Kentucky Invitational

This Sunday the University of Kentucky (UK) is putting on the Kentucky Invitational and will be hosting: Ohio State University (OSU), Ohio University (Ohio), and Saginaw Valley State University (SVSU). Three regions will be in action and it is great to see the cross regional play! For Kentucky, this will be their first action of the year and we are excited to see them and for hosting. The last time they hosted an event, it was nationals back in 2017. Let’s take a look at the schedule below and highlight the teams.

Ohio University #6
Standout players:
1. Caleb Arnold
2. Alex Jonauskas
3. Max Stoeckel
Rookies to watch:
1. Brendan Miller
2. Keaton Linebrink
3. Logan Neff

Expectations: Ohio’s expectation as the top ranked team coming into this tournament is to win every match they play.

Matchup most excited for: Ohio is most excited for their rematch against Ohio State after they came back from a 3-0 deficit to win 4-3 at Ohio State. Ohio State is also a top ranked team at this tournament.

Ohio State University #7
Standout players:
1. Ethan Lehmkuhl
2. Elijah Thomas
3. Evan Utterback
4. Derrek Kemper
Rookies to watch:
1. Nick Kemer
2. Alden Prohaska
3. Will Bryan

Expectations: Ohio State expects to improve on deficiencies they saw in their game film, they are hoping it will lead to better play overall. Ohio State has played well all year but they expect to secure their first 3-0 performance at Kentucky.

Matchup most excited for: Ohio State is most excited for their matchup against Ohio after they lost in the final seconds on their home court, blowing a 3-0 lead. Their goal is to win ODC and make a run at Nationals, this game against Ohio will show them where they are at.

Saginaw Valley State University #14
Standout players:
1. Anthony Roehrl
2. Chris Rucker
3. Joe Barber
4. Cole Machiela
Rookies to watch:
1. Owen Folsom
2. Caden Pierson

Expectations: Saginaw’s expectation is to come out and win. After hanging around with Grand Valley at their home tournament, they believe they should be able to compete and beat any team this season.

Matchup most excited for: SVSU is most excited for their matchup against Ohio State. After losing by a single point in the Round of 16 at Nationals last year, they are looking for revenge. A win against the higher ranked Buckeyes would do just that.

University of Kentucky #24
Standout players:
1. David Mead
2. Robert Bennett
Rookies to watch:
1. Brancick Hale
2. Dain Coleman
3. John Pat Phillips

Expectations: Kentucky’s expectations for their home tournament aren’t too high. They have had some unlucky injuries and sudden conflicts reducing their roster size. They are using this tournament to get their very young team some valuable tournament experience. They believe it will be a great way to start introducing their recruits to the game.

Matchup most excited for: Kentucky is most excited for their matchup against SVSU. They know some players from that team and they have a fun time playing them.

Final thoughts– Tomorrow we are in for some exciting matches and we are going to learn a lot of about the Ohio and Michigan regions. We are going to see how they compare and match up. It will be an indicator of who the top teams are and what teams the other squads of the league will need to go after to be considered the top favorites. The games tomorrow will be streamed on the OSU and Ohio YouTube channels that can be found at the links below. Make sure to subscribe to both!
1. Ohio University Dodgeball
2. Ohio State Dodgeball

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