This Sunday, the Grand Valley Dodgeball Club will host Central Michigan, Bowling Green State, Siena Heights, and Davenport in the first ever “GVSU Invite”. While the teams in attendance vary from the defending national champions (GVSU) to a few teams (Siena Heights and Davenport) who are yet to play in their first NCDA match, each team competing in this event will have something to prove as it looks to be a very telling weekend of college dodgeball. Here are a few storylines to keep an eye on:
GVSU Looks to Remain #1
Coming in at #1 in the Preseason Captains’ Poll, GVSU entered the season with a target on their back. Grand Valley began their 2013-14 campaign last weekend with wins against SVSU (2-0) and CMU (4-0). Returning the vast majority of the roster that earned them an NCDA Championship last spring will give the host team a huge advantage in this early season event. Set to have matches against BGSU, Siena Heights, and CMU, the Lakers, led by Captain Kevin Bailey and Assistant Captains Dylan Fettig and Pat Delling, hope to maintain their undefeated record and prove to the rest of the league that they are still the team to beat.
Rebound Weekend for CMU
Central Michigan, led by Captain Wes Peters, started the season in September at Kent State, winning their first two matches against Michigan State and Kentucky. Since then the Chippewas have dropped four straight games, including losses last Sunday to SVSU (2-3) and GVSU (0-4). CMU may have a losing record at the moment, but this weekend provides them with an opportunity to show they belong in the conversation as a top-tier team. Don’t look into their 2-4 win-loss record too extensively, because this is a much better team than last year. Along with Peters, the Chips return Brett Hadwin, Tyler Frank, and Michael Riley, giving them a solid group of leaders to work with. Look for CMU to rely on their stellar catching to get them a few strong wins this weekend.
BGSU Anticipates a New Season
Bowling Green had a subpar season in 2013-13, making a first round exit from Nationals. This year’s squad, captained by Evan Freer, is excited to get a new season underway. BGSU will be led by power throwers Jake Triplett, and Brad Masters. They also will get production from John Hartzell who is one of their better catchers. With Bowling Green scheduled to play GVSU, Davenport, and CMU, this weekend will be a big indicator as to whether BGSU has improved from last season.
The NCDA introduces Two New Teams
The “GVSU Invite” is scheduled to include two new teams in Siena Heights (SHU) and Davenport (PDC). Siena Heights is led by Mike McCarthy while Davenport will be captained by Han Chittisane. Davenport will get to compete against Siena Heights and BGSU, while SHU will play every team except BGSU. The talent level for both of these teams will remain a mystery until this week’s matches. Expect some bumps in the road for these new squads as they go up against teams with far more experience. Something worth noting is that one of the new member teams is guaranteed their first victory since they are matched up to play each other this Sunday.
Overall, this should be another exciting, and competitive weekend of dodgeball, which will include the introductory matches for two teams.
–Article and predictions by Kevin Bailey, current Captain of the GVSU Lakers