On February 4th, Grand Valley State University held the Grand Valley Gauntlet IX. The teams in attendance were Grand Valley State University, Michigan State University, and the University of Wisconsin-Platteville. The day gave us a glimpse into what we can look forward to from these teams this semester. Below are the results for the day and a breakdown for each team.
MSU (2-0) – MSU picked up exactly where they left off last semester. They easily handled UWP in their first game through catches and were never close to losing a point. Their team throws were on point and there were no areas that Platteville could try to exploit to keep pace. Even at times when Platteville looked liked they were taking some momentum, the Spartans were able to make several catches to slow them down. They used their speed and transition game to just outplay and out-hustle the Pioneers. MSU was able to brush up on a few things before the GVSU game where they were able to maintain their dominance over the Lakers. This time around the Lakers put up a much tougher fight, but Michigan State was able to stick to their strategy even when it looked like they were going to give up points to Grand Valley. It was their experience that allowed them to turn it around and secure those points.
GVSU (2-1) – GVSU looked much better this weekend than at the BEAST. They played much more as a unit and got back to what they do best and that is getting people in transition and getting in quick counter-kills. They started out the day against Platteville and handled them with no issue, and were able to fine tune some things before they took on Michigan State. The Lakers put up a much better performance this time around than they did at the Dr. Peter Broe Classic against the Spartans. Grand Valley at times had the Spartans down in numbers and had opportunities to take points, but were unable to capitalize when they needed to. In the end, the Spartans were able to get the win and it looks like we are setting up for a fascinating match at the Michigan Dodgeball Cup. Grand Valley ended the day with one last match against Platteville and was able to secure their second win of the day, getting some of their young players some great experience along the way.
UWP (0-3) – The Pioneers knew going in with only 12 players and a young roster that they were in for a challenge. They went to get valuable experience against some of the best teams in the country and to help their younger players gain experience and build confidence for the future. For Platteville, the mindset always is your either winning or you are learning and you only lose when you stop putting in the effort to compete. The Pioneers were out on the court giving it their all and were able to get the final point of the day against Grand Valley, taking that small, moral victory home with them to build off of. UWP has always been about player development, and rest assured they will take a look at film and get themselves prepared for nationals as they always do.
Final Thoughts – The results of this tournament went as expected with Michigan State coming out as the winners, Grand Valley regrouping from the BEAST, and Platteville getting some great game experience for their young players. The second half of the season is setting up to be a great one for the NCDA, and nationals should be extremely compelling. The Spartans and the Lakers will both next be at the Michigan Dodgeball Cup on February 18th, and the Pioneers will be at the Zanderthon Throw-Down a week later. If you didn’t get a chance to watch the games, click here (NCDA Dodgeball) to go to our YouTube channel. Please make sure you subscribe so we can reach 1,000 subscribers.