LEXINGTON – Alumni Gym: UK goes 3-0, Kent 2-1, WKU 1-2 and Miami 0-3 in the 2012 UK Invitational on November 10th. University of Kentucky Dodgeball hosted Kent State, Miami University and Western Kentucky University.
The winner of Last Man Standing was UK’s Wes Hopkins. Game records and accounts from team captains in attendance, after the jump.
Kent def WKU 4-0
Kent def Miami 5-0
WKU def Miami 3-2
UK def Miami 5-0
UK def WKU 6-0
UK def Kent 4-0
KENT – Dan Shackelford #33
Kent State fielded 17 players for the UK Invitational; their third away tournament in four weeks with a total of over thirty hours on the road.
They focused their attack on #76 Felix Perrone and #16 Alex Sorrels; the bulk of WKU’s offensive production. The first half of the match was a steady back and forth attack and counter game with Kent and WKU both looking for ball control. Kent slowly chipped away at the Hilltoppers with their power arms. WKU held onto just having one loss in the first half with a great last man effort by #23, Johnny Thacker. The second half of the match was far less close, with Kent speeding up the gameplay and getting many tags in transition. WKU did not get many chances to gun from the attack line with blockers Billy Cameron and Jason Hallman deflecting many offensive strikes. The match ended with Kent 4, WKU 0.
The Kent/Miami match was far less close, with Kent dominating the rush and acquiring most of the balls. Miami was forced to spend much of the match on the back line with Kent’s power arms managing to take open shots against unprotected players. Miami showed much potential to improve considering they were fielding so much young blood.
The day ended with the climatic clash of two elite programs in Kent and UK. UK was able to field a packed roster, subbing out veterans for veterans at will. The first half was the closest half the two teams have experienced this year with UK only taking one point. The second point proved to be the most intense, with Kent’s #10/6, Ryan Hinman, snagging two clutch catches and the half ending with only a few remaining players on both sides. UK gained momentum in the second half with great opening rushes and ball control. They were able to close out a few points with the help of first year senior #20, Zach Ross making great counter attacks against a mostly unprotected Kent. The two teams agreed to play one last full game with 2 minutes remaining just for fun, removing the clock. Final score UK 4, Kent 0.
MIAMI – Andrew Chen #27
Though Miami did not come out with a win, the young Redhawks have shown much improvement since their first game at BGSU. This tournament Miami travelled with 15 players and ten of them were first year players. The first two matches were a little rough for them but the team had a strong showing in their game with WKU. Shout out to #8 Steve Meyers and Dan Venczel for making some key catches and throws. Miami is looking to work on catching, keeping their throws low and working as a team in order to be prepared for their next round of games on December 1st in Oxford.
WKU – Alex Sorrels #16
Against Kent State we started off a little slow in the first point and we never really got back into that point. We looked a lot better in the second point and it looked for awhile like we might tie the match at 1-1 but some ill advised throws and some dropped catches swung the point back into Kent State’s favor. After halftime we came out flat and I don’t think we had ball advantage for the rest of the match.
Our 2nd match was against UK and we continued or poor run of play in the first point and we were put out fairly quickly. In the 2nd point we played really well until the end I think we had UK down to 3 players at one point and then we got caught about 3 times and lost the point. We were never really back into it for the rest of the game and they won 4 more points.
Our next game was against Miami, our first 2 points were probably the worst 2 we had played all season and we went down 2-0. After halftime we came out and played like a completely different team and played easily our 3 best points of the season. We were making catches that we had been dropping all day and our group throws were accurate and effective. Overall the day was a little disappointing because we didn’t play up to our abilities for most of the day, but the 2nd half of the Miami game showed our team what we can do when we communicate and make plays and that was encouraging. Thanks to UK for hosting and to Miami and Kent State for making the trip – we had a great time.
UK – Zac Brown #13
UK began their day with a match against Miami. UK had a lot of first year players push the tempo resulting in a 3-0 lead at halftime and an ending score of 5-0. Miami’s #91, Sam Clark made some great plays and looked like a top caliber player, however some of his heroic plays weren’t enough to bring them through at the end.
The second match of the day was against WKU. UK took a 3-0 lead at halftime and ended the match with a 6-0 win. WKU did knock UK down to three players (the lowest number all day) before UK called upon a handful of different people to make some clutch catches. WKU’s #23 Johnny Thacker was one of the better players for the Toppers throwing some fast balls and making some nice tags on UK players. WKU’s freshman #42 Hunter Herring showed some great promise throwing some nice heat and looks to be a great player in the future.
The third match of the day was against Kent State. The score was UK 1 to Kent’s 0 at halftime with the ending score being 4-0. Kent’s #10/6 Ryan Hinman played a great game making some catches and looked to be in the zone. Kent’s #65 Jason Hallman and #3.14 Billy Cameron were blocking machines absorbing shot after shot. The only way that these two were eliminated was when they didn’t have a ball in their hands. This was the first match that UK’s #22 Jeffrey DeWitt returned to the court from his concussion back in September against WKU.
UK’s recurring theme for the day was balance. Riding the hard throwers of #1 Wes Hopkins, #20 Zach Ross, #8 Jacob Hughes and #39 Dakota Taylor. While having six different players notching three or more catches in a single point, #37 Drew Greenawalt, #2 Thomas Kidd, #23 Brandon Engleman, #20 Zach Ross, #11 Tyler Harp and #13 Zac Brown. UK played 13 returning players and 7 first year players.
Thanks to all the schools that came out! We are looking forward to seeing everyone at Nationals visiting the University of Kentucky’s campus.