Happy Valley Throwdown Recap

Penn State’s Happy Valley Throwdown provided many exciting matchups, including multiple games decided by a single point. It is also worth noting that no team was able to finish the day undefeated. Here is our recap for each team that was in attendance on Saturday.

By Ethan Lehmkuhl and Mitchell Porter

Court 1 Matches

Court 2 Matches

Ohio State


OSU 3-4 PSU (OT)


Ohio Started the day with a close 2-1 victory over JMU. This match was much slower-paced than people were expecting, which was in part due to the Buckeyes missing top performer Nick Kemer. After dropping the last point of the first half with less than a minute on the clock, the match went into the half tied 1-1. Derrek Kemper and Alden Prohaska showed great survivability at the end of the game as they drained the final minutes of clock to secure a 2-1 victory. The next matchup saw Ohio State go down 2-0 early to rival Penn State. Ethan Lehmkuhl led a small comeback for the Bucks with a slurry of kills to take the match into halftime at 2-2. Neither team could pull ahead in the second, and the game was ultimately won by the Nittany Lions in overtime. Rookie Colson Bunch was impressive throughout the match and got his first overtime 6 appearance for the Bucks. Ohio State concluded the day with a 4-2 victory over Virginia that saw a lot of newer players get good reps in. Chance Preece, Alex Flis, and Jakob Puritz were all doing their thing as they showed off the depth of this OSU squad.




JMU 5-1 Kent

As mentioned previously, JMU suffered an extremely close loss to Ohio State to start their day. It is safe to say JMU has not changed much in terms of persona, as this was a very tense and heated match at times. Nick Foss made catch after catch and Trent Shaffer had some big kills as well, but the effort came up just short this time around. The following match with Penn State was another back-and-forth game. The Dukes jumped out to an early 3-0 lead before PSU came all the way back to tie it at 3 a piece late in the second half. JMU was able to pick the next point up with about 5 minutes remaining and subsequently closed out a pressing PSU once more to win 5-3. Joel Froyen was impressive throughout the match with a combination of throwing, blocking, and catching skills. JMU closed out the day with a dominant 5-1 victory over Kent State. It is clear this team can compete with and beat any team in the league, as I believe they have solidified themselves as a national title contender.

Penn State


PSU 4-3 OSU (OT)

PSU 5-2 Kent

Penn State also finished the day 2-1 with wins over OSU and Kent State and a loss to JMU. This PSU squad was far from 100 as they only had 12 players on the main roster (4 rookies), but they didn’t let this affect them much at all. It should be no surprise to anyone reading that Hunter Stewart was extremely impressive at his first tournament of the year. The difference between when he was on/off the court was night and day for Penn State. The Nittany Lions were most dangerous when he was able to combine with the leadership and all-around ability of Cloud Tapia-Manon. Other impressive performances came from the 4 rookies mentioned above, Curtis Rabatin, John Hartley, Ben Marines, and Jack Sawyer were all did well making starts in games against two top-ranked teams. The inaugural East Coast Dodgeball Cup this spring will make for some of the most entertaining dodgeball of the year.

Kent State

Kent 3-2 UVA

Kent 6-1 PSU – B

Kent 1-5 JMU

Kent 2-5 PSU

On the surface, Kent State did what was expected of them; they took care of business versus UVA & PSU-B and lost to higher-ranked teams in PSU and JMU. However, when you dig deeper into it, Kent State had a much better day than the scorelines reflect. Their first two matches went according to plan as they dispatched their opponents 3-2 & 6-1 respectively, but the story of the day was what happened during their matches against JMU & PSU. Although both games saw the Flashes lose by a combined score of 10-3, the match-ups were always close as each point came down to the last couple of players on both sides. Their performance in Happy Valley is comparable to Pink Out, where I said “The Flashes have demonstrated substantial talent, but the team’s lack of discipline and experience hinders their full potential.”


UVA 2-3 Kent

UVA 7-0 PSU – B


Virginia was dominant in their only win of the day and kept both of their losses within respectable margins. Despite the 1-2 record, this tournament saw UVA finish with a positive point differential on the day at 11-7. There is certainly talent in this club, but it will need to be developed further if the Cavaliers want to make some noise in the spring. Notable players for UVA this tournament were Cam Penn with a strong throw and athletic ability, as well as Grady Holmes who displayed a great set of hands, making some incredible catches. 

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