On October 20th three new teams entered the NCDA. Previously you saw St. Ambrose highlighted in an article. The Siena Heights University Saints are the next team to be highlighted. Siena Heights is a small school located in Adrian, Michigan and has an enrollment of about 2,500 students.
They opened their NCDA competition playing in the GVSU Invite along with Central Michigan, Bowling Green, Davenport University, and Grand Valley. This was a very quick start for Siena Heights as they had their first practice on October 7th. They were able to get a 10-player roster for the tournament; they would play 4 total games on the day.
Siena Heights took some lumps early as they opened the day up with an 11-0 Loss to Central Michigan. Their second game also an 11-0 defeat to Grand Valley. Both losses coming to established programs in the league. The third game of the day they faced off against another new program in the NCDA Davenport University. The Saints came away with a 7-3 victory over the Panthers. They finished off their first tournament in the NCDA with a 3-1 loss to GVSU JV.
I was able to catch up with Siena Heights captain Mike McCarthy and ask him a few questions about his team’s first competition within the NCDA.
Mark Trippiedi: How would you rate your team’s first appearance in the NCDA?
Mike McCarthy: It’s hard to rate our team’s first appearance in the NCDA. There isn’t a 1-10 scale you can really put on it due to some of the circumstances we had to face. If you look at what we had to go through, I think a lot of people in the NCDA would be impressed! First off we had to face GVSU and CMU, two of the best teams in the whole league. Secondly, we were five players short the entire day! With those two in mind, I think we did extremely well for what we had to work with. Two of our ten had never touched a dodgeball or had a practice with us yet this year, and the other seven gentlemen besides myself had no more than four real practices under their belts. Needless to say I was happy with how those guys, and gal, performed!
MT: How was it for your team to pick up a win at the GVSU invite?
MM: Our first win was definitely a good one. DU is another first year team and I believe we both gained some valuable experience from out match. It was a good win because of two reasons; one being we were able to work on our teamwork skills and the second was we got to have fun! The DU group is a great group of players and were extremely fun to play against. DePaul would definitely be impressed with this group of players!
MT: What are some goals you have for your team going forward?
MM: Looking further down the road there are a few things I would like to see our team do. The first thing I would like the team to do is to learn the game to the best of their ability. It’s not easy understanding the ins and outs of this game and believe if they can do that in a timely manner they will become a powerful team very quick. The next I would like to see from them is winning more games, which goes hand in hand with the first goal. I believe that with the ability they have and the potential I see, they could easily take down some of the more established teams. Finally, and stealing a page from DePaul’s book, I want to see them have fun. There is nothing like this league and no one like its players. I want to see them have fun and learn to love everything about our league and its players!
MT: Do you have any more games coming up?
MM: Our next event is the MSU invite. Normally Michigan teams are not invited but Mike Van Ermen [MSU–6 C] was nice enough to extend an invite to a brand new Michigan team. I am extremely excited for this because our team will be able to see some teams outside of the state of Michigan, which is hard for a first year team to get that kind of exposure. It will be interesting to see how the team does against the NCDA “World!”