Jonathan Shaw’s “Nationals Winners and Losers”


Nick Johnson ran a very successful NCDA National s.
Nick Johnson ran a very successful Nationals.

Nick Johnson WKU – Simply put, he ran the smoothest Nationals I’ve seen since Towson joined the NCDA in 2011. Nick, all of the NCDA owes you a big thanks, well done buddy.

Central Michigan University – Central players might still be getting over the Finals loss to GVSU, but when you look back at the fact that exactly 2 years before Central had only brought 10 players to Nationals, and 1 year before got eliminated by University of Kentucky in the first round, you must come to the realization that a Finals appearance is a monumental step in the right direction for this program.

University of Wisconsin Platteville – This team played a grand total of 2 games in the regular season, came to Nationals, went 2 and 1 in Saturday Pool Play, and then upset Kent State in the first round on elimination Sunday. I’d say that’s a good weekend by anyone’s standards.

Towson University – This team came into Nationals with not much expected of them, were competitive against both Michigan schools they faced (lost vs MSU 3 to 1, and lost vs SVSU 3 to 1), beat a solid BGSU team (4 to 0), and upset The Ohio State University (2 to 1) to advance to our program’s first Elite 8.

Alex Higbee was a huge asset to UWP's team at Nationals.
Alex Higbee was a huge asset to UWP’s team at Nationals.

Alex Higbee – If you’re like me you’ve probably never heard of this name before Nationals, maybe not even until this article. This dude impressed me more than any other player at Nationals. Seriously go to YouTube, or Livestream and watch UWP play, specifically look for # 20. This dude had a cannon, like easily top 10 arm in the NCDA, and his all-around game was stellar as well. He took over points, and UWP would not have been nearly as successful at Nationals without #20 Alex Higbee.

Grand Valley State University – They now have won 3 consecutive NCDA National Championships, consider this: University of Alabama Football has never won 3 National Championships in a row. Just saying.

Penn State University – Did anyone else see what Penn State did this past weekend. Not only did they beat DePaul on Saturday to grab a win, they also only lost by one point to both GVSU and SVSU (and no that is not a typo). Seriously guys, they were competitive against Grand Valley, and Saginaw this weekend. For a team that nothing was expected of, they impressed.

Colin O’Brien MSU – He pretty much single handedly won 2 of the 3 points that MSU won against Towson, and probably had about 15 catches in the entire match. That boy came to play this weekend…. And not that it’s really impressive or anything, but he also had the game winning catch in the 1 vs 1 OT thriller against Kent State on Saturday that ended an 0 for 6 drought MSU had in overtime over the past couple years.

Anthony Incrocci GVSU – We talk too much in this league about how good GVSU is. Everyone knows their big names: Bailey, Nordberg, Fettig, Terenzi, and Morley. Sometimes enough credit isn’t given to the rest of the team. This dude caught everything in their match against UWP, literally everything. Not sure if anyone else knows this, but GVSU was taken down to a ten count 3 separate times against UWP, and time and time again Incrocci came up with a huge catch to settle Grand Valley. If he is back next year, watch out he is another baller on a stacked GVSU team.



University of Maryland – Some people like myself predicted this team to surprise some people and make it into the semifinals. Instead of the Final 4, they went 0 and 4 throughout the weekend getting bounced by University of Kentucky in the round of 16. HOWEVER, for all of you out there who will eventually read this, trust me when I tell you that Maryland was down some serious talent this weekend. I’m talking 5 or 6 everyday starters, which proved to be too much to overcome for this particular team.

Ohio’s Regional Ranking – If there was any argument as to which region was second best behind Michigan’s, let me take this time to announce that the East Coast has for right now solidified itself in that # 2 position. No one is taking away from the talent that BGSU, OSU, and Kent have shown this year, however zero Ohio schools advanced to the elite 8, while 2 East Coast teams (JMU and Towson) did. Call me crazy, but it’s literally that simple.

My next month cell phone bill – Livestream worked out great for this tournament, WKU’s wifi did not. That gymnasium’s wifi signal sucked, and forced me to already use 3 extra gigabytes for this month, with my plan that’s another $45 bucks out of the pocket. Nick Johnson any extra Nationals due money for reimbursement left?

Author: Kevin Bailey

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

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