The East Coast kicks off the 2021-2022 season with the Virginia Classic at the Slaughter Recreation Center! In attendance, will be the host team University of Virginia (UVA), James Madison University (JMU), and Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU). The following is the schedule for today’s event.
12:30 p.m. UVA vs JMU
The last time these two teams played in a tournament was at the 2020 BEAST Tournament at JMU. Both teams are coming up with a full roster and it should be interesting to see how things played out. JMU will have Head captain Drew Funk leading the way along with his assistant captains Andrew Luzik, Ben Hoare, and Evan Bender at his side. However, it would be unwise to forget about the 2020 East Coast MVP Evan Eschenberg being at attendance as well.
For the Home Team, we have the Head Captain and 2020 East Coast Honorable Mention Jake Korman taking charge along with his assistant captains Nick Wells, Cole Faggert, and the savvy veteran himself Ben Kelly. It been since February 2020 since both of these teams have played in a tournament so there will be some rust to dust off.
JMU has never lost to UVA and they’re planning to keep things that way. Look for them to set the tone early and often with aggressive team throws to pin the Cavaliers on the back line. On the flip side, UVA is very familiar with their home court; they need to utilize the entire court to their advantage for their play style. If they’re able to withstand the aggression that the Dukes brings forth, there will be opportunities for them to capitalize.
1:30 p.m. JMU vs VCU
VCU is only traveling with the bare minimum 8 players for this tournament so they will have their work cut out for them. They will be playing a JMU team that is completely warm up and ready for action. In the 2019-2020 season, the two teams spilt the series 1-1 with both teams winning on their respective home court. However, JMU wants to remind VCU that history doesn’t repeat themselves; they’re planning on giving the Rams all that they can handle.
VCU is led by Head Captain Matthias Hammond along with his assistant captains Jonathan Katz, Karandeep Singh, and top 5 All-East Coast Team Ike Fleckenstein. The team is well-known around the league as an underdog team that will play hard until the end and that’s what VCU needs to do in order to compete against the Dukes. The game plan of the Dukes couldn’t change at all; be aggressive early, pin your opponents to the backline, and get some headshots to post on IG later on this week. With VCU having less players, they should have more space on the court and they would need to utilize that properly since they will be at a disadvantage the whole time. Look for the Rams to utilize their defense to generate their offense.
2:30p.m VCU vs UVA
In my opinion, this is the match of the day. UVA has never defeated VCU before in their history but if there a day to accomplish that goal, this could be the day. UVA will have the advantage of having a break allowing them to watch the Rams play just the game beforehand along with fresh bodies. Plus, both of these teams tends to play close games within the past few series. If UVA can get ball advantage and control the majority of the court, they should win this game. If VCU can find ways to capitalize off of UVA’s mistakes and play at a comfortable pace for themselves, they should win this game.