Grand Valley Gauntlet Preview

This Saturday, Grand Valley State University will host the Gauntlet tournament at the GVSU Fieldhouse. In attendance will be Michigan State and Wisconsin Platteville, along with the hometown Lakers. Below is the schedule for the day (with GVSU B and GVSU Alumni also getting in on the action):

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Now on to the preview. Let’s take a look at a few questions that will potentially be answered this weekend.

Can GVSU continue their dominance in their second tourney?

Grand Valley was simply dominant at the Early Access Tournament last month. The Lakers went 3-0, with blowout wins over BGSU, MSU, and SVSU. Their stars were playing at an All-American level, and their role players looked as sharp as you could expect from a team in the month of September.

We need to learn more about this team. We need to see them actually tested, to see what they’re made of. If MSU has made the necessary improvements, maybe they can make for a closer game this time around (they lost to GVSU 5-0 in September). Who knows, UWP turned some heads with their great play last time they were in Allendale (Nationals 2019), could they give the Lakers a scare? Even if GVSU wins each of their matches by a large margin, it will be nice to see how they play as a team and how their young players have developed over the last month.

Can Michigan State rebound from their early season losses to BGSU and GVSU?

The Spartans entered the year #2 in the Power Rankings, but have since fallen to #4. Their home tournament to start the year saw them pull off a nice OT win over CMU, followed by losses to GVSU and BGSU. Michigan State will look to avenge that loss to the Lakers on Saturday, or at the very least prove they can keep it close with GVSU. MSU has some very skilled and experienced players, along with a lot of talent in their rookie class. That’s a recipe for success long term, but we will see how strong they look here in mid-October.

The key for the Spartans will be the first point of each game. If they can come out hot and find some momentum, they will have a legitimate shot due to the amount of talent on their roster. If they come out flat in the first point, especially against GVSU, they won’t have a great day. Keep an eye on players like Brent Weakland, Jacob Georges, and Dennis Sullivan, as they will play crucial roles for MSU in dictating the pace of the game when they have a ball in their hands.

Does UWP have what it takes to hang with the Michigan schools?

Wisconsin Platteville, led by Jared Colden, Austin Kurey and Chad Jakel, boasts a 2-0 record on the year, with a couple close wins over an immensely improved Nebraska team. As has been the case for the past few seasons, UWP will choose to test their skills against some top Michigan teams at GVSU.

Will UWP get blown out by each of these teams, or could they pull off an upset much like BGSU did against the Spartans last month? Keep in mind the Pioneers gave MSU a run for their money last season at Nationals. Traveling this far may impact the roster they have in attendance, but UWP has an opportunity to show the rest of the league what they’re made of this weekend.

Predicted Scores:

  • GVSU def UWP 5-1
  • GVSU def MSU 4-1
  • UWP def GV-B 4-2
  • MSU def UWP 4-2

5 random guarantees:

  • Jacob Georges (MSU) ends the day with 5+ thrown headshots.
  • Collin Freeman (GVSU) gets double-digit catches against UWP.
  • Platteville is tied with MSU at halftime.
  • Grand Valley doesn’t give up a point in the 1st half against either MSU or UWP.
  • GVSU Alumni dominates every team they play :)

Author: Kevin Bailey

Current NCDA Chief of Content. Former Captain for Grand Valley State University (#4).

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