU has a chance to visit JMU’s home court again.
This weekend will feature two very interesting NCDA regular season tournaments. One will be played at DePaul University (Chicago Dodgeball Open) featuring two of the top teams in Michigan (Grand Valley State & Central Michigan) along with arguably the top two teams from the Illinois region (Wisconsin Platteville & DePaul).
The other tournament played over the weekend might be even more interesting than the CDO. On January 31, the University of Kentucky will play host to in state rival Western Kentucky, the top three Ohio teams: Ohio State, Kent State, and Bowling Green State, as well as an undefeated James Madison squad from the East Coast.
The East Coast’s dynasty has high aspirations for 2015, the last year for many of their star players
James Madison University Club Dodgeball was founded in the fall of 2010 by Computer Science and Sports Management student, Christopher Hess. Since their first tournament ever, JMU has stormed their way to an above 75% winning percentage over the course of four seasons, with victories over all of the top teams in college dodgeball including Grand Valley State, Saginaw Valley State, Central Michigan, Michigan State, Kentucky, and Kent State.
The Dukes have long been considered the cream of the crop in the East Coast region since they generally dominate their competition in the east. They hold a 27-1 overall record against those teams, including an impressive 20-1 mark against teams from the state of Maryland. This group may be relatively new to the National Collegiate Dodgeball Association (NCDA), but JMU has garnered some pretty high praise from opponents in the past. Compliments like: “They are the most athletic team in the NCDA” or “the hardest throwing team in the league” have constantly been directed toward this team, and rightfully so.
While the Dukes are only in their fourth year as a member team of the National Collegiate Dodgeball Association, they still have compiled quite a few accolades thus far in the team’s brief existence, including two appearances in the quarterfinals, and one Final Four at the annual “NCDA Nationals” tournament.
All of this is old news to anyone who follows the NCDA, and it’s not the reason for me writing this feature story in the first place. Would it surprise you if I said that this year is, in a way, a make-or-break season for JMU? Would you believe me if I told you that everything that the Dukes have accomplished in seasons past was just a prelude to what they may have in store for this spring? Well, now that I’ve grabbed your attention… Continue reading “James Madison Dodgeball: A Season Four Years in the Making”
Joey has changed a lot as a player in his three years in the NCDA. Originally a player known just for his throwing ability, he has evolved his game to become a top level catcher in the league. Much like other past BOTMs, Cardella is usually overlooked by other teams because he plays with star players like Andrew Hassett, Ben Sizemore and Brent Gromer. Joey worked his way into the upper echelon of players starting at last year’s Nationals in Kentucky, where he caught seemingly everything thrown his way. While it is still a debate over who is JMU’s best overall player, Cardella has been making a great case for that title with the way he ended last season, and how he’s started this one. Continue reading “BOTM: 2013 October”