Last weekend featured three separate National Collegiate Dodgeball Association events. Each one had some telling results. Miami (Ohio) had a head turning performance when they went undefeated at their home tournament, including a win over Ohio. Central Michigan went undefeated at the home tournament as well, then followed it up the next day with another undefeated day at MSU.
Below, a number of individuals react to what went down last weekend:
Erik Zander (UWP):
CMU- Well, this weekend at the King of the Mountain tournament, a lot of questions were answered. Let’s start with the winners of the day: CMU. This team showed everyone that they are the number one squad in the league and they can handle anyone whether it be GVSU or JMU. Being in the number one spot is where they want to be and intend to stay. It was also nice to see that with only a few minutes left against Platteville, they still played hard to give UWP a chance to keep learning. It tells me a lot that this team goes hard, doesn’t let up, and is hungry to win a championship.
GVSU– For this squad, they showed that they are still as good as ever. They played CMU okay, but not to their potential. They had flashes of brilliance and it looks like they are still developing a young team. They easily handled their other opponents with ease. I expect them to only to keep getting better as time goes on.
JMU- This team showed that they are truly an excellent squad and can roll with the big dogs like CMU. That game almost went into overtime, but they lost it in the last few seconds. As a unit, they have strong arms and they easily took it to SVSU. With this weekend’s experience, they are a team to watch out for.
SVSU- For this team, they had a chance to prove that they could contend with the top three teams in the country and they passed up on it. They easily handled Platteville, but they didn’t have enough skill to take down JMU or GVSU. Still a lot they have to work on if they want to play for a championship.
UWP- I would say that Platteville was the big winners this weekend in the sense that they got a chance to pick up some valuable lessons. As a unit, they played GVSU extremely well and were able to take two points, which I can’t remember Platteville scoring a point on GVSU. Our match against CMU was also a good one for us, as we were able to take a point on them too. It may not seem like much, but for us that was our main goal, to put some points up. It gave the freshmen the experience they needed for future tournaments. Our biggest problem last weekend was just doing the little things right. Simple things like ball fakes, moving up as a unit, and not properly blocking for teammates are what hurt us and could have made the games closer. Finally, we would just like to say thank you to Central Michigan for letting Platteville attend this tournament. It was a blast and we look forward to doing it again next year!
Michael Riley (CMU):
*I will only be giving input on games I was a part of or watched a majority of.
King of the Mountain
CMU v GVSU: It may have been the first game of the day but GVSU sure didn’t play like it. They came out hot, strategy focused, and ready to upset the Chips. They won the initial rush and maintained ball control for the majority, if not entirety, of the point. Behind the power arm and communication of my little bro, Brandon Meisel, they took the first point and put CMU on the early back-foot. CMU answered back, led with an incredible series of plays by Casey Bielec, and took a point on GVSU before the half. The second half was all Chips however; the fire power of Joe Kobus, Tom Mudge, and Kris Kohler overwhelmed the GVSU squad and resulted in the score of 3-1 CMU. I’d also like to say I saw Aaron Krafft on GVSU make some great plays and was very impressed with his individual performance.
CMU v JMU: In my opinion, this was the best game of the KotM tourney. This was the first time both of these schools were meeting this year and was a highly anticipated match-up. The question was: could CMU’s strategy and talent hold strong against the power throwing team of JMU? CMU took the first point very handedly and personally, had me feeling bummed out it was going to be an easy sweep and they were all hype; boy, did that take a quick 180. JMU took the next point on CMU but didn’t stop there; they kept the pressure on and the remainder of the first half was used by CMU just trying to survive. Doug Schilling was throwing nothing but heat and well-timed throws to snipe the CMU players and dwindle their numbers. During the second half, Gabe Whitten and Garret Mcgurl really stood out and made some impressive plays to rack up another point for JMU. CMU began to unravel the Duke’s strategy and was able to take a point back, leaving just enough time for settle the 2-2 score by taking the 3rd and final point with 40 seconds left. I spoke with Doug after the game and he said they were missing a couple top guys, which is expected with that insane travel. I look forward to facing their full-strength team when we hopefully make our way over to them for the BEAST next semester.
GVSU v SVSU: I only watched this sparingly but I saw two major things: 1) There was a stoppage of play in the first half for whatever reason, and SVSU made a huge strategy error by rushing for the ball set in the middle instead of stalling out the 4 minutes, as they were heavily down in players and the score was 1-1. 2) Brandon Meisel had a NASTY suicide throw to eliminate the last SVSU player with only seconds left.
CMU v UWP: Not much to say here. 9-1 score which was to be expected. A very developing team but I’m glad they came out to get the experience to grow. They have a few players that surprised me. That said, if you’re going to come to a top tournament you must be able to officiate effectively.
GVSU v JMU: Although this game ended 5-0 GV, I believe that’s a very misrepresented score. I think depth was definitely shown to be a factor here and GVSU has always had that. If both these teams faced off with fresh players, I believe it would be a highly contested match-up.
CMU v MSU: MSU came out hot and ready to prove something! The first game at their home tourney and they set the tempo with a fast first point against CMU. Kam Caldwell was catching EVERYTHING and their new young rookie Payton Shuster was throwing heat. But, in the ever lasting words of Colin O’Brien, “DON’T….POKE……THE…..BEAR.” That lost point fired CMU up and it was all CMU for the rest of the game.
CMU v DePaul: Usual antics
CMU v BGSU: Whew, this game was something else. This was the closest game CMU has participated in this season. BGSU had a comfy 2-0 lead against CMU at half and has been the only team in the league to hold a 2-point lead, at any time, against the Chips. With their undefeated season in their eyes, CMU managed to rally a comeback and bring the end of regulation to the score of 2-2. OT was absolutely crazy and the most intense OT I’ve ever taken part in, back and forth and back again. CMU was able to prevail with HUGE game changing catches by Joe Kobus and Austin Brege. Not only that, CMU would’ve surely lost without Grant Webber racking up four solo OT kills to secure the victory for CMU. BGSU came to play, and they had some players that impressed the hell of out me. #27 Max Kowalski has an absolute cannon and some hands to match (caught me in OT as I fired a throw at his chest). Montag Genser, a junior for BGSU, was catching everything thrown in a 5 foot radius of him and was not to be trifled with. Tyler Broyles also caught us three or four times on TEAM THROWS while managing to stay in. BGSU had some stud players but I’ll unfortunately end my input with this, the level of dishonesty and lack of integrity exhibited by BGSU during this match was ridiculous. It was not only noted by our entire team but also those watching in attendance and those watching on the live stream. Couple that with very luck-luster officiating and it made for a nightmare of a game. CMU will not be playing BGSU unless we have to in the bracket at Nationals.
Jacob Leski (CMU Alumni):
Was very impressed with BGSU. They communicate together as a team, know each of their roles. They are a top 5 team this year, and in my opinion, have the real ability to make it to the semifinals in April.
Kevin Bailey (GVSU Alumni, and guy posting this article):
I unfortunately didn’t get to witness any of the events from this past weekend, but from what I saw afterwards, and from what I have heard, here are the biggest “Winners” from this past weekend, with my explanations included:
What a huge weekend for Miami! They entered the month not even cracking the top 20 power rankings. That will certainly change next month! Miami went 3-0 this weekend, including a humongous 3-1 win over Ohio. Miami is no longer an afterthought in the Ohio Region. I would venture to say their name can be added to the list of teams with a legitimate shot at winning the Ohio Dodgeball Cup this year!
- Central Michigan
CMU had 3 stressful games this past weekend alone. GVSU was a few plays away from forcing overtime during the last seconds of their match with CMU. Then JMU also came a few plays away from a win over the Chips as well. The following day was the most stressful of all, as BGSU held a 2-0 lead on CMU, before Central climbed back to win in overtime. With all of that said, CMU is still a huge winner in my book because they got the victories. 16-0 isn’t too bad! Congrats CMU, but, *cough* you’re still 26 wins shy of the record win streak… best of luck.
- Grand Valley State
Plain and simple, GVSU is a winner here because they are improving. The expectations at GVSU is to win every game, and they have failed 3 times with that, including once last Saturday. With that said, GVSU is steadily improving. The close match with CMU is proof of that. So is the blowout of JMU. I expect this team to start to really turn the corner this winter.
- Bowling Green State
BGSU gave CMU their biggest scare all year! Bowling Green is for real, and no doubt a top 4 team right now. Their top-level players are as good as any in the country, and they proved that by nearly beating Central in OT. With all of that said, there is one reason why I don’t have this team higher up my “winners” list. I have heard plenty of complaints about this team not playing within the rules, but I am optimistic that the leaders on the BGSU team will make sure that does not continue.
- Wisconsin Platteville
Bottom line, UWP is not as good as the opponents they faced on Saturday. The experience they gained is invaluable, though. I am happy to see this team taking risks and travelling to tough tournaments like the King of the Mountain tourney. I know that the experience will pay off for them in the long run.
Honorable Mention: James Madison:
JMU traveled all the way to Mount Pleasant, Michigan to play in a very challenging tournament. They did so with some of their top players not making the trip. Impressive. Even more impressive when reviewing the results. JMU nearly took down an undefeated CMU squad, beat SVSU handily, then lost to GVSU at the end of the day. Not an awful showing for JMU, and I don’t think their two losses should harm them too much in the power rankings. I don’t see them falling below #3 in the country.